Stone Temple Pilots – ‘Purple” (25th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) – Album Review

I didn’t jump on board with the first album although it started me leaning in their direction.  It was ‘Purple’ that was “My First Time” experience with Stone Temple Pilots.  When I heard the song “Vasoline”, I was hooked and there was no looking back.  The late, great Scott Weiland was one of the greatest frontmen in Rock and the swagger and charisma he brought to the stage is unmatched by most singers.

The band might have been considered, Grunge, but to me it was more like the rock & roll I grew up loving.  Yes, they had the Grunge elements, but the way these guys played just screamed Rock and that is probably why I connected with them more than the others.  The band consisted of the following members:

  • Scott Weiland – lead vocals
  • Dean DeLeo – guitar
  • Robert DeLeo – bass, backing vocals
  • Eric Kretz – drums

The partnership between the band was simple.  The DeLeo brothers wrote the music and Scott wrote the lyrics.  Musically, the music was heads & shoulders above anything else out there.  Lyrically, the songs were some of the most bizarre yet most fascinating from any bands around this time.  The combination of the two was pure magic.

The original album came out on June 7, 1994,  The 25th Anniversary Edition came out last Friday, October 18th.  Funny enough, it is the exact day that two years earlier I posted my review of the 25th Anniversary Edition of their debut album ‘Core’. Go check out that review when you are done.

What do you get with this Super Deluxe Edition.  It is similar to the ‘Core’ release, but honestly, not quite as much extra to offer.  You get a lot, but the Core set was 4 CDs, Vinyl and a DVD along with a booklet and lithograph.  For ‘Purple’, you get the following:

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You still get a lot.  But before we get to the music, let’s talk a little about the album.  The album itself debuted at #1 thanks to the build up from their first album ‘Core’.  It remained #1 for six weeks and went on to sell over 6 million copies.  The band had become a force to be reckoned with.  The album’s producer was the great Brendan O’Brien who was the driving force for a lot of albums in the 90’s.

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The artwork is quite strange and consists of a very Chinese theme which I am not sure what that has to do with anything in this album.  The cover is a child riding what is called a Qilin which is a mythological creature that is thought to be a good omen of some kind.  Accompanying the child are several fairies.  The album title, ‘Purple’, is depicted by the Chinese characters for the word.  The cover for this set is like a hardback book and is fantastic.  It is embossed which makes it so shiny and pretty.  The back cover is the same as the original with the cake and words saying 12 Gracious Melodies.

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The cover is a gatefold with a picture of the band on one side and the CD’s on the other.  The band picture is actually a record sleeve and holds the LP and the booklet.

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Okay, time for the music.

CD One & Vinyl:

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The first CD and the LP are both the same.  They are the original album remastered in 2019 to bring you a crisp and clear sound that sounds even better than back in the day.  I am not going to go song by song because I have done that already a few years back and you can read that hear at “My First Time” with STP’s ‘Purple’.  If some of what I say above looks familiar when you read it, I borrowed a little from that post.  Why re-create the wheel.

The CD and album both still include the hidden track “My Second Album”.  It is quite funny to listen to and did bring a smile to my face.  The song is done in the manner of a lounge song and is performed by Richard Peterson.  It definitely is a corny little song.

CD Two (Early Versions, Demos & Acoustic):

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The 2nd CD is full of 12 tracks, 11 of which have never been issued before.  The one track that was issued prior is “Dancing Days” which is a Led Zeppelin cover from a tribute album for the band.  I have to admit the collection is a little disappointing as there isn’t as much meat as there was on ‘Core’.  Aside from “Dancing Days”, the only cool addition is the demo of the song “She Knows Me Too Well” which is a Beach Boys cover.  The other nice to have songs are the acoustic recordings from the KROG Acoustic Christmas show in 1994.  You get a wonderful Christmas song called “Christmastime is Here”.

CD Three (Live at New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New Haven, CT, August 23, 1994):

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The biggest treat on the release is the live show from 1994.  It is 17 solid tracks 10 of which from the new album.  The recording sounds stunning.  Musically, the band is on point and sounds tight.  I especially love the guitar sound as Dean is freaking killing it.  Scott’s vocals are a little rough at times, but really that is what makes this recording special.  He sounds untouched.

A couple cool covers are in the set.  The first is “Gypsy Davy” by Scott’s Dad’s favorite artist, Woody Guthrie.  The second is from one of Scott’s idols, David Bowie.  He covers “Andy Warhol” and makes it his own, special song.  And of course, who doesn’t love hearing the songs from the first album.  Such songs as “Crackerman”, “Creep”, “Plush”, “Dead & Bloated” and ending it all with “Sex Type Thing”.

Do you want to see all the tracks?  Ok, then zoom in on this cardboard insert that was actually on the back of the set until I ripped off the plastic wrap.

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And there you have it.  It isn’t as great as the 25th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition of ‘Core’ as I think they didn’t have as much to offer.  Not enough cool unreleased tracks, but the live show is the real gem here.  That will get a ton of listen along with the original album.  Don’t get wrong, this is worth having and any fan who loves this album needs this set.  Sell the old copy you have and put the money towards this and then add a ton of other money as it ain’t cheap. I am listening to the vinyl now and as it the album is ending, I am now at the end of the post.  Perfect timing.  Thanks for stopping by!!

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23 thoughts on “Stone Temple Pilots – ‘Purple” (25th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) – Album Review

  1. That live show included is killer. Thanks, for sharing pictures as well John, Those old school Atlantic Record labels on the vinyl are killer looking.
    It is such a great album so its nice to have it bookended with the live show.
    Weiland’s voice is superb and as you say “untouched”
    Great writeup!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. The LP is fantastic and I want everything they do on vinyl, but what is nice is you get the CDs with all the bonus songs and the live show. I don’t mind having both. Like I said, the only down side was there wasn’t as much extra stuff as was on ‘Core’. Don’t know if that means it wasn’t there or they are saving it for later. I am ready for the next one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That live version of Army Ants is ridiculous at how good they pull it off along with the live acoustic stuff.
        If my memory serves me correct me and Tbone seen STP open for the Stones in Toronto about a week before this show was recorded. (Aug 94)

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I think fewer songs as they were opening act but pretty close to all this stuff that’s on here.
            I bought my brother an STP shirt as he was huge into them as he was discovering music on his own at the time.
            When he started back in high school about 10 friends wanted to buy that t-shirt from him.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Had no interest in STP when “Core” was dominating. Always have enjoyed “Purple”, “Tiny Music…” and after. So glad this SuperDeluxeEdition is available. Scott Weiland, for better or worse, was, in my opinion, one of the enduring stars of the “grunge era”. Living (and of course, sadly, dying) The Life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A very fair write-up, John. I was somewhat disappointed by the demo stuff, as I was hoping for more. It’s always good to hear the development or evolution of a song, but I thought half of them failed to offer much (Weiland finding securing a melody, for example) and I wouldn’t return to them that often. Maybe it’s just because some of my other favourite albums that have been given the Deluxe treatment have offered some really great alternative versions.

    I think I might stick with my MoV reissue. For now at least.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The live show is worth it and I am glad I now have it on vinyl. But fully agree on the demos, just not enough there. They should have talked to David Coverdale about how to do bonus tracks. His “Evolution” discs are the thing of beauty taking a song from its earliest stage and showing how it changed/morphed over time and blending all together as a complete song.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, those Whitesnake boxes really do deliver the goods from that perspective. I was hoping for something similar to the Superunknown super deluxe… some of my favourite versions of those songs are those on the bonus discs. I even made an alternative version of the album.

        Liked by 1 person

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