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Stadium Arcadium is the ninth studio album by alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, released on May 5, 2006, on Warner Bros. Records in Europe and May 9 in the United States. It sold 442,000 copies in the United States in the first week and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The album produced five singles: "Dani California", "Snow )", "Desecration Smile", "Hump De Bump", and "Tell Me Baby." According to the band's vocalist Anthony Kiedis, Stadium Arcadium was originally scheduled to be a trilogy of albums each released six months apart, but was eventually condensed into a double album.

The record was critically praised for integrating musical styles from several aspects of the band's career. The album gained the band seven Grammy Award nominations in 2007 including an award for Best Rock Album. It was the most nominations that the band had garnered in their 25-year career. Kiedis attributed the album's success to less abrasive dynamics within the band, saying that the band's "chemistry, when it comes to writing, is better than ever. There was always a struggle to dominate lyrically. But we are now confident enough in who we are, so everybody feels more comfortable contributing more and more valuable, quality stuff".

Background

After the release of their previous album, By the Way, the Red Hot Chili Peppers embarked on a world tour, which lasted from July 2002 to a mid-June 2004 date at London's Hyde Parkmarker. The band later appeared at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and at Rock am Ringmarker to tie up their tour in support of By the Way. The band then settled down to begin recording their next album in September 2004 with producer Rick Rubin, with whom they had recorded four albums previously.

The formation and recording of Stadium Arcadium took place at "The Mansion", the former home of Harry Houdini where the Chili Peppers had recorded their 1991 breakthrough Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Given the house's reputation for being "haunted," guitarist John Frusciante recalled that he felt "there were beings of higher intelligence controlling what I was doing, and I didn’t know how to talk about it or explain it...it was very clear to me that the music was coming from somewhere other than me." However, Kiedis noted that during the recording process of the album "everybody was in a good mood. There was very little tension, very little anxiety, very little weirdness going on and every day we showed up to this funky room in the Valley, and everyone felt more comfortable than ever bringing in their ideas." The band originally wanted to create an "old-fashioned Meet the Beatles-like record," and to keep the number of songs down to about 13, to make "a small, digestible piece of art." They ended up writing 38 new songs with Rubin, recording them all.

The musical style of the album combines many aspects of music from throughout the band's career, with many fans and critics welcoming the return of the band's signature funk sound after its significant absence from By the Way. It's also noted that John's playing style had changed from his signature 'less is more' style, inspired by punk and new wave guitarists, to a more flashy approach, drawing influence from guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix and Steve Vai. While he received moderate acclaim before Stadium Arcadium, this change in style gained him far more recognition than before. John also began utilizing layering in his guitar playing, which is something he hadn't done before (many layered guitar parts appeared on Mother's Milk, but this was mostly because of the insistence of the producer, although it was against John's will) and also used a modular synthesizer on many songs after doing so on his 2004 album Shadows Collide with People. While John was pleased to have used the modular synthesizer on the album, he admitted that when the band began rehearsing for the tour, it was very frustrating because many of the songs sounded very empty without it. This meant the band had to rework many of the songs in order to perform them live.

Kiedis recalled that the band "wanted to [release all 38 songs] on three separate discs that [would] be released in installments...something about those songs made us really like each one. However, by the time we planned to release the third installment in two years, we’ll be writing new music." This was the impetus for the band to pare those songs down to 28, a process Kiedis described as "heartwrenching." Nine of the 10 unused songs have been released as B-sides (see section on B-sides below). He explained the reasoning behind the decision to name the album "Stadium Arcadium" by saying that it had more "variety and verve compared to its predecessors [and] we each have things we do best and it’s all in there. Everybody played their part and expressed their creativity to the max."

Critical reaction

Stadium Arcadium received generally favorable reviews, with Rolling Stone stating it was the band's best album yet and giving it a rating 4/5. Rolling Stone also declared it to be the second-best album released in 2006, behind Modern Times by Bob Dylan. Q magazine said it was one of the year's best albums and rated it at 5/5 whilst Allmusic called it over-produced and self-indulgent and thus gave it 3.5/5. It has sold over seven million copies worldwide to date, and its first three singles reached number one (with each staying there for at least four weeks) on the US Modern Rock chart.

Waveform of the song "Snow ((Hey Oh))", comparing the CD and LP releases.
A problem often pointed by audiophiles is Vlado Meller's mastering for the CD release. It can be regarded as a product of the loudness war, with heavy use of dynamic range compression, and suffering of frequent clipping. In contrast, Steve Hoffman's mastering for the vinyl release was praised for its quality.

Tour

In May 2006 the Chili Peppers announced that they would be touring Europe in May through July, followed by 26 dates in the USA and Canada from August to November. Josh Klinghoffer, friend of John Frusciante, and multi-instrumentalist joined the band on tour. Rolling Stone named it "Most Anticipated Summer Tour" in an online poll. The Mars Volta were the opening act. The band also headlined the Voodoo Music Festival in New Orleansmarker.

Track listing

All songs written by Red Hot Chili Peppers.

CD release

B-sides

In the style of Jupiter and Mars, the compilation of B-sides is often referred to as Venus.

Song Length Release(s)
"Million Miles of Water" 4:06 B-side of "Dani California"
"Whatever We Want" 4:48
"Lately" 2:55
"A Certain Someone" 2:25 B-side of "Tell Me Baby"
"Mercy Mercy" 4:01
"Funny Face" 4:46 B-side of "Snow )"
"I'll Be Your Domino" 3:57
"Joe" 3:54 B-side of "Desecration Smile" and "Hump de Bump"
"Save This Lady" 4:17


Personnel

Red Hot Chili Peppers


Additional musicians
  • Natalie Baber, Mylissa Hoffman, Alexis Izenstark, Spencer Izenstark, Dylan Lerner, Kyle Lerner, Gabrielle Mosbe, Monique Mosbe, Sophia Mosbe, Isabella Shmelev, Landen Starman, Wyatt Starkman – background vocals on "We Believe"
  • Michael Bolger – trombone on "Turn It Again"
  • Lenny Castro – percussion
  • Paulinho Da Costa – percussion
  • Richard Dodd – cello on "She Looks to Me"
  • Emily Kokal – chorus vocals on "Desecration Smile"
  • Billy Preston – clavinet on "Warlocks"
  • Omar Rodríguez-López – guitar solo on "Especially in Michigan"
  • Brad Warnaar – French horn on "Stadium Arcadium"


Production


Peak positions and certifications

Chart (2006) Peak

position
Certification Sales/Shipments
Australia 1 3x Platinum 210,000+
Austria 1 Platinum 20,000+
Belgium (Flanders) 1 Platinum 30,000+
Belgium (Wallonia) 2
Canada 1 4x Platinum 400,000+
Danish top 20 1 Platinum 30,000+
European albums 1 2x Platinum 2,000,000+
Finland 1 Gold 15,000+
France 1 Platinum 200,000+
Germany 1 5x Gold 500,000+
Italy 1
Japan 1 Platinum 250,000+
Netherlands 1 Gold 25,000+
New Zealand 1 3× Platinum 45,000+
Poland 1 Platinum 30,000+
Portugal 5
Spain 2
Sweden 1 Gold 20,000+
Switzerland 1 2x Platinum 60,000+
United Kingdom 1 2x Platinum 600,000+
United States Billboard 200 1 2× Platinum 2,000,000+


  • I Most figures in this column are of the numbers of units shipped based on the certifications accumulated. Sources provided for these figures give the value of certifications for the country they were issued in.


References

  1. http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=42376&view=findpost&p=389625 hydrogenaudio.org
  2. Peak positions
  3. http://www.ultratop.be/nl/showitem.asp?interpret=Red+Hot+Chili+Peppers&titel=Stadium+Arcadium Cat=a
  4. http://www.ultratop.be/nl/showitem.asp?interpret=Red+Hot+Chili+Peppers&titel=Stadium+Arcadium Cat=a
  5. http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinum.php|title=Sales Certification Values US|accessdate=2009-10-16|publisher=riaa.com}}


External links




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