Vasoline

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"Vasoline"
Vasoline.JPG
Single by Stone Temple Pilots
from the album Purple
B-side
  • "Meatplow"
  • "Andy Warhol" (live from MTV Unplugged)
  • "Crackerman" (live from MTV Unplugged)"
ReleasedJune 1, 1994
GenreGrunge[1]
Length2:56
LabelAtlantic
Composer(s)
Lyricist(s)Scott Weiland
Producer(s)Brendan O'Brien
Stone Temple Pilots singles chronology
"Big Empty"
(1994)
"Vasoline"
(1994)
"Interstate Love Song"
(1994)
Audio sample
"Vasoline"
Music video
"Vasoline" on YouTube

"Vasoline" is a song by American rock band Stone Temple Pilots from their second album, Purple. The song was the second single of the album, reaching number one on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for two weeks.[2] The song's odd-sounding intro was created by Robert DeLeo, who ran his bass through a wah-wah pedal to get the said effect. The song's lyrics were written by vocalist Scott Weiland. "Vasoline" also appears on the greatest hits compilation album Thank You. A live version also appears on The Family Values 2001 Tour compilation.

Composition and meaning[edit]

During STP's performance of "Vasoline" on VH1 Storytellers, Weiland says that the song is about "feeling like an insect under a magnifying glass." During an interview with Greg Prato from SongFacts.com on October 14, 2014, Scott Weiland confirmed that the key line in this song came from a misheard lyric: His parents put on the Eagles song "Life in the Fast Lane", and Weiland thought they were singing, "Flies in the Vaseline."[3]

In his autobiography Not Dead and Not For Sale, he adds that it "is about being stuck in the same situation over and over again. It's about me becoming a junkie. It's about lying to Jannina [Castaneda, first wife] and lying to the band about my heroin addiction."[4]

Music videos[edit]

The music videos (directed by Kevin Kerslake) were in heavy rotation on MTV when the single was released in 1994.[5] There are at least three different versions of the video, labeled "X Version", "Y Version", and "Z Version". All versions are similar, using parts of the same footage with some minor differences and shown in different orders. The single album art is taken directly from the music video. One portion of the "X Version" was censored when it aired on MTV. During the table scene, a man is bound to a chair while a sadistic guard prepares to puncture his eye with a drill. The uncensored version can be seen on Kerslake's YouTube channel, while the censored version is found on the band's YouTube page.

Differentiation[edit]

  • X Version – begins with a shot of flypaper and then a laughing clown [Robert DeLeo]
  • Y Version – begins with a butterfly-catching girl [Deanna Stevens] skipping up to the camera
  • Z Version – begins with a man using a sharpening stone wheel

Track listings[edit]

UK, European, and Australian CD single[6]

  1. "Vasoline" – 2:56
  2. "Meatplow" – 3:38
  3. "Andy Warhol" (David Bowie cover live) – 3:05
  4. "Crackerman" (live) – 4:03

German CD single[7]

  1. "Vasoline" – 2:56
  2. "Meatplow" – 3:38

Charts[edit]

Chart (1994) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[8] 24
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[9] 21
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[10] 28
Scotland (OCC)[11] 42
UK Singles (OCC)[12] 48
UK Rock & Metal (OCC)[13] 23
US Radio Songs (Billboard)[14] 38
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[15] 2
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[16] 1

Notable appearances[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael Danaher (August 4, 2014). "The 50 Best Grunge Songs". Paste.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 607.
  3. ^ "Scott Weiland : Songwriter Interviews". www.songfacts.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  4. ^ Not Dead and Not For Sale (Scribner, 2010), pp111
  5. ^ "Site Maintenance". www.mvdbase.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  6. ^ Vasoline (UK, European & Australian CD single liner notes). Stone Temple Pilots. Atlantic Records. 1994. A5650CD, 7567-85650-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  7. ^ Vasoline (German CD single liner notes). Stone Temple Pilots. Atlantic Records. 1994. 7567-85646-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  8. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots – Vasoline". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  9. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2564." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  10. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots – Vasoline". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  11. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  12. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  13. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  14. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  15. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  16. ^ "Stone Temple Pilots Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2020.

External links[edit]