"By the Way" is a song by American funk rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. It is the title track and the first single released from the band's eighth studio album of the same name. The song was the band's sixth #1 hit and third straight #1 hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, staying at the summit for 14 weeks, tying it with "Dani California" as the band's second longest stay at the top, behind only "Scar Tissue", which was at the top for 16 weeks. It also spent 7 weeks at #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, their fourth song to top this chart.
Regarding its release, guitarist John Frusciante noted: "It wasn't really our decision to put that song out first, but our managers thought it was an exciting song and their enthusiasm convinced us. I guess they thought that it combined the wild part of our sound with the melodic part of our sound." Vocalist Anthony Kiedis elaborated: "I thought that single was an über-bombastic assault of non-commercialism. For it to be so well received [in the United Kingdom] was shocking to me, but thrilling at the same time."
"By the Way" has been performed at almost every show since its first performance in 2002 making it one of the band's most performed songs ever with well over 350 performances and counting.