Stone Temple Pilots – Core 25th Anniversary Edition – Album Review

On September 29, 1992, the debut album ‘Core’ by the band Stone Temple Pilots was released to great fanfare.  The album kicked off the career of what would become one of the best bands to come out of the 90’s.  Well, on September 29, 2017, Stone Temple Pilots commemorated the 25th Anniversary of their stellar debut with a spectacular re-release of their debut album. I love how they were able to release on the same day as the original.  And yes, I already had a copy, but now I have it again, but this time there is so much more.

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What all do you get?  Well, I am glad you asked.  The set I bought was the Deluxe Edition.  You can get a Super Deluxe Edition which had a T-Shirt and 16″x20″ Litograph, but I didn’t see that offered on Amazon as that might have been a STP website only purchase.  The Deluxe had everything you see above which is as follows:

  • CD 1: A Remastered Version of the original album
  • CD 2: Demos and remixes
  • CD 3: Two Live Shows
  • CD 4: MTV Unplugged show
  • DVD: The Remastered album in 5.1 Surround Sound plus 4 music videos
  • Vinyl: Original album
  • A photo book with commentary by David Fricke of Rolling Stone

I have to say it is a beautiful set.  It all comes in a hard back cover that has a gatefold cover and seems really sturdy.  It holds the vinyl/book on one side and the CDs/DVD on the other.

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CD One/Vinyl:

What can you say about this album that hasn’t already been said by so many others.  It is an amazing debut album and I can’t find a bad song on the disc.  The remastered sound couldn’t sound any better.  The songs are crisp and clear and made me appreciate the album that much more than I already had.  I have always felt that their second album, ‘Purple’ was their best, but after spending so much time with this I am rethinking that theory.  ‘Purple’ had a couple songs I didn’t like where there is not one song I would delete off this album.  I would even keep “Wet My Bed”.

Grunge might been their label, but this was a solid, in your face, rock album through and through.  The songs are dark and totally freaking out there lyrically like grunge; however, musically these guys are utter rock stars.  Dean just kills it on guitar and the bass by Robert is spot on.  Eric’s drumming keeps the pace and the band sounds so tight.  When you have a band that is so good, you need a lead singer that rise above that and with Scott Weiland, you had just that.  One of the greatest frontman in rock period!

You love the singles, “Plush”, “Creep” and definitely “Sex Type Thing”, but it is the deep cuts that take this album to another level.  There are so many to list “Dead & Bloated”, “Wicked Garden”, “Sin” and “Crackerman” are as good or even better than any of their singles.  As I mentioned early, “Wet My Bed” is one of the strangest, most fucked up things I have ever heard but there is a charm to it and maybe it is due to Scott’s passing and feeling nostalgic but it is brilliant at the same time.  I could go on and on; however, there is so much to cover I will leave at this for the original album discussion.

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CD Two:

Disc two was all demos and remixes. You get 12 songs and the track listing is below:

  1. “Only Dying” (Demo)
  2. “Wicked Garden” (Demo)
  3. “Naked Sunday” (Demo)
  4. “Where the River Goes” (Demo)
  5. “Dead & Bloated” (Demo)
  6. “Sex Type Thing” (Demo)
  7. “Sin” (Demo)
  8. “Creep” (Demo)
  9. “Plush” (Demo)
  10. “Sex Type Thing” (Swing Type Version)
  11. “Plush” (Acoustic Type Version)
  12. “Creep” (New Album Version)
  13. “Plush” (Acoustic MTV Headbanger’s Ball Take 1)

The demos all sound really great which was surprising to me as they were demos.  You definitely hear the magic is in those demos.  Yes, the versions are slightly different with changes in lyrics, arrangements or whatnot, but you can hear that this band has something special.  The real gem in this bunch is the previously unreleased song “Only Dying” which was supposed to be for the movie “The Crow” soundtrack but was scrapped.  The song is so good and amazing they never released if for anything else.  I am also partial to the Swing version of the song “Sex Type Thing”.  I love the playful feel to it.

What also makes this special to me is the fact I know my brother-in-law Ryan handled the mixing on some of these songs.  He mixed tracks 5-9 on this disc and also mixed the first live concert on CD Three.

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CD Three:

The third CD consists of two live shows.  The first 9 tracks are from Castaic Lake Natural Amphitheater on July 2, 1993.  The last 7 tracks are from a month later at The Reading Festival on August 27, 1993.

The first show sounds amazing and I am not just saying that because my Ryan did the mixing.  Scott sounds fresh and is really in his element.  The band is tight and what I love is you can hear the bass, the guitar and the drums and nothing is muddied.  The songs are off the album and no covers or additional tunes.  The highlight for me on this one was the rant Scott went on after the song “Where the River Goes”.  Someone from the crowd was throwing stuff at him on stage and he goes off on the guy and the crowd loves it.  I am so glad they left that in and didn’t edit it out.

The second show at The Reading Festival isn’t as long and Scott’s vocals aren’t as clear at times. The band sounds good and all, but Scott was not as fresh as the other show.  The gem from this show is the inclusion of a new song called “Lounge Fly” that would show up on their next album.  Still both shows are great and worth having in your collection.

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CD Four:

The final CD is incredible.  It was one of the main reasons I wanted this set.  It is the band’s MTV Unplugged show from November 17, 1993.  The band sounds freakin’ awesome and they seem to be having a great time.  There are so many highlights on this 7 song set.  You get “Big Empty” which would be on “Purple” and you get a fantastic cover of David Bowie’s song “Andy Warhol”.    You also get a Swing Version of “Sex Type Thing” where Scott even asks the crowd in lounge style “How’s the Steak”.  Fantastic!!

DVD:

The DVD is a nice to have if you have surround sound.  The album is recorded in 5.1 Surround Mix & 24/96 Stereo Audio of the original album.  You also get the music videos for “Sex Type Thing”, “Plush”, “Wicked Garden” and “Creep”. I actually haven’t listened to this yet, but do plan on cranking when I can get everyone out of the house.  I already had the videos from their greatest hits album ‘Thank You’ which had a DVD of all their videos.

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Photo Booklet:

The photo booklet was also included.  The size is awesome as it is as large as the vinyl record.  It has some great photos and a great commentary by David Fricke from Rolling Stone. It also contains the lyrics to the songs as well as the track listing for all the discs.  It is a nice addition to this edition.

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And there you have it.  I really do love this set and I am so excited to hear they will be doing similar treatments to their other albums as well.  If you are a casual fan, than this is a little pricey for you.  If you are a big fan like me, this is an absolute no-brainer.  Go grab it and enjoy it for years to come.

19 thoughts on “Stone Temple Pilots – Core 25th Anniversary Edition – Album Review

  1. Cool family connection! Something to be proud of there.

    This box set sounds like a really good one. Although there are certainly so many to choose from these days.

    I like the idea of including the MTV Unplugged. Pearl Jam should have included it on CD. Instead they only included a DVD. I wish every band that did one, would eventually release their Unplugged on CD.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are definitely proud of his work. My oldest daughter and I were record shopping and I kept pulling albums that he worked on and kept showing her his name. She thought it was cool.

      You are right, there are so many box sets right now and it is hard to decide on which ones to get.
      George Michael is releasing a anniversary edition of Listen without Prejudice and the bonus disc is his MTV unplugged show. Definitely a nice extra to get.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A nice write up, John… it’s my least favourite STP album, but you certainly make a strong case for a reassessment. My interest in this release has been the demo tracks and live stuff mainly, but I’m actually intrigued by the remaster.

    For me, the best stuff on here is the ‘other tracks’. But I feel Plush, Sex Type Thing and Creep (all of which I think are among the weakest tracks in their catalogue) just aren’t as interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Core is in my top 5 albums of all time, and I’ve only just begun to dig into this. So glad to see that other blogger friends do appreciate the band as much as I do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am already excited about the 25th Anniversary Edition of Purple. From what I gather, it will get a similar treatment…of course we have to wait a little while for it. STP is one of my favorite bands to come out of the 90’s.

      Liked by 1 person

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