A pivotal album for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1989's Mother's Milk turned the tide and transformed the band from underground funk-rocking rappers to mainstream bad boys with seemingly very little effort. Mother's Milk brought them to MTV, scored them a deal with Warner Bros., and let both frontman Anthony Kiedis and the ubiquitous Flea get back into a good groove following the death of co-founding member Hillel Slovak. With a new lineup coalescing around the remaining duo plus new drummer Chad Smith and guitarist John Frusciante, and with producer Michael Beinhorn again behind the boards, the band took everything that The Uplift Mofo Party Plan hinted at, and brought it fully to bear for this new venture. If anyone doubted the pulsating power of the opener, "Good Time Boys," it took only a few bars of band's outrageous and brilliant interpretation of the Stevie Wonder classic "Higher Ground" to prove that this new lineup was onto something special. Wrapping up with the aptly titled and truly punked-out "Punk Rock Classic" and the band's own punched-up tribute to "Magic Johnson," Mother's Milk was everything the band had hoped for, and a little more besides. Effortlessly going gold as "Knock Me Down" and "Taste the Pain" careened into the charts, the album not only set the stage for the band's Blood Sugar Sex Magic domination, it also proved that funk never died; it had just swapped skins.
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AllMusic Review by Amy Hanson