"Give It Away" is a song by the American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers from the group's fifth studio album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik. It was released as the lead single from their album on September 4th 1991, by Warner Bros. Records. The music was written by guitarist John Frusciante and bassist Flea during a jam session months prior to the album recording sessions. Vocalist Anthony Kiedis wrote the song's most prevalent lyrical refrain in response to an experience he shared with former girlfriend Nina Hagen regarding altruistic behavior and the value of selflessness.
While several radio stations initially refused to air the song because they felt it lacked melody, "Give It Away" went on to achieve international fame. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in late 1991, giving the band their first ever number one single. In 1992 the single charted inside the top 75 of the U.S. Hot 100 in the wake of the huge success of the record's second single "Under the Bridge". "Give It Away" also became the band's first top ten hit in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number nine on the UK Singles Chart.
The accompanying music video, which was directed by French film-maker Stéphane Sednaoui, was put into heavy rotation on music-television stations such as MTV and added to the band's success. Since its release, "Give It Away" has gone on to receive numerous accolades, including a Grammy Award for the Best Hard Rock Performance With Vocals in 1992. Steve Huey of Allmusic noted that while the single "didn't achieve the massive pop success of its follow-up, 'Under the Bridge' [...] it did become one of the band's most instantly recognizable songs."
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