On August 29, 2011, American rock giants Red Hot Chili Peppers released ‘I’m With You,’ their first studio album in half a decade. The 14-song album reached number 2 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart in the United States, but was generally heralded as an incomplete effort, leaving much to be desired.

It turns out the band was in agreement with some of their harsher critics. Despite embarking on a sold-out world tour, the Red Hot Chili Peppers still have some surprises for their international fan base. It was announced last month that more new songs are on the way.

Starting on August 10, the band began to release a pair of brand new tracks every few weeks and will continue for the next several months. They are available worldwide through CD, digital download from iTunes, the band’s official website, or on 7-inch vinyl for the record collectors out there. The new material, which consists of 18 full-length songs, is a product of the studio sessions during the ‘I’m With You’ recordings.

As if the announcement of unexpected material for their fans was not enough, the band commissioned California artist Kelsey Brooks to provide cover artwork for the vinyl releases, and when combined together, the nine covers will form one large piece of unique artwork.

The first pair of sides, “Strange Man” on the A-side and “Long Progression” on the B-side, was released on August 10. Both tracks have a decidedly authentic RHCP sound. Diehard fans will love the familiar Anthony Kiedis vocal breakdown on “Long Progression” and the beautiful vocal harmonies on “Strange Man.”  Both tracks do an excellent job of highlighting new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer and the seemingly new direction the band is taking after the departure of long-time guitarist John Frusciante.

The second pair of session tracks, “Magpies” and “Victorian Machinery,” will be released on September 11, 2012. The third pair, “Never Is A Long Time” and “Love Of Your Life,” will be released on October 2, 2012. The fourth set of songs (titles TBD) will be released November 6, 2012. The fifth pair of sides (titles TBD) will be released December 4, 2012, and the sixth pair (titles TBD) will be released December 18, 2012. The final two releases will be come out sometime in early 2013.

Just because these songs did not make the final cut for the album does not mean that they are a throwaway effort by the band to provide its adoring fan base with any semblance of new music. When asked about the unreleased tracks, drummer Chad Smith said, “We just wanted them to come out because we just really like them. We didn’t want them to get lost, so we’re gonna put them out, mainly for our fans.” With the worldwide release of 18 new tracks, “lost” is likely the last thing that will happen to these songs.


Image Courtesy of   Red Hot Chili Peppers