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Best John Frusciante Album?

John Frusciante

John Frusciante, born on March 5, 1970, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and producer. He is best known as the former guitarist of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, with whom he recorded five studio albums. However, Frusciante has also carved out a significant solo career, demonstrating an eclectic range of musical styles and influences that diverge from his work with the band.

Frusciante joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the age of 18, following the death of the band’s original guitarist, Hillel Slovak. He was a crucial part of their breakthrough success, contributing to the seminal albums “Mother’s Milk” (1989) and “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” (1991). However, he struggled with drug addiction and left the band in 1992.

During this time, Frusciante released his first solo albums, “Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt” (1994) and “Smile from the Streets You Hold” (1997). These albums were characterized by lo-fi production and experimental compositions that provided a stark contrast to his work with the Chili Peppers. They reflected his state of mind during this tumultuous period, marked by his struggles with addiction and depression.

In 1998, Frusciante successfully completed drug rehabilitation and rejoined the Chili Peppers, contributing to their continued success with albums such as “Californication” (1999), “By the Way” (2002), and “Stadium Arcadium” (2006). His refined guitar work and backing vocals were instrumental in the band’s sound during this period.

Simultaneously, he revitalized his solo career. In 2001, he released “To Record Only Water for Ten Days,” an album blending elements of electronica with his signature guitar work. The following year, he released a series of six records in rapid succession, each exploring different musical styles. These albums included “Shadows Collide With People” (2004), which is often considered his most accessible solo work, featuring collaborations with Chili Peppers’ bandmates Flea and Chad Smith, and Josh Klinghoffer, who would later replace Frusciante in the Chili Peppers.

After leaving the Chili Peppers for the second time in 2009, Frusciante released “The Empyrean” (2009), a concept album that received critical acclaim for its ambitious, psychedelic sound. Over the next decade, Frusciante explored different music genres, including electronic and experimental music, in albums such as “PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone” (2012) and “Enclosure” (2014).

In 2015, Frusciante announced that he would no longer release music commercially but continued to share his compositions and experimentations via SoundCloud and Bandcamp. He rejoined the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2019, marking another new chapter in his dynamic music career.

Note the poll below only includes John Frusciante solo albums and does not include any collaborations or Red Hot Chili Pepper Albums.

Album Release Date AllMusic Rating
Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt 1994 4/5
Smile from the Streets You Hold 1997 N/A
To Record Only Water for Ten Days 2001 4/5
From The Sounds Inside 2001 N/A
Shadows Collide with People 2004 4.5/5
The Will to Death 2004 N/A
Inside of Emptiness 2004 N/A
Curtains 2005 N/A
The Empyrean 2009 4/5
PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone 2012 3/5
Enclosure 2014 3/5
Maya 2020 N/A
I and II 2023 N/A

What Is The John Frusciante Album of All Time?

Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt

Released in 1994, Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt is John Frusciante’s debut solo album. The record is an intimate exploration of his unique guitar style and vulnerable vocal delivery, often capturing raw and emotional performances. It’s marked by lo-fi production, and features avant-garde and experimental elements, serving as a testament to Frusciante’s creativity and individuality outside of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

  • Year Released: 1994
  • AllMusic Rating: 4/5

Smile from the Streets You Hold

In stark contrast to his debut, Smile from the Streets You Hold, released in 1997, delves deeper into the avant-garde and experimental realms. This collection of tracks is recognized for its emotionally raw and at times disturbing content, reflecting Frusciante’s personal struggles at the time. Its release was primarily intended to raise funds for his drug addiction and was later withdrawn from production by Frusciante himself.

  • Year Released: 1997
  • AllMusic Rating: N/A

To Record Only Water for Ten Days

To Record Only Water for Ten Days, released in 2001, marks Frusciante’s musical comeback following his rehabilitation from drug addiction. The album explores themes of spirituality and metaphysics, layered over minimalist synth sounds, creating a stark contrast to his previous releases. It’s a testament to Frusciante’s resilience and artistic evolution, garnering positive reviews for its distinctive sonic direction.

  • Year Released: 2001
  • AllMusic Rating: 4/5

From The Sounds Inside

From The Sounds Inside, also released in 2001, is a compilation of free downloads offered on Frusciante’s official website. The album is a mix of demos and outtakes, displaying Frusciante’s creative process. It’s a fascinating glimpse into his artistic psyche, highlighting his prolific and explorative nature.

  • Year Released: 2001
  • AllMusic Rating: N/A

Shadows Collide with People

Released in 2004, Shadows Collide with People showcases Frusciante’s melodic sensibility and intricate guitar work. Featuring contributions from his Red Hot Chili Peppers bandmates Flea and Chad Smith, this album is often considered his most accessible solo work, blending rock elements with his distinctive experimental style.

  • Year Released: 2004
  • AllMusic Rating: 4.5/5

The Will to Death

Also released in 2004, The Will to Death is noted for its stripped-down, analog recording style, which enhances the raw and honest quality of the music. This record showcases Frusciante’s philosophical outlook, with lyrics reflecting on life, death, and the nature of art.

  • Year Released: 2004
  • AllMusic Rating: N/A

Inside of Emptiness

Inside of Emptiness, another 2004 release, features a heavier rock influence. With its energetic, punk-infused tracks, the album showcases the breadth of Frusciante’s musical range. Yet, his signature melodic style and introspective lyrics remain at the core of the album.

  • Year Released: 2004
  • AllMusic Rating: N/A


Curtains, released in 2005, is a quiet, acoustic album featuring appearances from Autolux drummer, Carla Azar, and upright bassist Ken Wild. Its gentle, stripped-down approach offers a serene and contemplative listening experience, further diversifying Frusciante’s discography.

  • Year Released: 2005
  • AllMusic Rating: N/A

The Empyrean

The Empyrean, released in 2009, is often considered one of Frusciante’s best works. Described as a conceptual journey, the album explores themes of spirituality and metaphysics. The record’s experimental nature and layered production offer an immersive listening experience, widely praised for its artistic ambition and musical depth.

  • Year Released: 2009
  • AllMusic Rating: 4/5

PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone

In PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone, released in 2012, Frusciante delves into electronic music and synthesizers, blending these elements with his distinctive guitar work and vocals. This experimental direction divided some fans but showcased Frusciante’s commitment to artistic exploration.

  • Year Released: 2012
  • AllMusic Rating: 3/5


Enclosure, released in 2014, continues Frusciante’s foray into electronic music. With a more rhythmic focus and a use of modern recording technologies, the album illustrates his evolving musicianship and eagerness to push boundaries, proving him to be one of the most unpredictable artists of his generation.

  • Year Released: 2014
  • AllMusic Rating: 3/5


Maya, released in 2020, is Frusciante’s tribute to his late cat and a love letter to his favorite music genre, breakbeat. The entirely instrumental album features complex electronic arrangements, showcasing Frusciante’s depth as a composer and his ability to transcend traditional music forms.

  • Year Released: 2020
  • AllMusic Rating: N/A

I and II

I and II, released in 2023, are Frusciante’s most recent solo works. Available exclusively on vinyl, these albums capture his constant evolution as an artist. While details about the sound and themes of these albums are scarce, they represent the latest chapter in Frusciante’s prolific and diverse musical career.

  • Year Released: 2023
  • AllMusic Rating: N/A