DVD Single Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers – “By the Way”

The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “By The Way” was released as a DVD single, which features two versions of the video and a documentary.


The single starts with the video for “By The Way,” which was directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. In the video, lead singer Anthony Kiedis hails a taxi, which is driven by an obsessed fan of the band. The driver traps Anthony in the cab and takes him on a joyride, while jamming to “By The Way.” Anthony ends up being saved by band members Flea and John Frusciante. At the end, band member Chad Smith hails the same cab driver, unaware of what transpired with Anthony. Footage of the band “performing” is intercut throughout the video.

Overall, I think it’s pretty decent music video. I’ve always enjoyed watching videos directed by Dayton and Faris, and this one is no exception. While it’s not as technically fascinating as The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight,” it’s still an enjoyable viewing experience.

Next on the single is a documentary about the making of the video (“Obsessive, Compulsive, Psychologically, Misarranged Cabdriver/Fan (aka the making of “By The Way”)”), directed by Byron Shaw and Bart Lipton. The documentary includes footage from the filming of the video, and interviews with the band members, the actor playing the cab driver, and a special effects supervisor. Most of the interviews are serious, but some are more humorous. It’s a nice “behind the scenes” documentary, and it’s successful at what it’s trying to accomplish.

This is followed by a version of the video that is just footage of the band “performing.” It features a lot of jerky camera movements, and this works decently; however, for the sections of the song that slow down, the jerkiness doesn’t work as well.

After this video, a menu finally appears. From here, you can choose anything in the program, or you can see a page telling about the weblink. The weblink just provides links to the band’s official website and to the Warner Bros. website.

In some respects, it’s a little disappointing that the DVD single market never really took off in the United States. But at the same time, now knowing how digital music ultimately took off, perhaps it’s a good thing that the format never became more successful than it was.

Overall, “By the Way” is a decent DVD single, and it should be in your collection if you’re a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan or collector. It would especially be nice to have in a U.S. music collector’s library, since DVD singles never truly became commonplace in this country.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD single that my husband and I purchased.

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