Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Uplift Mofo Party Plan



by DaveCasero USER (7 Reviews)
January 12th, 2022 | 8 replies

Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Groovin' a tune straight out of the womb"

Being Flea doesn't sound like the worst of all options in life: Playing fun music in one of the biggest bands in the world and being one of the most respected musicians on your instrument in rock history? Yeah, that sounds like a good life to me. However, being Flea in the 80's is close to an existential nightmare: Having escaped drug addiction himself, he had to watch his two bandmates and best friends Hillel and Anthony dancing with Mr. Brownstone, while desperately trying to keep their promising and innovative but ultimately unsuccessful band going, while seeing all the phony Bon Jovis and Poisons lazily cashing in? Yeah, people easily forget how much crap this guy had to eat before their early 90s breakthrough.

Before the release of their third album in 1987, the cycle of drugs, chaos and line up changes continued, probably even worse than before: Anthony had to be fired for a couple of weeks, only to be brought back, probably because no one else was crazy enough to join the band at this point. He managed to get clean for a while, before predictably relapsing soon. Hillel had also lost the plot on the previous tour, unable to perform on various gigs. No wonder that drummer Cliff Martinez had enough in 1986 and quit for good. Long story short: If Flea is your most stable member, the band is in serious trouble.

Against these odds, the Peppers still had a solid judgement of what their music needed. George Clinton may have matched well as a producer for the retro funk of „Freaky Styley“, but he hardly captured the wild punk side of their live sound, so handing those duties over to Michael Beinhorn was definitly a good decision. Even though the guitar gets a little lost in the mix here and there, for the most part, this albums sounds the way it wants to.

Also, having forming member Jack Irons back on the drums helped them to reconnect to their reckless punk days. His playing style is miles simpler than Cliff's, but solid and starightforward in the best way, fitting the punkier edge of the songs perfectly. Also, despite all the difficulties mentioned before, he brought the crumbling band the sense of optimism and unity they seemed to lose in the chaos. That's why „The Uplift Mofo Party Plan“, surprisingly doesn't sound like the nihilistic and depressing mess you might have feared it to be (if you want that, visit „One Hot Minute“).

The inner chemistry was in the right place and it was perfectly captured in the raging „Me & My Friends“ where Hillel delivers probably his best solo. They never sounded like a gang of best buddies more than here, which could have been impossibly corny but somehow turns out to be wholesome and fun. „Backwoods“ is a similar banger and its completely bananas rant in the middle never fails to entertain me. The lightspeed 1 minute blast „Skinny Sweaty Man“ takes the unhinged craziness to the extreme and even the risky territory of turning a Bob Dylan song into head nodding raprock on „Subterrean Homesick Blues“ fits seamlessly into the record. While sadly forgotten and never played live, „Walking On Down The Road“ stands out for its warm southern rock guitar line, which complements Flea's slap bass and Jack's rock solid drumming damn well. And of course there's the catchy Beastie Boys inspired anti-drug rant „Fight Like A Brave“, those who played a certain skate game might have nostalgic memories of it.

The experimental „Love Trilogy“ remains one of the weirdes moments with its sloppy but unique developement from dark reggae to funk-metal to punkrock. Even the less accomplished tracks stand out enough from the others, like crowd noises in the closer or the talkbox effect on „Funky Crime“.

But as Peppers albums go, you won't get through this without your „WHY???“-moments provided by your one and only Anthony Kiedis. He has more than a few slip ups on this record, like the energetic but unfortunately titled „No Chump Love Sucker“ or the hippy-dippy nonsense about dolphins in their first melody driven song „Behind the Sun“, but in both cases the music can absolutely make up for it. No no, ladies and gentlemen, here they are, the worst lyrics of any Chili Peppers song: Forget the asian accent in „Around the world“, „Hump de Bumb“ or the creepily pushy „Suck My Kiss“.
The award goes to: „Special Sectret Song Inside“ or as it was initially supposed to be called „Party on your P****“. Yeah, this could very well be its own South Park parody and the flavourless riff played in a way too slow tempo feels like a terrible excuse for repeating the former song title for roundabout 37 chruses. But overall, Anthony shows a growing confidence in his voice, his flow has come a long way since his stff delivery on the debut and his first shy attempts at actual singing work better than they should.

It's a shame that the Peppers couldn't make at least one more album with this line up because Hillel was unable to keep his habits together and sadly passed away in 1988, because this record sounds like this incarnation of the band was just getting started. In fact, they actually were, because the impossible odds were on their side once again by finding guitar prodigy John Frusciante and the midwestern powerhouse Chad Smith (you know, the Will Farrell lookalike).
If you're interested where the Peppers' reputation as innovative cavemen weirdos comes from, this diverse, entertaining, oddball, and energetic album is for you. Their unashamed and unfiltered freak-of-nature attitude understandibly turns off a lot of listeners to this day and if you're one of those „The Uplift Mofo Party Plan“ will make your eyes roll even more than their other albums.

Recent reviews by this author
Oasis Be Here NowAlice in Chains Alice in Chains
The Jesus and Mary Chain Honey's DeadLou Reed Sally Can't Dance
Red Hot Chili Peppers Freaky StyleyRed Hot Chili Peppers The Red Hot Chili Peppers
user ratings (919)
other reviews of this album
Knoxvillelives (3.5)

Nagrarok (3.5)
Red Hot Chili Peppers create the album they should have created 3 years before it instead....

francesfarmer (2.5)

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 12th 2022


Album Rating: 3.6

Used to jam this all the time in HS, p sure I actually had it 5ed at one point

Solid rev, could maybe use a quick pass for typos but you summed up the circumstances surrounding the record pretty well

January 12th 2022


i am towards the end of the Flea memoir, Acid for the Children and it is very good, with the exception of every story starting with his drug excesses, which are fine but get a little boorish by the end

but still a pretty good read you should check it out

January 13th 2022


I get the feeling that English might not be your first language, which is fine. You just need to focus on editing a little bit.

January 13th 2022


Album Rating: 3.5

I jammed this a lot in HS as well. A fun album, for sure.

January 13th 2022


Great review! I never listened to any pre BSSM album as a whole and th eoccassional tunes I heard didn't hook me up too much, but this review makes me wanna change that.

January 13th 2022


Album Rating: 4.0


January 13th 2022


Album Rating: 4.0

Hey guys, thanks a lot for the feedback!

@Sitarhero You're right, I need to be more patient with the editing, not my biggest strength tbh. And you guessed right: I'm German haha

January 17th 2022


Album Rating: 3.5

Good review overall. It could use some cleaning up with some of the language and grammar but (and I say this as a lifelong RHCP fan) you do a great job of capturing what made this record important, where the band was at the time, and where they would eventually be going.

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2023
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy