Album: Blood Sugar Sex Magik
Label: Warner Bros.
Producer: Rick Rubin

“Under The Bridge”—the Red Hot Chili Peppers' biggest hit and perhaps their most well-known song—would not have been possible at all without Rick Rubin.

 

Rick began flipping through Kiedis's notebooks and found a poem the singer had written about his period of drug addiction—including a reference to his lowest point where Kiedis found himself under a bridge in downtown L.A. trying to score heroin.

 

As Rick told the story, he dropped by the home of Chili Peppers' lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis frequently during the rehearsal and pre-production period for Blood Sugar Sex Magik. During one of these visits, Rick began flipping through Kiedis's notebooks and found a poem the singer had written about his period of drug addiction—including a reference to his lowest point where Kiedis found himself under a bridge in downtown L.A. trying to score heroin—and addiction's lonely aftermath, where even his bandmates continued to get high while Kiedis tried to stay clean.

Rick pretty much goaded Kiedis into surfacing the lyrics for his bandmates to write to. Write they did. Guitarist John Frusciante's elegant guitar work proved the perfect accompaniment to Kiedis's melancholy story, and Rick's escalating, intensifying arrangement—particularly in putting the explosive refrain at the very end of the song—created something delightful and rare.