Core (Stone Temple Pilots album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 29, 1992 (1992-09-29)
RecordedDecember 1991 - January 1992
StudioRumbo Recorders (Los Angeles)
ProducerBrendan O'Brien
Stone Temple Pilots chronology
Singles from Core
  1. "Sex Type Thing"
    Released: March 15, 1993[4]
  2. "Plush"
    Released: August 23, 1993[5]
  3. "Creep"
    Released: November 1, 1993[6]

Core is the debut studio album by American rock band Stone Temple Pilots, released on September 29, 1992, through Atlantic Records. The album peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and was certified 8x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), making it the band's best-selling album.


Core was recorded with producer Brendan O'Brien at Rumbo Recorders in Los Angeles over the course of three weeks.[7] The first recorded track for the album, "Wet My Bed", was from an improv session between vocalist Scott Weiland and bassist Robert DeLeo, who were alone in the studio. Producer O'Brien is heard at the end walking in saying "All right, now what?" After recording was done, the band named the album Core, named after the apple featured in the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible.


Core displayed the band's attempt to revive the album-oriented music approach of the 1970s. Striving to create an intense and emotional sound, Weiland said that the main theme of the album is that humanity is confused, with songs like "Sex Type Thing" and "Naked Sunday" dealing with social injustice. "Sex Type Thing", according to Weiland, deals with abuse of power, "macho" behavior, and humanity's attitude toward women, treating them as sex objects. Weiland stated that "Naked Sunday" "is about organized religion. About people who tell others what to do and what to believe. They switch off people's minds and control the masses. It gives me a feeling of isolation, when I think about it. Organized religion does not view everyone as equals."[8] Further explaining his lyrical style on Core, Weiland was quoted as saying:

I feel very strongly that all individuals, regardless of age, race, creed or sexual preference, should have the freedom to exercise their rights as human beings to enjoy life, pursue what they want and feel comfortable about who they are. I guess I tend to find the darker sides of life more attractive than the yellows and oranges. I know it's something that I relate to when I listen to music.

"You know how when you listen to a Led Zeppelin album, you listen to the entire album, not just the odd song? We wanted to make a record like that. We wanted to create a vibe which would run right through the whole album."

—Robert DeLeo

The lyrics of "Wicked Garden" deal with the loss of innocence and purity, while "Sin" addresses "violent and ugly" relationships. The song "No Memory," a musical interlude between "Wicked Garden" and "Sin", was written by guitarist Dean DeLeo. “Plush” deals with a real life story about a woman who was kidnapped and later found dead in the early 90s, which acts as a metaphor for a failed relationship.


Professional ratings
Review scores
The Daily VaultA[10]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[11]
Entertainment WeeklyB[12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[15]
The Village VoiceB−[17]

Critics, audiences and peers from the alternative scene had split opinions of the band. Music journalists accused the band of stealing their sound from other grunge acts, most notably Pearl Jam. The band also received hostile complaints about their first single, "Sex Type Thing", as many thought the song promoted date rape. Entertainment Weekly's Deborah Frost wrote that "Sex Type Thing" "could be Mike Tyson's rape defense transcribed into grunge rock. It's unclear whether STP, which sounds like it has crash-landed Pearl Jam into Alice in Chains, is condemning or identifying with its narrator. With a real point of view, this band could be bigger than an accident."[12] Paul Evans of Rolling Stone concluded that the "inner child of Stone Temple Pilots is Iron Maiden, and that kid just won't quit howling." Don Kaye of Kerrang! praised the band's "confidence and identity," unusual in debut albums.

The sharp divide between journalists and the band's fans was present in a January 1994 issue of Rolling Stone, in which the magazine's readers and critics labeled the band as Best and Worst New Band respectively. In later years, Weiland showed sorrow about the mixed reactions that Core got, saying, "It was really painful in the beginning because I just assumed that the critics would understand where we were coming from, that these just weren't dumb rock songs."


Several of the album's songs remain rock radio staples in the United States.[18] In October 2011, Core was ranked number ten (preceded by Eric Clapton's acoustic live album Unplugged) on Guitar World magazine's top ten list of guitar albums of 1992.[19] In 2019, Rolling Stone ranked the album at No. 11 on its list of the "50 Greatest Grunge Albums."[20]

On September 29, 2017, a 25th anniversary edition of Core was released. The reissue includes a 25th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (4CD/DVD/LP) box set, an exclusive Core 25th Anniversary T-shirt, and Core 25th Anniversary 16″ x 20″ lithograph. The Super Deluxe Edition's 4CDs present a remastered version of the album, previously unreleased demos and b-sides, and parts of three live performances from 1993 (Castaic Lake Natural Amphitheater, Reading Festival, and MTV Unplugged), alongside the remastered album on a single LP and a DVD including a 5.1 surround sound mix and videos for the album's three singles and "Wicked Garden".[21]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Scott Weiland, except "Creep", written with Robert DeLeo and "Plush", written with Eric Kretz.

Core track listing
1."Dead & Bloated"Robert DeLeo, Weiland5:10
2."Sex Type Thing"Dean DeLeo, Eric Kretz3:38
3."Wicked Garden"R. DeLeo, D. DeLeo4:05
4."No Memory" (instrumental)D. DeLeo1:20
5."Sin"R. DeLeo6:05
6."Naked Sunday"R. DeLeo, D. DeLeo, Kretz, Weiland3:49
7."Creep"R. DeLeo5:33
8."Piece of Pie"R. DeLeo5:24
9."Plush"R. DeLeo5:14
10."Wet My Bed"R. DeLeo1:36
11."Crackerman"R. DeLeo, Kretz3:14
12."Where the River Goes"D. DeLeo, Kretz8:25
Total length:53:37


Credits adapted from liner notes[22]

Stone Temple Pilots

Additional personnel

  • Brendan O'Brien – production and mixing
  • Steve Stewart – management
  • Nick DiDia – engineer
  • Dick Kaneshiro – 2nd engineer
  • Tom Baker – mastering
  • Kevin Design Hosmann – art director
  • Katrina Dickson – photography
  • Christian Clayton – illustration


Singles charts[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions



Main. Rock

"Sex Type Thing" 1992 23 55
"Plush" 1993 18 39 9 1 47 21 15 23 18 23
"Wicked Garden" 21 11
"Creep" 59 12 2 76 45 24
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[48] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[49] 2× Platinum 200,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[50] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[51] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[52] 8× Platinum 8,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


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  2. ^ Laufenberg, Cindy (1995). Songwriter's Market, 1996: Where & how to Market Your Songs. Writer's Digest Books. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-89879-711-4.
  3. ^ Manley, Brendan (March 25, 2016). "20 Years Ago: Stone Temple Pilots Release 'Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop'". Retrieved April 19, 2020.
  4. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. March 13, 1993. p. 17.
  5. ^ "Single Releases". Music Week. August 21, 1993. p. 23.
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  11. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Stone Temple Pilots". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
  12. ^ a b Frost, Deborah (March 12, 1993). "Core". Entertainment Weekly (161). Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  13. ^ Kaye, Don (November 14, 1992). "Stone Temple Pilots: Core". Kerrang!. London (418).
  14. ^ Garner, George (October 2017). "Stone Temple Pilots: Core". Q (377): 113.
  15. ^ Appleford, Steve (2004). "Stone Temple Pilots". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 785–86. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  16. ^ Clarke, Jeremy (January 1993). "Stone Temple Pilots: Core (East/West)". Select (31): 76. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  17. ^ Christgau, Robert (November 23, 1993). "Turkey Shoot". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  18. ^ Peters, Mitchell (April 2, 2010). "Stone Temple Pilots: The Billboard Cover Story". Billboard. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
  19. ^ Grassi, Tony. "Photo Gallery: The Top 10 Guitar Albums of 1992". Archived from the original on June 30, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
  20. ^ "50 Greatest Grunge Albums". April 2019.
  21. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots Announce Huge Core 25th Anniversary Plans". July 26, 2017.
  22. ^ Core liner notes. Atlantic Records. 1992. pp. 3–9.
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    • Top 50 peaks: "Discography Stone Temple Pilots". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
    • Top 100 peaks to December 2010: Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  43. ^ Peak chart positions for singles in Canada:
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