Red Hot Chili Peppers

Knock Me Down

Composed by Anthony Kiedis / Chad Smith / Flea / John Frusciante

Song Review by

The Red Hot Chili Peppers were dealt a devastating blow when their founding guitarist (and best friend), Hillel Slovak, died from a drug overdose in 1988 -- which led to drummer Jack Irons exiting from the band soon after. Its remaining members, singer Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea, decided to soldier on, replacing the former members with newcomers John Frusciante (guitar) and Chad Smith (drums). The new lineup's debut album, 1989's Mother's Milk, was their breakthrough hit -- on the strength of the hit videos "Higher Ground" and especially "Knock Me Down." The album was dedicated to Slovak, while the song was a tribute of sorts to the fallen guitarist. At the time of Slovak's death, Kiedis was also abusing drugs, so he knew exactly what his friend was going through. The anti-drug lyrics are both honest and from the heart, especially evident in it's chorus: "If you see me getting mighty/If you see me getting high/Knock me down/I'm not bigger than life." Musically, the song contained the band's expected punk, funk, and rock merger, but proved to be one of the Peppers' more restrained songs up until this point (it wasn't as explosive as, say, "True Men Don't Kill Coyotes," "Fight Like a Brave," "Magic Johnson," etc.).

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Mother's Milk 1989 Capitol/EMI Records 4:44
No Image 1990 Capitol
What Hits!? [Video] 1992 Capitol
Now Hear This! [Cema] 1992
Various Artists
Greatest Hits [EMI] 1994 EMI Music Distribution 3:45
The Best of Red Hot Chili Peppers [EMI] 1997 EMI-Capitol Special Markets
Radio Days: '80s Rock 1999
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets / CEMA Special Markets 3:45
Wrestling Slams & Jams 2000
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets 3:43
The Best of Red Hot Chili Peppers [Madacy] 2000 Madacy 3:45
Rock Gold 2001
Various Artists
404 Music Group 3:44
The Bands 06 2002
Various Artists
Serious Rock & Pop 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:45
The Best of Red Hot Chili Peppers [Capitol] 2005 Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 3:45
No Image 2006
Various Artists
EMI / Parlophone 3:43
Holiday Gift Pack 2007 Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol / EMI
Best of Red Hot Chili Peppers [Collectables] 2008 Collectables 3:45
Legendary Rock 2008
Various Artists
MP Records 3:42
100 Hits: Rock Classics 2012
Various Artists
100 Hits 3:43
10 Great Songs Capitol 3:43
Festival Anthems [2017]
Various Artists
No Image
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire 3:43
blue highlight denotes editor's pick