Seth D. (4wallz) from SPARTA, TN Reviewed on 1/3/2012...
By this point in STP's career they had made 1 grungy rock album that had been panned by the critics as a rip off cd. But it had struck a note with the public leading them to begin recording a follow up. It was released on June 7th, 1994. The record followed a lot of the same territory that the first did with plenty f grunge and hard rock sensibilities. Even with that said though, the subtle shift to psychedelic rock can be seen here as well (i.e. "Lounge Fly"). It went on to sell over 6 million copies. But does the cd live up to the hype when played? Let's go through it track by track... (1 to 5 scale)
1. "Meatplow" 4.9 Solid start to the cd. Weird lyrics and grinding guitars let you know STP is back baby.
2. "Vasoline" 5.0 Another rock staple. The heavy effects at the start are very memorable.
3. "Lounge Fly" 4.2 STP's first foray into psychedelic rock. It works moderately well. Only profanity on the album is heard on this track.
4. "Interstate Love Song" 5.0 Probably the best song on the whole album. A groove with a cool melody and great lyrics to match. And the video is good too. There is nothing negative I can say about this song.
5. "Still Remains" 4.3 A beautiful love song. My mom always thought the "Take a bath, I'll drink the water that you leave" line was gross. But in some weird ways you can almost relate....
6. "Pretty Penny" 4.5 Love the opening shimmer to the acoustic guitar. Another psychedelic song. Not heavy at all. And perfectly placed on the cd.
7. "Silvergun Superman" 4.9 STP show they have still have the hard rock chops. The lyrics are cool. Hearing a pig whisper sweetly....pretty cool. Guitar work is great too.
8. "Big Empty" 5.0 This song was also on The Crow soundtrack. And also appeared on their unplugged special on MTV. Excellent song. Love the slide guitar. STP went country on this one and still rocked it!
9. "Unglued" 5.0 A straight up rock monster. Still good to pump your fist too.
10. "Army Ants" 4.9 No slowing down on this track. Starts off soft and mellow and then kicks it into hyper drive!
11. "Kitchenware & Candybars" 3.5 Nothing special about this song. The hidden song about it being the second album is better than the first song on the track.
Total: 51.2 out of 55.0. Above average album and totally worth picking up if you don't have it yet.
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Rene A. from NAVARRE, FL Reviewed on 12/27/2009...
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Mark M. (tmm2112) from MADISON, AL Reviewed on 4/25/2008...
One of the best albums of its era! I ended up with two somehow, but would never part with them both. If you like grunge, this is an absolute must.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
A surprisingly diverse, eccentric album.
D. Mok | Los Angeles, CA | 04/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Accused of mimicking Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots took two years after its debut (1992's core) to produce this astounding, strange, and utterly fascinating album containing some of the band's best compositions, a newer, better sense of lyrics, and better performances all around.Purple is almost pop-music in its songwriting approach, with emphasis on big, throbbing hooks, sharp production, and execution. "Meat Plow" opens the album on a sneer and a bristling beat, and then "Vasoline" announces the band's intent to experiment. Two notes on a guitar tell the story, and Scott Weiland's unusually nuanced singing combine for the strangest grunge anthem since Alice in Chains' "Would?". "Pretty Penny" finds the band in dreamy territory with its best ballad ever, hands down, Weiland's singing evocative and emotive; "Big Empty" has dynamics and huge surges of guitar; "Still Remains" is infectious in its melody, imagery and sexual tension; and "Interstate Love Song" is another anthemic crunch a la "Plush", the biggest modern-rock hit of its time (a record it held until a year or two ago). The album suckerpunches yet again at the end with the incredibly weird but maddeningly catchy lounge tune (not performed by the band) that thumbs its nose at conventional album recording and is another showcase of the sense of humour that Stone Temple Pilots have begun to mine.Very worthy, very catchy rock and roll; an album that begins to carve STP an identity independent of its forerunners."
One of the Best and most Consitent Records I've Ever Heard.
D. Mok | 09/02/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Its hard to believe the mediocro review I've read on this one. This is one of my all time favorite records. This is one of the few records that I can think of that (for me) does not have a single weak track on it. Everyone of them I like and I really dig. To me, this is like a greatist hits collections ... save it is a regular album. I cannot think of a single album that every track works this well (save I guess for Led Zep IV ... but the last cut on that I like now, but it took to grow on me). Its like I feel everyone of these songs could be a hit grunge single. This is Sixteen Stone on a bigger scale. Sixteen stone, the five hit singles off of that everyone of them I really dig, espically Comedown, Glycerine, Machine Head, and Little Things (dang, just about name all five ; )). Any album that has songs like that has to be awsome ... espically five of them. This whole record is like that for me. Even the end track ... kind of like a silly novelty track. (Its screams Yellow Submarine, which is the ultimate noveltry track). Everyone of them I made a connection too instantly, and dug instantly. (I can't say that about even Sgt Pepper, which is one of my all time favorit records ... should read my review on that one on Amazon ... I'm the one that says they tried to take us on a Magical Mystery Tour and they succeded with that record Sgt Pepper.).The funny thing about it is, to me this record is two tracks short. I could have sworn on all holy that Dancing Days was on there. In fact, I never knew it was a Zep song untill I was taping off Houses of the Holy (another great record btw) off the Radio and that came on. That reallly tripped me out. So I went to this record thinking it was on here trying to find it. I findly found the track on Encomium (Led Zep Tribute Album). I still think of that has a STP song, and it (the Zep version) seems weird and unnatural, altho' I do like it. The next is Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart which is on their next record. It would have fit perfectly with this CD. Same quality, same mood, same everything. Its the lost Purple track. I dig it as much as I dig the whole of this album.This is one of my fav's of all time, the whole thing is extremly catchy. There is not a single bad tune on it, and that is saying a lot. Many bands have different songs I really love a lot (like I Alone by Live), but none of the grunge bands have crammed this many onto one album. The WHOLE album is great. The closet someone comes to this is Bush on Sixteen Stone. (Sorry ... is it just me but save for the some of the songs on the first side, did Razorblade Suitcase pretty much suck and Deconstructed absoletly horrible?)"
The album that silenced the critics
Nick | England | 08/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After STP's debut Core stormed the charts back in 1992, the band were dismissed as mere Pearl Jam / Nirvana grunge copyists, an inferior version if you will. Personally I thought Core was a cracking album, loud guitars mixed with an ear for a fine melody which compared to today's production line of ready made multi-million sellers like Godsmack, Creed and Staind - now seems ludicrous to think STP were savaged by many critics. It's a good job second album Purple became the band's best release to date as it made all those who weren't impressed with STP when they burst onto the scene eat their words. How could anyone dismiss an album containing songs of Big Empty and Vasoline caliber. Here's a breakdown of each track:
Meatplow: Could easily be a Core outtake, the most `grunge' track here. The sound production is muddy and lacks the charm of the tracks that follow. Still an excellent heavy track though 8/10
Vasoline: The first single and what a storming song! Fast guitar playing and an excellent bridge, great to sing along to. One of the highlights 10/10
Lounge Fly: The weird opening and distinctive guitar line make for one of the most unusual tracks on Purple. Love the acoustic guitars that come in and the beautiful singing by Scott Weiland 9/10
Interstate Love Song: The most well-known track and hit single. It's not hard to see why it became so successful with infectious hooks and a catchy chorus to satisfy the fans. 9/10
Still Remains: The best track on the album in my opinion. Gives me goose bumps just thinking about the fantastic melodies. 10/10
Pretty Penny: Pure acoustic number, harmless enough but the songwriting is top notch 8/10
Silver Gun Superman: When I first heard the album back in '94 this was my fav track. Big rock song and immediate crowd pleaser 9/10
Big Empty: Similar in style to Still Remains, and if I recall taken from on The Crow soundtrack. This track was included at the last minute. Sort of country sounding but in an alternative way of course. 8/10
Unglued: Real rock moment, also in the same mould as Vasoline - fast and repetitive chorus over loud guitars 9/10
Army Ants: The least memorable track, which although great seems lost amongst the good stuff 8/10
Kitchen Ware & Candy Bars: Closing on a quiet and poignant note about being sold down the river. I prefer this to Pretty Penny as it reminds me of Nirvana's Something In The Way with a moving string arrangement playing in the background. 9/10
The hidden track is amusing singing about 12 gracious melodies (as shown on the album's back cover on a cake), played straight-faced giving an indication of the direction taken on some tracks off Tiny Music such as Lady Picture Show. Notice how the track ratings did not drop below 8/10 - that's because EVERY single track is of a high standard - all killer, no filler. Also their biggest selling album which is no surprise really."
STP fights back...
Daniel Maltzman | Arlington, MA, USA | 07/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The massive success of Stone Temple Pilots debut album "Core" (1992) was something of a mixed blessing for the group. While the album was a runaway smash, ultimately selling eight million copies and spawning such radio staples as "Plush," "Sex Type Thing" and "Creep," success definitely came at a price. Almost immediately the San Diego group was viciously and mercilessly attacked and ripped apart by the press. Accusations of ripping off the Seattle grunge scene and jumping on the flavor of the month alternative bandwagon were the most common complaints. "Plush," in particular was singled out as plagiarizing Pearl Jam.
Truth be told, these accusations were not without merit. While the band insisted that the bulk of "Core" was written as far back as 1988, the album did sound derivative of the Seattle soundbook. Released in 1992, "Core" blended the punkish riffs of Nirvana, the baritone growls and stylistic craft of Pearl Jam, and the metallic crunch of Alice In Chains. But with "Core," the album was ultra radio friendly, the songs ultra infectious, which made the album both a smash hit and a number one target.
Was "Core" a rip-off? Maybe. A great record? Most defiantly. But where to go from there?
Stone Temple Pilots had a lot to prove with their sophomore album. The second album is often the hardest, as the "sophomore slump" is not uncommon. With their credibility and integrity under so much criticism, STP had to not only come up with a great bunch of songs, they also had to stretch their artistic muscle, lest their critics label them a disingenuous, opportunistic one-album-wonder.
Recoded in just one month, STP's sophomore album "Purple" was released in the spring of 1994. Compared to "Core," "Purple" is a far leaner, muscular album, sounding far less generic. While "Purple" doesn't sound 180 degrees radically different from the debut, much of the borrowing of the sounds of the Seattle "big four" (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains) is left behind as STP was starting to find their own voice. With their second album the band sounds tighter, more cohesive. Dean DeLeo's riffs and solos should have been a breath of fresh air for anyone longing for the days of 70s guitar-heavy AOR. Vocalist Scott Weiland, always one for experimenting with sounds (just look at his underrated 1998 solo album "12 Bar Blues") gives the songs a lot of color, making them far above average. Eric Kretz (drums) and Robert DeLeo (bass) as always, provide an exciting and dynamic rhythm section.
Many fans/critics/reviewers have labeled "Purple" a "grunge" album. Truth be told, however, "Purple" doesn't really have the characteristics of the grunge sound. Grunge is all about "the fuzz" with intense drumming, feedback, a "dirty" guitar, etc. Bands like Nirvana, Mudhoney, early Soundgarden, Hole, Green River, etc, exemplified the grunge sound. "Purple," by comparison, is far more commercial. STP was never meant to be an underground band with street cred, as the band lusted after the arenas from day one. STP wrote songs that were made to be played on the radio, not Sub Pop compilations. And while "Core" borrowed from the Seattle scene, "Purple" sees a strong Zeppelin/Sabbath influence, with psychedelic trimmings. In addition, there was nothing anarchic about STP; their songs were well-crafted and, at the risk of sounding cynical, calculated. So to call "Purple," a grunge album is incorrect. Rather, "Purple" is a fine collection of 70s inspired, muscular hard-rock with a twist of psychedelia.
The grinding, sludgy "Meat Plow" gets things off to a great start and would make Tony Iommi himself proud. The classic "Vasoline," a modern-rock staple, is one of the band's all-time greats. The Zeppelin-like riff and strong melody make it incredibly infectious and rock hard. The album takes an unexpected psychedelic twist with "Lounge Fly," throwing the listener a curve-ball. The track actually sounds a bit like Hendrix's "Are you Experienced?" Destined to be played on classic rock stations in 20 years time, "Interstate Love Song," which was the number-one mainstream rock song for nearly four months, is another vintage STP classic. The majestic "Still Remains" is big and epic in scope, swooping up the listener in a colorful sea of sounds. The sparse "Pretty Penny" sounds akin to "Friends" from "Led Zeppelin III" (1970). The hard-rocking "Silvergun Superman" wouldn't have sounded out-of-place on "Core" and while not the album's strongest cut, keeps up the momentum. Featured on the "Crow" (1994) soundtrack, the epic, ominous "Big Empty" was another smash from "Purple" and remains a 90s classic. While most of "Purple" avoided sounding derivative of anything Seattle, the bone-crunching "Unglued" and "Army Ants" sound very Nirvana-esque. However, these two cuts are so infectious, with such great hooks and rock so hard; STP is given a free pass. The haunting, ambitious "Kitchenware and Candybars" concludes the album nicely. Just when you think the album is done, however, you are hit with the totally bizarre "the second album" an unlisted bonus track (thus making "Purple" a collection of "12 gracious melodies.") Much like how the closing "My World" from Guns N' Roses "Use Your Illusion II" (1991) stuck out like a sore thumb, this lounge-lizard ditty is totally out-of-place, but it's cool in its own way and works.
With a little bit of Sabbath, Zeppelin, psychedelia, Nirvana and a lounge number thrown in the mix, "Purple" is a pretty cool, diverse collection of songs. In some ways, "Purple" is somewhat of an underrated album. While "Purple" is generally regarded as the band's best work, many of its songs are over-looked. While "Purple" is renowned for its big singles ("Vasoline," "Interstate Love Song," "Big Empty") the album is chock-full of memorable great songs.
With "Purple" STP proved that they were no one-album-wonder. They fought back accusations of trend-hopping by writing a memorable, eclectic collection of songs, much to the chagrin of their detractors. So while many figured STP to be just a flash-in-the-pan, with "Purple," STP proved that they were just getting started...
Would-RVM245 | Grafton, MA | 04/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Purple is one of those albums that everyone should have. STP backed off a bit from the heavier sound that was featured on Core and came out with what became the first true alternative/grunge album to cross over to the mainstream (there was a time when you had a chance to hear "Big Empty" or "Interstate Love Song" on just about any radio station you turned to). The songwriting on Purple is far and away STP's best as they perfectly mixed the distorted guitar riffs of Core with the more melodic vocals of Tiny Music. The real highlights are "Vasoline", "Interstate Love Song", "Still Remains", "Silvergun Superman", and "Kitchenware & Candybars". However There is nothing on Purple that even comes close to being a sub-par song, even the tongue-in-cheek secret tune at the end of the disc is a catchy fun melody. Definitely one of the best albums of the 90's and a must for any music fan."