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Purple (Stone Temple Pilots album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedJune 7, 1994 (1994-06-07)
  • May 25, 1993 ("Big Empty")
  • July 12, 1993 ("Lounge Fly")
  • March 1994 (rest of album)
ProducerBrendan O'Brien
Stone Temple Pilots chronology
Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop
Singles from Purple
  1. "Big Empty"
    Released: May 22, 1994
  2. "Vasoline"
    Released: June 1, 1994
  3. "Interstate Love Song"
    Released: 1994

Purple (stylized on the cover art in its Chinese character ) is the second studio album by the American rock band Stone Temple Pilots, released on June 7, 1994, by Atlantic Records. The album, building on the foundation laid by the band's debut album Core (1992), was a major commercial success, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 252,000 copies sold in its first week.[4] It remained at the top of the chart 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 reached number 2 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, while "Big Empty" also reached the top ten on both charts. Lesser known album cuts "Pretty Penny" and "Unglued" were 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, the band's first album to do so.

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".


The cover art for the album features a painting 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]

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. No track listing appears on the back cover, which instead displays the image of a decorated cake with the phrase 12 Gracious Melodies, which is a clue to a hidden track as song twelve.

On the cover of the cassette version of Purple, the child is holding the Chinese character in his hand, rather than positioned in the corner. There are two pressings of the actual disc art of Purple. One version has a close-up of the frosted flowers from the cake on the rear panel on it and another has dragon scales.

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.[6]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Chicago Tribune[8]
Christgau's Consumer Guide(dud)[9]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal9/10[10]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[11]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[12]
Rolling Stone[13]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[14]

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".[7]


In 2005, Purple was ranked number 438 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[16] 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.[17] In July 2014, Guitar World ranked Purple at number 24 in their "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994" list.[18] In 2019, Rolling Stone ranked the album at No. 24 on its list of the "50 Greatest Grunge Albums."[1] In 2022, Pitchfork named Purple one of the 25 Best Grunge Albums of the '90s.[19]

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.[20]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Scott Weiland, except where noted.

Purple track listing
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" (includes hidden track[note 1])R. DeLeo8:06
Total length:46:59
  1. ^ "Kitchenware & Candybars", ends at 4:27. A hidden track named "Second Album", starts at 4:54. 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. This track was engineered and produced by Seattle's Peter Barnes.[citation needed]


Stone Temple Pilots

  • Scott Weiland – lead vocals, guitar on "Silvergun Superman", percussion on "Pretty Penny"
  • Dean DeLeo – electric and acoustic guitars, percussion on "Pretty Penny", drum ending on "Silvergun Superman"
  • Robert DeLeo – bass, guitar on "Vasoline", "Lounge Fly", "Pretty Penny", "Silvergun Superman", and "Kitchenware and Candybars", percussion on "Pretty Penny"
  • Eric Kretz – drums, percussion on "Vasoline", "Lounge Fly", "Pretty Penny", and "Big Empty"

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



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[39] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[40] 3× Platinum 300,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[41] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[42] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[43] 6× Platinum 6,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


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  2. ^ "10 Best Hard Rock Albums of 1994". Loudwire. January 12, 2024. Retrieved May 18, 2024.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Billboard". June 25, 1994.
  5. ^ "R-2718967-1297953608.jpeg (418x417 pixels)". Archived from the original on July 15, 2012. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  6. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots - Purple (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Purple – Stone Temple Pilots". AllMusic. 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. ^ Popoff, Martin (2007). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 3: The Nineties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. pp. 423–424. ISBN 978-1-894959-62-9.
  11. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Stone Temple Pilots". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
  12. ^ Browne, David (June 10, 1994). "Purple". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  13. ^ Ali, Lorraine (July 14, 1994). "Stone Temple Pilots: Purple". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Wilkinson, Roy. "Stone Temple Pilots: Purple > Review".
  16. ^ Best of Rock & Metal - Die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten (in German). Rock Hard. 2005. p. 33. ISBN 3-89880-517-4.
  17. ^ "10 Best Hard Rock Albums of 1994". Loudwire. May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  18. ^ "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994". Guitar World. July 14, 2014. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  19. ^ "The 25 Best Grunge Albums of the '90s". Pitchfork. October 6, 2022.
  20. ^ "Purple (Super Deluxe Edition)". Rhino Records. Archived from the original on December 4, 2019. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  21. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  22. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  25. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  26. ^ "Charts.nz – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  27. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  28. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  29. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  30. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  31. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  32. ^ "Album Top 40 slágerlista – 2019. 43. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  33. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Albums 1994". Australian Record Industry Association Ltd. Archived from the original on November 2, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  34. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts". GfK Entertainment (in German). offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
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  36. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1995". The Official NZ Music Charts. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  37. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1995". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  38. ^ 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.
  39. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2006 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  40. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Music Canada.
  41. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  42. ^ "British album certifications – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". British Phonographic Industry.
  43. ^ "American album certifications – Stone Temple Pilots – Purple". Recording Industry Association of America.