It's no secret that the Red Hot Chili Peppers have long been one of rock's top live bands. But strangely, the group hadn't issued a live album during their career, that is, until 2004's Live in Hyde Park (but even in this instance, it was for Euro consumption only). Recorded in June of the same year while on tour in support of By the Way, the majority of the set list is comprised of tracks from their that album, and its predecessor, Californication. Guitarist John Frusciante has obviously given the group an extra kick musically when he rejoined the band -- the Peppers posses some of the greatest instrumental interplay of any rock band, and they don't disappoint with Live in Hyde Park. Such modern day hits as "Scar Tissue," "Otherside," and "Universally Speaking" sound fine and dandy, but most longtime fans will also be interested in Hyde Park because of the inclusion of several tracks unavailable anywhere else -- two new tracks ("Rolling Sly Stone" and "Leverage of Space"), as well as three cover songs (Donna Summer's "I Feel Love," Looking Glass' "Brandy," and .45 Grave's "Black Cross" -- talk about variety!). The only complaint about the track listing is that no pre-Blood Sugar Sex Magik selections are included. Still, until the first domestic Chili Peppers live set sees the light of day, Live in Hyde Park will do nicely.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato