The Red Hot Chili Peppers' latest single, "Fortune Faded," written for the band's November 18 Greatest Hits album, sums up the group's career in a few short minutes.
The track combines funky guitars, bobbing rhythms and vocals that range from percussive to smooth and tuneful, addressing everything the Chili Peppers have ever stood for — humor, sex and altered states of consciousness.
"They say in chess, you gotta kill the queen, and then you mate it," singer Anthony Kiedis begins. And after the second verse he declares, "The medicated state of mind you find is overrated/ Oh I, do you?/ You saw it all come down and now it's time to imitate it."
Like most Peppers recipes, it's cryptic, but guitarist John Frusciante elevates "Fortune Faded" into something worth ordering. He blends angular peaks into tuneful vapor, and when he overlaps blissful jangle with static-y guitars on the chorus, he simultaneously creates euphoria and tension.
A video for "Fortune Faded" was shot last month in Los Angeles with director Laurent Briet (Radiohead, Aphex Twin). In the beginning of the clip, the Peppers break into a building late at night and start rocking out. A shirtless Kiedis wiggles and does kung-fu moves in a hallway aglow with neon streaks that line the walls. The luminous patterns serve as the video's motif, and whether the bandmembers are jamming in a room or headbanging in the hall, the vibrant squiggles are everywhere, often assuming three-dimensional shapes that the Peppers leap through, dodge and saunter around in their crusade to rock.
Playing foil to the jubilant bandmembers is a flashlight-toting security guard who stands for conformity and comfort and doesn't want some renegade rock and rollers jeopardizing his values. However, it looks like he polished off a box of Krispy Kremes before taking chase, because his pursuit lacks any degree of energy, allowing the Peppers to rock with abandon until the final scene, in which the lazy officer opens to door they're performing behind.
In addition to "Fortune Faded," Greatest Hits will include a second new song, "Save the Population." Both were recorded during the band's By the Way tour. The best-of album will be available in two versions, one containing just a CD and one that'll also feature a DVD of all of the band's videos. The same day Greatest Hits comes out, the band will release the DVD "Live at Slane" (see "Red Hot Chili Peppers To Release 'Live At Slane' DVD, Best-Of LP").