The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ first four studio albums will be reissued Jan. 28 by EMI. Housing rare bonus material, the newly remastered versions of the group’s 1984 eponymous debut, 1985’s “Freaky Styley,” 1987’s “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan,” and 1989’s “Mother’s Milk,” will restore all original artwork from the vinyl releases and append liner notes scribed by bassist Flea.
The Chili Peppers, anchored by the early lineup of vocalist Anthony Kiedis, Flea, drummer Jack Irons, and guitarist Hillel Slovak, were early funk/rock innovators, as their self-titled first album affirms. Boasting the powerful classic “True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes,” the reissue adds demo takes of “Get Up and Jump,” “Police Helicopter,” “Out in L.A.,” “Green Heaven,” and “What It Is (a.k.a. Nina’s Song).”
The 1985 follow up, “Freaky Styley,” features production work by Paliament/Funkadelic legend George Clinton, plus fan favorites such as “Jungle Man,” “Yertle The Turtle,” and the Sly Stone cover “If You Want Me To Stay.” Three bonus tracks augment the reissue, including demos for “Nevermind” and “Sex Rap,” plus a previously unreleased, eight-plus-minute instrumental version of the title track.
1987’s “The Uplift Mofo Party Plan,” overseen by producer Michael Beinhorn (Soundgarden, Korn), contains material such as RHCP’s riotous interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and the college radio staple “Special Secret Song Inside.” Previously unreleased instrumental demos of further album favorites “Behind the Sun” and “Me & My Friends” are the revamped product’s bonus offerings.
“Mother’s Milk,” the Peppers’ 1989 commercial breakthrough — and the first to feature new and current members John Frusciante (guitar) and Chad Smith (drums) — launched the MTV hits “Knock Me Down” and “Higher Ground,” penned by Stevie Wonder. This reissue adds the dub mix of “Higher Ground” (which originally surfaced on the B-side of the song’s 12″ promo single), as well as two live Jimi Hendrix covers, “Castles in the Sand” and “Crosstown Traffic.” The latter is previously unreleased, as are the disc’s further extras “Salute to Kareem” and the original long version of “Knock Me Down.”
The Chili Peppers are currently touring Japan in support of their latest Warner Bros. album “By the Way.” The group will play Dec. 30-31 in Las Vegas before embarking on an extensive European jaunt in the new year.