I loved them for this: they made a crazy noise I had never heard before. Funny, bouncy, unusual rocky stuff that sounded to me at the time like pure fun. Consider that I grew up in Beaconsfield.
Holy shit, did you know George Clinton produced Freaky Styley? Ha ha! Apparently the spoken word intro and outro to "Yertle the Turtle" were performed by Clinton's drug dealer, who wrote off George's debts in return for being on the album. Witness the awesome collision of capitalism and creativity!
I went off them when they released Blood Sugar Sex Magik because I found the name and a lot of the songs really embarassing, especially "Give it away". Truly, that is some appalling funk/rock/rap fusion right there. It won a Grammy ZOFMG WTF LOL?
The only good thing on that album is "Under the Bridge" - unfortunately since ruined by the All Saints cover.
So anyway, those three records were the ones for me. Skatepunk teenager, happy to pledge eternal allegiance to a band that puts a picture of totally hot topless girl on album cover.
Brief pause to locate said album cover:
HOWEVER. Have you heard their stuff recently? I mean, since 1992... It's probably a result of their being off drugs or something but bugger me, they have lost their edge and disappeared up their own bumholes to an extent only rivalled by the likes of U2 and er... can't think of anyone else. Their stuff is just plain limp. They overwork the instrumentalism like it's going to make up for the lack of songs or ideas - it doesn't.
Was it always thus? No! They used to have spunk. And terrible hair and trousers. As did I.
Verdict: They were always wankers. I grew up. That's really not fair, though. I think I'm blaming them for my own enormous lameness, but so what? Get out of my court! Bailiff!
Revised verdict: They always sucked, that's why I don't actually own anything of theirs. I only liked them because I was also a wanker.