By the Way (3:36)

Cover of By the Way

From By the Way and 34 other releases

“By the Way” is the title track on the eighth studio album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was released as the album’s foremost single and eventually a music video was made as an accompaniment. The song was the band’s sixth #1 hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, staying at the summit for 14 weeks, tying it with “Dani California” as the band’s second longest stay at the top, behind only “Scar Tissue”, which was at the top for 16 weeks. It also spent 7 weeks at #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, their fourth song to top this chart.

The track is a popular and energetic number when played in concert. It is always included in live acts, even during circumstances in which only a small number of songs are played (such as special performances).

The frenetic video was directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, a couple who has collaborated with the band to create music videos on numerous other occasions. It is not a visual verbatim demonstration of the lyrical denotations, but rather a story all its own.

The video starts off with Anthony calling for a taxi. He gets in the taxi and a cabbie (played by Dave Sheridan) realizes he has Anthony as his passenger and puts a copy of the “By the Way” single into the CD player to please him, making Anthony smile mildly. Suddenly, the cabbie begins to be out of control as he lip-synchs the song loud and clear and begins to accelerate the taxi faster and faster and drive rambunctiously throughout the streets of L.A.

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