Every Red Hot Chili Peppers song is filled with an unmatchable funky energy, and the band's videos tend to match the intensity and weirdness of their personas and live shows. From painting their bodies silver and dancing around the desert to getting kidnapped by cab drivers, the band has never been afraid to step outside of boundaries and do something completely new in their visuals. We asked our readers to vote for the 10 best Red Hot Chili Peppers videos. Here are the results.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are at their best when their goofiness is being highlighted, and the abstract, contemporary artsy clip for "Can't Stop" turned out to be the perfect vehicle for the band to express that. Directed by Mark Romanek, the clip was inspired by Erwin Wurm's "One-Minute Sculptures." Each of the band members are seen using various items to pose or create arbitrary, unrelated scenarios as they perform the single from 2003's By the Way.
"Give It Away" not only gave the band their first Number One single, but the video also highlighted their trippy, out-of-the-box perspective. Shot in black-and-white by French fashion photographer Stéphane Sednaoui, the band sported silver body paint and outlandish, glam outfits as they danced and performed in the desert to the funky rap-rock hit.
Released in 2000, the video for "Californication" takes the quartet on a surreal, video game-set adventure through California's landscapes and stereotypes. Each band member is pictured separately running through their scenarios as 3D video game character. The real, live band is seen performing the song in a picture-in-picture frame until the two worlds collide.
The Chili Peppers traverse the history of rock in their 2006 video. The band dressed up as everyone from Elvis Presley to Glenn Danzig to Kurt Cobain in the clip. As the video wraps, they return to themselves as it flashes back to their memorable outfits.
"Soul to Squeeze" began as a B-side for Blood Sugar Sex Magik but ended up making the cut for the Coneheads soundtrack. The clip is set at a traveling circus with the band members playing various "freaks" and makes several references to the film, including a cameo from Chris Farley.
Reuniting with Stéphane Sednaoui who directed "Give It Away," RHCP reflected on guitarist John Frusciante's return to the group. The guitarist drives a car filled with the band, who are all badly beaten and bloodied. They drive through the desert with a few stops, including when Frusciante plays his guitar solo on a broken instrument.
After working with Flea on his film My Own Private Idaho, Gus Van Sant teamed up with RHCP to direct a dreamy, sparkling vision of their ballad "Under the Bridge." The band is seen roaming the streets of Los Angeles and performing the video under purple, blue and green lights and seas of lights, perfectly conveying the emotional weight of a song about loneliness and addiction.
Inspired by German expressionist art, "Otherside" soundtracks a gothic, cubist world. A young man navigates a dark, nightmarish dream sequence, seeming to reflect the struggles of people who used to suffer from addiction as the song explores.
In one of the band's more plot-driven videos, singer Anthony Kiedis is kidnapped by a cab driver who is a huge fan of the band and plays "By the Way" on his stereo to impress the frontman. As the song progresses, he drives more erratically and does a number of stunts to continue getting Kiedis' attention as the singer frantically texts Flea and John Frusciante to save him. Once his bandmates realize that Kiedis is telling the truth, they speed off in Flea's car to rescue him and succeed before drummer Chad Smith hails down the same cab moments after.
"Fight Like a Brave" is a triumphant, motivational song about Anthony Kiedis overcoming addiction, but it is also the last music video that original band member Hillel Slovak starred in, since Slovak died from a heroin overdose a year later. In the clip, the band is Lost Boy-esque in their youthful, jovial demeanor as they are put in various ridiculous scenarios.