There are always albums in a bands career and catalog that will define them but there are certain ones that will always stand out among the rest. Stone Temple Pilots have that type of catalog. Their debut album, Core is a quintessential rock album every rock music fan should own but, the one that should really be in every collection is their second album and their masterpiece, Purple. We all now about the year 1994 and all the great albums that came out and Purple is most definitely on that list. Through the years as I’ve listened more and more to this album, there are always specific songs and moments I always go back to. For example my favorite song on the album “Lounge Fly” is such an amazing song. And the other song that has been a close second favorite “Silvergun Superman” has one of the best guitar solos on an STP album. Guitarist Dean DeLeo is not only underrated as a player but his style of play looks so flawless. When you hear him play it’s distinctly him. You can tell the difference especially if you listen to Velvet Revolver try to play STP songs, the guitar tones and styles don’t match Dean (and that’s not a knock on Slash, he just doesn’t have the same “feel” as Dean, especially for these songs. Solo wise on “Silvergun Superman” it’s got this really cool late 60’s early 70’s psychedelic rock vibe to it with a bit of a southern charm a la The Allman Brothers and a dash of Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. After you are done with delving into the greatness that is “Silvergun Superman” go back and listen to Purple, and you’ll hear why it’s a true masterpiece.
Stone Temple Pilots- Silvergun Superman (Album Version):
Stone Temple Pilots- Silvergun Superman (Live 1994):
Every band has their entire life to write their first album. The one after that can be the hardest. You don’t want to repeat what you just did, and you want to grow as a band. The 90’s were a great time for this and one album in particular managed to do just that. Stone Temple Pilots album Purple. This album pushed the band away from the “grungier” sound of their debut Core and brought in more of a southern rock and psychedelic rock feel to the way they wrote. The use of slide guitar throughout the album really adds another dimension to the tone of the guitars. Scott Weiland’s vocals and lyrics stepped up leaps and bounds. First track “Meatplow” is bluesy complimented with a laid back feel. “Vasoline” is a grooving hard rocking song with great melody. It’s also the only song on the album that drummer Eric Kretz got writing credit on. “Lounge Fly” really evokes the psychedelic feel. This is one of my favorite STP songs. “Interstate Love Song” is the one of the bands most popular songs. It also has a great video to accompany it. The southern rock vibe is very present on this song. The vocal melody is one of the best they’ve ever created. “Still Remains” is a great song to follow “Interstate.” It also shows a more vulnerable side of Scott Weiland. “Pretty Penny” takes it down further, stripping it down. “Silvergun Superman” brings the album back up to the rocking side of things. The chorus melody of this song stays with you for a lifetime. The guitar riff is chunky and heavy but mixed in perfectly not to cause a rumble. “Big Empty” which was actually first heard on STP’s MTV Unplugged, utilizes the slide guitar perfectly and the guitar solo, oh my. I still remember this song best from The Crow (RIP Brandon Lee). “Unglued” is another strong rock song that gets your head bopping and it also has a slight tinge to it that can make you dance. ” Army Ants” goes back to that psychedelic sound in the intro then kicks into high rock gear. Closing out the album is “Kitchenware and Candybars” which again strips the band down and puts Weiland back in the vulnerable state which he embraces. The subtle nature of this song has lots of introspective components foreshadowing a bit in to the future of the band.
Brendan O’Brien’s production and mixing on the album is absolutely flawless. the arrangements of the songs and flow of the album have yet to be duplicated by the band. Scott Weiland cemented himself as a great lyricist and singer on this album. Dean De Leo’s guitar work and tone is unrivaled. Take a listen to Slash try to play STP songs, it just doesn’t sound right at all. Robert De Leo is a fantastic bass player and his ability to harmonize with Scott is tremendous. Eric Kretz is a seriously underrated drummer. This also marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Purple. And in the 20 years it sure does hold up.