Red Hot Chili Peppers

Knock Me Down

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 4:44