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Brent A. Anthonisen | Alpharetta, GA, USA | 02/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before VH-1 started making documentaries of the making of "classic albums" (such as Jimi's "Electric Ladyland", Fleetwoods "Rumours", U2's "The Unforgettable Fire", etc.), this independent production in living black & white was shot of the Red Hot Chili Peppers as they became "Funky Monks" with producer extraordinaire Rick Rubin and retreated to a virtual monastery of an empty house in the hills above L.A. to record their greatest musical achievement ever, 1991's "Blood Sugar Sex Magik".
The video/DVD shows the painstaking detail with which the breakthrough album was recorded (of particular interest is the recording of the percussive effects heard in "Breaking The Girl") and in between recording time we see candid glimpses of the Peppers being...well, Peppers, being dads, talking about the band philosophy and what makes them who and what they are (and skimming through the personal ads in various sex mags).
And of course each Pepper's awesome musicianship is put on display (particularly John Frusciante, who I swear must be the second coming of Jimi Hendrix with his pre-addiction guitar technique, showcased in all of its glory here...the entire album was a breathtaking performance for a guitarist barely 20 years old at the time) as the recording sessions are filmed.
The songs appear only in snippets and in various different stages of production; you won't see any full-length performances (although a good bonus extra would have been the video for "Give It Away", especially since -incredibly- that video somehow was not included on the "What Hits?" DVD that was recently re-issued; more's the pity it isn't found here, either). You'll recognize songs that weren't included with "Blood Sugar..." that were later released ("Soul To Squeeze" being the the most recognizable) in addition to those that found their way onto the final version of the album.
But the personality of L.A. is every bit as much the star of this film as is the personalities of the Chili Peppers themselves. The feel of the town is everywhere, from the record offices where the executives explain the concept behind the recording taking place in the fashion it did to the locations where Anthony is interviewed regarding the lyrics of "Under The Bridge" to the wrap party that is held at the house once the recording has been completed...the soul of Los Angeles (such as it is) and the symbiotic association it has with the band are factors that set this filmed "making of" documentary a step above all the others; there is much more than four guys in a studio and a producer in a booth...it is an encapsulation of a city and its most identifiable band, frozen in time forever.
In summation, don't watch this expecting a collection of videos or a live performance; watch it with an interest in a fantastic band and the creation of their finest work and feel the city breathing through them as it happens."
Great DVD for musicians
TheWolf | Chicago | 04/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is about the story of a LA rock band recording their best album ever (they didnt know it) in a mansion in Laurel Canyon with producer Rick Rubin.
This is mainly a DVD for hardcore fans, or any musician who likes to see what its like to record an album with rick rubin in a big mansion! its amazing. its a very relaxed vibe. its a non-narrator documentary of the recording of BSSM. There are short interviews with each member and short clips of them recording songs and parts (excellent). Anthony explains Under The Bridge, Flea talks about his bass playing, john talks about vibrations in the 4th dimention, Chad likes his motorbike.
This is 60 mins (too short in my opinion) and in black and white. dont let the color intimidate you, it goes perfect with vibe. the sound quality is excellent. This doesnt contain any of their music videos, or live on stage performances. i made an audio cassette tape of this and put it in my car so i could listen to it elsewhere, i liked it that much.
if you like the chili peppers and like the studio, this is a MUST. if BloodSugarSexMagik is your favorite album... they you NEED THIS.
thank you have a nice day
Ow! Them Peppers are Red Hot...
harpo787 | South Florida | 04/26/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wasn't sure what I was getting into buying this DVD, but I admit I enjoyed it. I've always enjoyed watching candid stuff about bands, in addition to watching them perform. This title, Funky Monks, does just that. It shows the Chili Peppers as they do a bit of publicity for their then upcoming album "Blood Sugar Sex Magic", and I think at points you can see that John Frusciante (sp?) was not completely stable at all times, a sign that he would leave the band as they were touring. I'd love to see something like this for their last album, Californication, to see how the reunion came about. The only downside I'd say about this DVD that holds back its 5 stars is that it didn't have any extras, like videos they made for songs from the Blood Sugar album, or for that matter, not a single song was played all the way through."
Adam | Vancouver, BC, Canada | 06/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Chilis never cease to amaze me...after getting the "Off the Map" DVD, i had to buy this one...its great now to have both of them...first in "Off The Map" I got to see them live and get a small insight of the band through the interviews...this DVD was much more centered on the band itself, and the recording process. For all other die hard Chili fans out there it was really cool to hear what they all had to say about the album...and I loved watching Flea coming up with some crazy stuff basically from the top of his head...All in all...GREAT DVD...if all you want to see Chilis live...buy "Off The Map"...if you want to get to know the band even better...buy "Funky Monks"!"
Technical error- No problem though!
Adam | 09/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just wanted to add that although the DVD version of Funky Monks states that it's in color (as opposed to the original version filmed in black and white), this is an error. The DVD is black and white just like the original. I bought the DVD version, thinking it had been redone in color, but was sadly disappointed when I put it in. Other than that, it's an awesome video like no other from the world's funkiest and grooviest band!"