The Red Hot Chili Peppers are pretty easy to make fun of these days. Their artistic stock has been declining bit by bit since 1999 or so. But today, with the leak of an old outtake called Circle Of The Noose, there’s an excuse to revisit what I blasphemously argue was their best album, or at the very least their coolest, 1995’s One Hot Minute.
Freaked out by the success of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, John Frusciante had left the band, with no interest in being a rock star despite the otherwise role-appropriate drug habit he had developed. Meanwhile, Jane’s Addiction had just split, so Dave Navarro eventually wound up in the band after a brief series of interesting stand-ins including Arik Marshall, Zander Schloss, and Buckethead. Navarro had his own drug issues though, and Kiedis had fallen off the wagon again, so for better or worse, One Hot Minute was dark, queer, sad, and heavy, compared to the previous release, and especially compared to some of the silly shit the band has been doing since Frusciante returned. That’s not to say Frusciante isn’t an amazing guitarist in his own right, but this was, for a moment, a different kind of band. I’ll always place it in a separate category than all of RHCP’s other releases, and I’d be hard-pressed to compare any of them favorably.
All of that said, I get why Circle Of The Noose didn’t make the cut for One Hot Minute. In an interview in ’97, Navarro called it “the greatest pop song [he’d] ever been a part of,” but remember, he was on a lot of drugs. It’s kind of a disjointed, rambly mess, especially in this rough demo form. Still, big thanks to both Alternative Nation, and the original source, @RHCPtv5, for bringing this to light and giving us an excuse to rave about the freak occurrence that was One Hot Minute.
RHCP is currently finishing up a new album, with Josh Klinghoffer on guitar.