"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 4, 1991, by Warner Bros. 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.

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Her reasoning behind this selflessness was due to an attempt to constantly make her life more enjoyable, and explained to Kiedis that "if you have a closet full of clothes and you try to keep them all, your life will get very small.

But if you have a full closet and someone sees something they like, if you give it to them, the world is a better place." The act was something that affected Kiedis significantly because he had never before experienced such an enlightening ideology on life.

Growing up in Los Angeles, he had always thought differently from Hagen.

It peaked at number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in late 1991, giving the band their first ever number one single. Vocalist Anthony Kiedis agreed, and upon hearing the rest of the Chili Peppers play the song he began chanting "give it away, give it away, give it away now".

In 1992 the single charted inside the top 75 of the U. Hot 100 in the wake of the huge success of the record's second single "Under the Bridge". The phrase had been something the vocalist intended to incorporate into a song for the band's new record, but it was not until he heard the bassline that the lyrics fit.

"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. During their tenure in the group, the guitarist and bassist created the main riff and accompanying bassline for "Give It Away". Kiedis said, "I was so struck by Flea's bass part, which covered the whole length of the instrument's neck, that I jumped up and marched over to the mic, my notebook in tow.

The accompanying music video, which was directed by French film-maker St├ęphane Sednaoui, was put into heavy rotation on music-television stations such as MTV and added to the band's success. I always had fragments of songs and ideas or even specific isolated phrases in mind." When the group encountered difficulty in composing a bridge for the song, it developed a tool the members colloquially termed "face-offs".

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. Flea and Frusciante were unable to come to an agreement on guitar or bass progressions, but separately crafted part of the song.

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." Following the Chili Peppers' tour in support of Mother's Milk (1989), the duo spent time in a side project called H. The band then reconvened at a later time and chose the most appropriate inclusion.

With "Give It Away", a chorus and verse had already been written but a bridge was lacking, so thus they partook in a "face-off".

Hagen was several years Kiedis' senior and became a role-model during his drug addiction to heroin: "she realized how young and inexperienced I was then, so she was always passing on gems to me, not in a preachy way, just by seizing on opportunities." Upon expressing this, Hagen immediately told him to keep it.