Deep Dive: John Frusciante, SHADOWS COLLIDE WITH PEOPLE
15 years ago this week – the actual anniversary was yesterday, if you’re curious – John Frusciante released his fourth solo album, an LP which instantly became notable as a result of being the first of his solo albums to crack the Billboard 200.
Frusciante is generally best known for the work he did as guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a position he took over after the death of the band’s original guitarist, Hillel Slovak. It was an unenviable position for any musician, but not only did RHCP end up surviving Slovak’s death, but whether you want to attribute it to Frusciante’s arrival within their ranks or not, the band positively soared in terms of their success, transforming into a cult funk-rock band into one of the biggest bands in the world. (In case you hadn’t heard, he’s no longer a RHCP member, but he had a good run, playing with them from 1988-1992 and then again from 1998-2009.)
Frusciante’s solo career has definitely not found the same degree of mainstream success as his former band, hence the classification of this examination as a Deep Dive, but SHADOWS COLLIDE WITH PEOPLE is definitely the first of his solo endeavors that could be classified as having some semblance of mainstream appeal. This, of course, means that those who loved and listened to his more lo-fi LPs were immediately a little sketchy about the change in sound, but rest assured that it’s not like it was a dramatic departure away from his musical eccentricities.
If you’re a RHCP fan who’s been aware of Frusciante’s solo career but have never given it a shot, this is definitely your best chance to find a gateway drug. Give it a listen, won’t you? If it strikes your fancy, there’s plenty more where that came from!
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