Purple (Stone Temple Pilots album)

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Purple
Stonetemplepilotspurple.jpeg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 7, 1994
Recorded
  • May 25, 1993 ("Big Empty")
  • July 12, 1993 ("Lounge Fly")
  • March 1994 (rest of album)
Studio
Genre
Length46:59
LabelAtlantic
ProducerBrendan O'Brien
Stone Temple Pilots chronology
Core
(1992)
Purple
(1994)
Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop
(1996)
Singles from Purple
  1. "Big Empty"
    Released: May 22, 1994
  2. "Vasoline"
    Released: June 1, 1994
  3. "Interstate Love Song"
    Released: September 9, 1994

Purple (stylized in Chinese text) is the second studio album by the American rock band Stone Temple Pilots, released on June 7, 1994 by Atlantic Records. The album, building off the foundations laid by the band's debut album Core, was a huge success for the band, selling 252,000 copies first week and debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 chart[3] and remaining there for three weeks, eventually selling over six million copies. It spawned a number of successful singles — "Vasoline" and "Interstate Love Song" both topped the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and hit number 2 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, while "Big Empty" also cracked the top ten on both charts. Lesser known album cuts "Pretty Penny" and "Unglued" were also released as promotional radio singles.

Background and musical style[edit]

Purple tour concert ticket from 1994

In the spring of 1994, Stone Temple Pilots returned to the studio to work on their next album and completed it in less than a month. The album's first single, "Big Empty", made its debut at STP's MTV Unplugged acoustic performance in 1993. The song would later appear on the soundtrack to the 1994 Brandon Lee film The Crow, which reached number one on the Billboard charts. A couple of weeks later, Purple also reached the top of the charts, making two for the band in 1994.

The lyric "She said she'd be my woman, she said she'd be my man" from "Lounge Fly" also appears in the song "Spanish Flies" on the Mighty Joe Young Demo. Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers is credited with playing the ending guitar solo on the song.

While Purple features elements of grunge like its predecessor, Core, the album displays the band developing a sound influenced by other genres, such as the psychedelic rock evident in "Lounge Fly" and "Silvergun Superman", the country vibes of "Interstate Love Song" and blues rock elements of "Big Empty". AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that "Purple is a quantum leap over [Core], showcasing a band hitting their stride." Erlewine also described "Interstate Love Song" as a "concise epic as alluring as the open highway" and "Big Empty" as "a perfect encapsulation of mainstream alienation."[4]

Artwork[edit]

The cover for the album features an animated photo of a child riding on a Qilin accompanied by a quintet of fairies above the creature and the child, taking place on a cloudy background. The album title is written as a Chinese character, zǐ (紫), on the cover, and nowhere else on the packaging (with exception of the UK and European limited edition vinyl release). Early pressings featured the Chinese character and band name printed on the CD jewel case cover itself.[5]

No track listing appears on the back cover, which instead displays the image of a cake with the phrase "12 Gracious Melodies".

On the cover of the cassette version of Purple, the child is holding the Chinese character in his hand, and it is not in the corner. There are two pressings of the actual disc in Purple CDs. One version has a close-up of the frosted flowers from the cake on the rear panel on it and another has dragon scales.[6]

The vinyl LP release is made from colored vinyl - transparent purple in the US and UK release and a limited edition opaque marbled vinyl in a softer shade of purple available only in the UK and Europe.[7]

On analogue formats (LP and cassette) of the original release, the album title is shown as simply Stone Temple Pilots on the tape shells and LP labels.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[4]
Chicago Tribune2/4 stars[8]
Christgau's Consumer Guide(dud)[9]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[10]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[11]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[13]

Purple debuted at number one in the United States upon its release on June 7, 1994. The radio-friendly "Interstate Love Song" quickly became a big hit, spending a record-setting fifteen weeks atop the album rock tracks chart. Other hits from the album included "Vasoline" and "Big Empty". By October, just four months after its release, Purple had sold three million copies.

The album received generally positive reviews, with AllMusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine writing that it was a "quantum leap over their debut, showcasing a band hitting its stride".[4]

Legacy[edit]

In 2005, Purple was ranked number 438 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[14] In 2006, the album was ranked number 73 on Guitar World magazine's list of the 100 greatest guitar albums of all time. In May 2014, Loudwire placed Purple at number six on its "10 Best Hard Rock Albums of 1994" list.[15] In July 2014, Guitar World ranked Purple at number 24 in their "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994" list.[16] In 2019, Rolling Stone ranked the album at No. 24 on its list of the "50 Greatest Grunge Albums."[1]

A 25th anniversary edition of the album was released on October 18, 2019 in several formats including a 1LP/3CD/7 inch super deluxe box set much like the deluxe version of Core released in 2017.[17]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Scott Weiland, except where noted.

No.TitleMusicLength
1."Meatplow"Robert DeLeo, Dean DeLeo3:37
2."Vasoline"R. DeLeo, D. DeLeo, Weiland, Eric Kretz2:56
3."Lounge Fly"R. DeLeo5:18
4."Interstate Love Song"R. DeLeo3:14
5."Still Remains"R. DeLeo, D. DeLeo3:33
6."Pretty Penny"D. DeLeo3:42
7."Silvergun Superman"R. DeLeo, D. DeLeo5:16
8."Big Empty"D. DeLeo4:54
9."Unglued"Weiland, R. DeLeo2:34
10."Army Ants"D. DeLeo3:46
11."Kitchenware & Candybars / My Second Album" (see Notes below)R. DeLeo8:06
Total length:46:59
Japanese release bonus
No.TitleLyricsMusicLength
12."Andy Warhol" (Live)David BowieBowie2:53
Total length:49:52
25th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (2019) disc 2: Early Versions, Demos & Acoustic
No.TitleLyricsMusicLength
1."Meatplow" (Early Version) R. DeLeo, D. DeLeo3:33
2."Interstate Love Song" (Early Version) R. DeLeo3:15
3."Big Empty" (Acoustic) D. DeLeo5:41
4."Unglued" (Demo) Weiland, R. DeLeo2:37
5."Army Ants" (Demo) D. DeLeo3:59
6."Kitchenware & Candybars" (Demo) R. DeLeo4:31
7."Dancing Days"Robert PlantJimmy Page3:55
8."She Knows Me Too Well" (Demo)Mike Love, Brian WilsonWilson3:04
9."Interstate Love Song" (Acoustic) R. DeLeo4:00
10."Pretty Penny" (Live Acoustic at KROQ Acoustic Christmas) D. DeLeo4:04
11."Kitchenware & Candybars" (Live Acoustic at KROQ Acoustic Christmas) R. DeLeo4:22
12."Christmastime Is Here" (Live Acoustic at KROQ Acoustic Christmas)Lee MendelsonVince Guaraldi3:14
Total length:46:15
25th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (2019) disc 3: Live at New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New Haven, CT, August 23, 1994
No.TitleLyricsMusicLength
1."Vasoline" R. DeLeo, D. DeLeo, Weiland, Kretz3:16
2."Silvergun Superman" R. DeLeo, D. DeLeo4:37
3."Crackerman" R. DeLeo, Kretz3:30
4."Lounge Fly" R. DeLeo5:44
5."Meatplow" R. DeLeo, D. DeLeo3:41
6."Still Remains" R. DeLeo, D. DeLeo3:55
7."Gypsy Davy"Woody GuthrieGuthrie1:10
8."Pretty Penny" D. DeLeo3:04
9."Creep"Weiland, R. DeLeoR. DeLeo3:44
10."Andy Warhol"BowieBowie2:34
11."Army Ants" D. DeLeo4:50
12."Big Empty" D. DeLeo4:52
13."Interstate Love Song" R. DeLeo3:18
14."Plush"Weiland, KretzR. DeLeo5:26
15."Unglued" Weiland, R. DeLeo3:22
16."Dead & Bloated" R. DeLeo, Weiland4:37
17."Sex Type Thing" D. DeLeo, Kretz4:44
Total length:66:24

Notes[edit]

The opening of track 3, "Lounge Fly", was used as the theme for MTV News's short MTV News Break segments for several years in the mid-1990s.

Track 11, "Kitchenware & Candybars", contains a hidden track named "My Second Album", which is a parody of most hidden tracks being unorthodox songs that a band wouldn't usually make. The lounge song was performed by Richard Peterson, a musician who happens to be a big fan of Johnny Mathis, hence the reference to him in the song as well as the similar cover of Olé.

STP's cover of Led Zeppelin's "Dancing Days" on the second disc of the 2019 remastered re-release first appeared on Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin, a tribute album by various artists put out by Atlantic in 1995.

Personnel[edit]

Stone Temple Pilots

Additional personnel

  • Brendan O'Brien – producer, recording, mixing, percussion on "Meatplow", "Interstate Love Song", "Silvergun Superman", "Army Ants" and "Kitchenware & Candybars", guitar on "Kitchenware & Candybars", mellotron on "Army Ants"
  • Nick DiDia – engineer
  • Caram Costanzo – assistant engineer
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Paul Leary – ending guitar solo on "Lounge Fly"
  • John Heiden – design
  • Dale Sizer – illustrations

Charts[edit]

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions
US
Pop

[33]
US
Air

[34]
US
Alt.

[35]
US
Main. Rock

[36]
AUS
[37]
CAN
[38]
NZ
[39]
UK
[40]
"Big Empty" 1994 50 7 3 63 47
"Vasoline" 38 2 1 24 21 28 48
"Interstate Love Song" 22 18 2 1 50 20 47 53
"Unglued" 16 8 64
"Pretty Penny" 1995 12

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[41] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[42] 3× Platinum 300,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[43] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[44] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[45] 6× Platinum 6,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "50 Greatest Grunge Albums". Rolling Stone. April 1, 2019. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  2. ^ Manley, Brendan (March 25, 2016). "20 Years Ago: Stone Temple Pilots Release 'Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop'". Diffuser.fm. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  3. ^ "Between the Bullets". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 108 (15): 104. April 13, 1996. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Purple – Stone Temple Pilots". AllMusic. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Below Empty - FAQ
  7. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots - Purple (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  8. ^ Kot, Greg (June 9, 1994). "Stone Temple Pilots: Purple (Atlantic)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Stone Temple Pilots: Purple". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 9780312245603. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  10. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Stone Temple Pilots". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
  11. ^ Browne, David (June 10, 1994). "Purple". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  12. ^ Ali, Lorraine (July 14, 1994). "Stone Temple Pilots: Purple". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  13. ^ Appleford, Steve (2004). "Stone Temple Pilots". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 785–86. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  14. ^ Best of Rock & Metal - Die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten (in German). Rock Hard. 2005. p. 33. ISBN 3-89880-517-4.
  15. ^ "10 Best Hard Rock Albums of 1994". Loudwire. May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  16. ^ "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994". Guitar World. July 14, 2014. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  17. ^ "Purple (Super Deluxe Edition)". Rhino Records. Archived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  18. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  19. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  20. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 59, No. 23". RPM. Walt Grealis. June 27, 1994. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  21. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  22. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  23. ^ "Charts.nz – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  24. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  25. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  26. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  27. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  28. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  29. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts". GfK Entertainment (in German). offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  30. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1994". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  31. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1995". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  32. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  33. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots – Chart History: Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  34. ^ Stone Temple Pilots - Hot 100 Airplay (Radio Songs) chart history billboard.com. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  35. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots – Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  36. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots – Chart History: Mainstream Rock Tracks". Billboard. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  37. ^ Peak chart positions for singles in Australia:
    • Top 50 peaks: "Discography Stone Temple Pilots". australian-charts.com. 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.
  38. ^ Peak chart positions for singles in Canada:
  39. ^ "Discography Stone Temple Pilots". charts.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
  40. ^ Peak chart positions for singles in the United Kingdom:
  41. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  42. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Music Canada.
  43. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  44. ^ "British album certifications – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". British Phonographic Industry.
  45. ^ "American album certifications – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.