Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop

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Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 26, 1996
RecordedOctober 1995 – January 1996
StudioWesterly Ranch, Santa Ynez, California
ProducerBrendan O'Brien
Stone Temple Pilots chronology
Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop
No. 4
Singles from Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop
  1. "Big Bang Baby"
    Released: March 23, 1996
  2. "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart"
    Released: July 2, 1996
  3. "Lady Picture Show"
    Released: November 6, 1996

Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop is the third studio album by American rock band Stone Temple Pilots, released on March 26, 1996, on Atlantic Records. After a brief hiatus in 1995, the band regrouped to record Tiny Music, living and recording the album together on a ranch located in Santa Ynez, California.[3]

Tiny Music... saw Stone Temple Pilots moving away from the grunge sound present on their first two records and incorporating a wide variety of different influences. After debuting at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 in 1996, Tiny Music initially received mixed reviews, similar to the band's earlier work, but in the years since, the record has been acclaimed for radically reinventing the band's image. Tiny Music spawned three singles that reached No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart: "Big Bang Baby", "Lady Picture Show", and "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart".[4]


In early 1995, shortly after the band was forced to scrap two weeks' worth of recorded material, lead singer Scott Weiland was arrested for heroin and cocaine possession and sentenced to one year's probation. In the months following this incident, Weiland formed his own side-band, the Magnificent Bastards, and recorded songs for the Tank Girl soundtrack and for a John Lennon tribute album.

During this time the rest of the band decided to put together their own side project, which would later become the band Talk Show with Dave Coutts singing. In the fall of 1995, when Stone Temple Pilots regrouped to record again for Tiny Music, Robert and Dean got together to figure out which songs should be Tiny Music songs and which songs should be Talk Show songs. Dean would later say "Robert and I had about 30 songs, and we sat in the room one night and basically went down the list and marked next to every song: Scott, Scott, Dave, Scott, Dave, Dave, Scott.... It's really weird, because in all reality it was like 'Big Bang Baby' could've been on [the] Talk Show record and 'Everybody Loves My Car' could've been on Tiny Music."[5]

Weiland's drug use continued after his sentence, and STP cancelled some of their 1996-1997 tour for Tiny Music so that he could go to rehab.

Musical style[edit]

Tiny Music displays a drastic change in the band's sound, featuring music strongly influenced by '60s rock and bands such as The Beatles. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic stated in his review of the album that "Tiny Music illustrates that the band aren't content with resting on their laurels" and "STP have added a new array of sounds that lend depth to their immediately accessible hooks," naming shoegaze and jangle pop as two examples of genres explored on the album. Erlewine also wrote that the album "showcases the band at their most tuneful and creative."[6]

Doug McCausland of Alternative Nation said "Tiny Music really gelled the individual band members’ musical tastes together into a new sound: vocalist Weiland's underground punk and glam sensibilities, guitarist Dean DeLeo's upbringing in sixties and seventies rock, and bassist Robert DeLeo's interest in genres like jazz and bossa nova."[7]

Album artwork[edit]

The album cover, created to resemble a 70's-style LP cover and based on an idea from Weiland, features a woman in a swimsuit standing in a pool with a crocodile in it.[8] The cover was made by John Eder,[9] The cover model was a family friend of art director John Heiden. Said John Eder, "The little altar in the background was a last minute addition Scott wanted to put in, and it actually existed in his house, where I went to shoot it."


Initial critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[6]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[10]
Entertainment WeeklyC [11]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[15]

Rolling Stone favored the album, regarding it as the group's best effort to date. They expressed surprise, however, at "the clattering, upbeat character of the music" given Weiland's much-publicized run-ins with drugs and the law. The magazine also featured STP on its cover of issue No. 753 in February 1997.[17]

David Browne of Entertainment Weekly, however, was less favorable of the album, writing that "none of it... has a distinct personality."[11]

Band photographer John Eder recounts of the mixed reception, “I remember [Tiny Music] getting totally trashed critically, for example in Entertainment Weekly, with the critic even singling out and making fun of the bands’ physical appearances – like, their actual body types – in the little snapshot fold-out thing that came in the CD.”

Retrospective reception[edit]

Following Weiland's death, Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins posited, "It was STP's 3rd album that had got me hooked, a wizardly mix of glam and post-punk, and I confessed to Scott, as well as the band many times, how wrong I'd been in assessing their native brilliance. And like Bowie can and does, it was Scott's phrasing that pushed his music into a unique, and hard to pin down, aesthetic sonicsphere. Lastly, I'd like to share a thought which though clumsy, I hope would please Scott In Hominum. And that is if you asked me who I truly believed were the great voices of our generation, I'd say it were he, Layne, and Kurt."[18]

In 2016, The A.V. Club noted that Tiny Music "was an almost shocking leap forward in creative ambition" and that "[STP] got weirder and better than anyone gives them credit for." [19]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, the album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 albums chart on the issue dated April 13, 1996,[20] with 162,500 copies sold.[21] Because of the tour cancellation, Tiny Music did not receive as much exposure as initially intended. The album was certified 2× platinum but was not as commercially successful as STP's first two albums.

Track listing[edit]

1."Press Play" (Instrumental)Stone Temple Pilots1:21 (4:27 on LP)
2."Pop's Love Suicide"Dean DeLeo, Scott Weiland3:43
3."Tumble in the Rough"S. Weiland3:18
4."Big Bang Baby"Robert DeLeo, S. Weiland3:23
5."Lady Picture Show"R. DeLeo, S. Weiland4:08
6."And So I Know"R. DeLeo, S. Weiland3:57
7."Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart"Eric Kretz, S. Weiland2:57
8."Art School Girl"R. DeLeo, S. Weiland3:35
9."Adhesive"R. DeLeo, S. Weiland5:34
10."Ride the Cliché"D. DeLeo, S. Weiland3:17
11."Daisy" (Instrumental)R. DeLeo2:18
12."Seven Caged Tigers"D. DeLeo, S. Weiland4:17
Japanese edition bonus track
13."Meatplow" (live)3:34


Stone Temple Pilots

  • Scott Weiland – lead vocals, percussion on "Press Play"
  • Dean DeLeo – guitar, bass on "Press Play" and "Big Bang Baby"
  • Robert DeLeo – bass, guitar on "Press Play," "And So I Know" and "Daisy," backing vocals on "Big Bang Baby" and "Lady Picture Show," vibraphone and electric harpsichord on "And So I Know," percussion on "And So I Know"
  • Eric Kretz – drums, percussion on "Pop’s Love Suicide," "Lady Picture Show" and "Art School Girl," piano on "Adhesive"

Additional Personnel

  • Brendan O'Brien – producer, mixing, piano on "Press Play" and "Big Bang Baby," percussion on "Pop’s Love Suicide," "Lady Picture Show," "Art School Girl" and "Seven Caged Tigers," organ and clavinet on "Art School Girl"
  • Dave Ferguson – trumpet on "Adhesive"
  • Nick DiDia – recording engineer
  • Caram Costanzo – 2nd engineer
  • Chris Goss – vocal engineer
  • Tracy Chisholm – vocal engineer
  • Stephen Marcussen – mastering
  • Ron Boustead – digital editing
  • Tom Carolan – A&R
  • Steve Stewart – management
  • John Caldwell – assistant management
  • Joe Sofio – assistant management
  • John Eder – photography
  • John Heiden – art direction



Chart (1996) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[22] 13
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[23] 37
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[24] 5
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[25] 47
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[26] 18
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[27] 4
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[28] 27
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[29] 27
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[30] 41
Scottish Albums (OCC)[31] 44
UK Albums (OCC)[32] 31
UK Rock & Metal Albums (OCC)[33] 2
US Billboard 200[34] 4


Year Single Mainstream Rock Tracks Modern Rock Tracks CAN Alternative 30
1996 Big Bang Baby 1 2 1
Lady Picture Show 1 6 2
Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart 1 3 1
Tumble in the Rough 9 36 23


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[35] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[36] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[37] Gold 7,500^
United States (RIAA)[38] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


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  2. ^ Brendan Manley (2016-03-25). "20 Years Ago: Stone Temple Pilots Release 'Tiny Music… Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop'". Diffuser.fm. Retrieved 2019-06-04.
  3. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop - Stone Temple Pilots | Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-02-10.
  4. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots - Chart history | (Mainstream Rock Chart)". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 2017-02-10.
  5. ^ Graff, Gary. "Scott Free", Guitar World, October 1, 1997.
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  9. ^ "Billboard". March 30, 1996. Retrieved December 5, 2015.
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  12. ^ Empire, Kitty. "Stone Temple Pilots Tiny Music...Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop". NME. Archived from the original on 2000-08-17.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  13. ^ Schreiber, Ryan. "Stone Temple Pilots Tiny Music...Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop [Atlantic]". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 2001-11-26.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  14. ^ Lorraine Ali (1996-05-02). "Stone Temple Pilots: Tiny Music... Songs From The Vatican... : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2008-03-18. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
  15. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Depeche Mode". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 229–30. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  16. ^ Aaron, Charles (July 1996). "Stone Temple Pilots Tiny Music...Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop". Spin: 88–89.
  17. ^ "Allposters". allposters.com. Retrieved October 18, 2008.
  18. ^ IN HONOUR OF SCOTT WEILAND|http://www.smashingpumpkinsnexus.com/#!IN-HONOUR-OF-SCOTT-WEILAND/c7ba/5661c1b90cf21dcdb62d9914
  19. ^ Stone Temple Pilots Got Weirder And Better Than Anyone Gives Them Credit For|http://www.avclub.com/article/stone-temple-pilots-got-weirder-and-better-anyone--240594
  20. ^ "Billboard 200 - April 13, 1996". Billboard. 1996-04-13. Retrieved 2015-06-10.
  21. ^ "Between the Bullets". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 108 (15): 104. April 13, 1996. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
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  24. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 2938". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  25. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Stone Temple Pilots – Tiny Music..." (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  26. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots: Tiny Music..." (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  27. ^ "Charts.nz – Stone Temple Pilots – Tiny Music...". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  28. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Stone Temple Pilots – Tiny Music...". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  29. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Stone Temple Pilots – Tiny Music...". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  30. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Stone Temple Pilots – Tiny Music...". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  31. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  32. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  33. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  34. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  35. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  36. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Stone Temple Pilots – TINY MUSIC". Music Canada.
  37. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Stone Temple Pilots – TINY MUSIC... SONGS FROM THE VATICAN GIFT SHOP". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  38. ^ "American album certifications – Stone Temple Pilots – TINY MUSIC SONGS FROM THE VATICAN GIFT SHOP". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.