Sometimes a record can just take over your life, especially when you're young. That was the case with 11 year old me and Mother's Milk. I'm not quite sure where it entered my life, most likely on a cassette played out of a friend's boombox, but when it did I was all about it. They had me from the opener "Good Time Boys," with its Fishbone, X and Thelonious Monster samples (felt so good when I found the sources years later). Their blend of punk and funk influences were something my young ears had yet to encounter. At that age I could listen to the album on an endless loop. The cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" filled with the voices of their friends on the chorus; "Magic Johnson" their ode to the LA Lakers was a little lost on me as a NorCal native but it still sounded good. And then there's "Knock Me Down" with its introspective lyrics reflecting on the death of former Peppers' guitarist Hillel Slovak and the effects of drug addiction. I mean, even "Pretty Little Ditty" was awesome. There was not a wrong note that Flea, Frusciante, Kiedis or Smith could play. If you're like me I'm sure you can relate. It's astounding to see what went into the record and what the band had been through prior to recording it. From losing Slovak and the subsequent departure of drummer Jack Irons to adding guitarist John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith the Pepper's were in the midst of a transformation. Mother's Milk would go on to be the record that took them from being a punky funk band that sang about sex and drugs to a band that was ready to get into deeper subject matter backed by a more diverse musical pallet. Limited edition 180 gram pressing.
- music label: EMI America 1989 / 2009
reviewed by Hank Ohs 09/2014
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