Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Uplift Mofo Party Plan


3.5
great

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
January 21st, 2010 | 313 replies


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Red Hot Chili Peppers create the album they should have created 3 years before it instead.

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ third album, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan, was quite an ironic release. For the first time since the band’s inception in their high school years, the original formation would record an album together, as drummer Jack Irons returned to the front, replacing Cliff Martinez, in the same manner guitarist Hillel Slovak had come to replace Jack Sherman before Freaky Styley. At the same time, it would also be the last occasion on which the original band would play together. Shortly after touring for the album, Slovak died of a heroin overdose, which was actually the cause of the Peppers’ eventual catapultation into fame (and eventually, more guitarist misfortune). TUMPP marks the end of an era for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the end of their early, raw funk approach.

Hillel Slovak: (April 13, 1962 – June 25, 1988)

The reason the first incarnation of the band was able to get recognition in the first place was because of their chemistry and energy. As good as some of the moments on The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Freaky Styley might have been, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan was the album the band had wanted to, and should have made 3 years earlier. Here, the energy of the quartet remains unparalleled, and even though the Peppers have later reached greater heights, this was them perfecting their earliest sound . The much improved chemistry, and therefore, performance, kicks in right from the beginning. Flea’s bass is as strong as always, but doesn’t overpower as much as it used to do. With Irons’ beats added to it, the rhythm section lays down a backbone funk groove we, before this album, didn’t know the band were capable of. The lead is equally effective. Slovak’s guitar is loud and sufficiently present, especially compared to his previous performance, and Kiedis is at his best yet, fuelling the band with crazed, passionate rapping.

Especially the first half of the album is proof of this all, and contains most highlights. The distorted Slovak lead on Fight Like a Brave, the eclectic Funky Crime, the more straightforwardly rockin’ Backwoods, the outstanding bass on Behind the Sun and Walkin’ Down the Road, most tracks have their own special moments going for them. Nevertheless, even TUMPP is marred by a few inconsistencies and missteps. The cover of the Bob Dylan classic Subterranean Homesick Blues has an impressive rap delivery by Kiedis (pretty much a solo moment for him), but the track is so unrecognizable it could have been a 2:34 rap written by the band themselves. Nothing of interest whatsoever is done with the original. Skinny Sweaty Man is another one added to the joke track collection, but it is Kiedis’ pre-occupation with sex-related material that produces some of the more annoying moments on the record. Sure, Special Secret Song Inside, No Chump Love Sucker and Love Trilogy may seem fun at first, but after repeated listens, they tend to wear out their appeal.

Despite these few moments of negativity, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan remains the most consistent thing to come out of the Peppers’ first era. Just take a look at that colourful cover art. It’s full of energy, and so is this record. Some of this tremendous energy may have been expressed in wrong ways, but the chemistry the quartet has is undeniable. It is a particular sound that, with the death of Slovak and following departure of Irons, the band have never been recaptured. But that is not necessarily a bad thing, for fourth release Mother’s Milk was to be the boys’ best work yet.

The Uplift Mofo Party Plan’s Red Hot Chili Peppers were:

- Anthony Kiedis ~ Lead Vocals
- Michael Peter ‘Flea’ Balzary ~ Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Hillel Slovak (R.I.P) ~ Lead Guitar, Sitar, Vocoder, Backing Vocals
- Jack Steven Irons ~ Drums, Backing Vocals


Chili Classics:

Fight Like A Brave
Funky Crime
Backwoods
Behind the Sun


TO BE CONTINUED…



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user ratings (592)
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3.5
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
January 21st 2010


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Here's number 3, you know the drill.

Greggers
January 21st 2010


2375 Comments


Sweet review as per ususal

renegadestrings
January 21st 2010


1442 Comments


why is Fight Like a Brave not in the tracklisting?

Nagrarok
January 21st 2010


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It seems the one who submitted this album all this time ago started with track 2. I'll fix that.

BigHans
January 21st 2010


26454 Comments


uh oh Nag you committed the Caridinal Sin of having two reviews up on the front page ;) Just kidding, great job again, although again I haven't heard a thing off this album.

LepreCon
January 21st 2010


4094 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, you know the drill!

Nagrarok
January 21st 2010


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the approval guys. I was going to wait Hans, but since I posted Freaky Styley yesterday around the same time, I figured I would have the same problem tomorrow if I had waited.

Meatplow
January 21st 2010


5524 Comments


I need to listen to this one more, Fight Like A Brave, Me and My Friends, Backwoods and Behind The Sun are amongst my favourite RHCP tunes, and I am mainly familiar with them through the What Hits!? collection.

I haven't listened to Mother's Milk yet, it's a glaring gap for me.

Nagrarok
January 21st 2010


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mother's Milk is pretty darn awesome Meatplow, how dare you?

Meatplow
January 21st 2010


5524 Comments


The older part of their discography is still somewhat new to me, i've been slowly working through it chronologically.

I'm looking forward to it, though.

Nagrarok
January 21st 2010


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sometimes I even place it above Californication, but that's probably because that album got so overplayed back in the day. It's in the top 3 Chili records for sure.

Lakes.
January 21st 2010


27773 Comments


Fight Live a Brave


Fix that.
Otherwise, another ace review man. I always love your discographies.

Digging: Arthur Russell - World of Echo

Meatplow
January 21st 2010


5524 Comments


Sometimes I even place it above Californication, but that's probably because that album got so overplayed back in the day. It's in the top 3 Chili records for sure.


The only thing that ruins Californication is the overcompressed mastering, it's an otherwise great album to me.

Nagrarok
January 21st 2010


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Will do. Thanks, but you've read more of them then? I've never seen you comment on any of my reviews before.

edit: @greatlakes

You'll have to explain what overcompressed mastering is Meatplow. I'm not very knowledgeable as far as that goes.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 21st 2010


5793 Comments


Nice one man. I've never been a chili peppers fan, though. Pos.

EVedder27
January 21st 2010


6088 Comments


Album is great, although not to be compared with Frusciante-era chili peppers. Also is that who I think it is in your avatar Nag?

Nagrarok
January 21st 2010


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes, it is the Mighty John. Expecting more solo record reviews from you Mike. I put him there since my Frusciante-era reviews start tomorrow.

EVedder27
January 21st 2010


6088 Comments


I may do a Frusciante discography after I get a few done that I'm planning on doing. Won't exactly be in order though since I've already done a few.

PuddlesPuddles
January 21st 2010


4772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

NO CHUMP LOVE SUCKA
NO CHUMP LOVE SUCKA

Nagrarok
January 21st 2010


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I may do a Frusciante discography after I get a few done that I'm planning on doing. Won't exactly be in order though since I've already done a few.


I know, but it does allow more flexible reviewing, unlike my style. What are you planning on first? Something in my field of interest?



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