Stone Temple Pilots – ‘Live 2018’ – Revised Album Review

Is 4% a lot?  If someone was to give you 4% less of something, are you really missing out?  For the most part, that answer would be…No!  Well, the answer changes when it comes to music. If you were to listen to an album that was playing 4% slower and you asked that question, my answer would be…Yes, 4% makes a huge difference.  And such is the case for the Stone Temple Pilot’s album ‘Live 2018’.

What am I talking about?  For Record Store Day 2018, the one on Black Friday, Stone Temple Pilots released a special edition, 3-D, live album.  The music wasn’t 3-D, the album cover was. There was a manufacturing error with the vinyl that caused the speed of the album to be 96% of the actual speed.  Only a 4% difference that made a world of difference when listening to the music.

In my original review of Stone Temple Pilots – Live 2018 review, I mentioned if my opinion of the album was changed when (and if) I received the replacement copy, I would do another review…and here we are. The original, 96% speed, actually received a 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars…what will the corrected vinyl receive?  We will see shortly.

The Replacement copy arrived and it took about 3-4 months after I contacted them to get a replacement which makes sense since albums need about a 3 month window to be made.  The copy arrived and it was in a very simple, solid white cardboard sleeve.  The dust cover was the same as the original version and the album was also the same in the that beautiful translucent, red vinyl.

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Stone Temple Pilots – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

You have the Big Four in Metal…Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth.  In Grunge, the Big Four were Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots.  At the time, the only one I liked was Stone Temple Pilots.  They were the closest to the old Rock & Roll that I grew up with.  The others were too foreign to me to like.  However, I do like Soundgarden now and Pearl Jam I can tolerate…Nirvana still sucks (I still don’t get the hype for them but that is another story for another time).

Today, we are focusing on Stone Temple Pilots and how their albums rank from my least favorite to the very best one.  Despite all the troubles with the band and lead singer Scott Weiland, they were able to capture a magic that set them apart from most other bands.  Hell, Scott was probably one of the best frontmen to come out of that era or any era for that matter.  His stage presence and charisma were unparalleled and he could command a crowd.  After his passing, a couple other singers came on board including the late Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) and now current lead singer Jeff Gutt.

And let’s not forget the band…Robert DeLeo (bass), Dean DeLeo (guitar) and Eric Kretz (Drums).  Musically, they are the driving force behind the band. They are the constant.  They are why I still listen to this band no matter who fronts.  Their playing is excpetional and Dean’s guitar is freaking awesome.  Some of the best riffs you will hear!

Enough chit chat, let’s get to the reason we are here.  Here are the Stone Temple Pilots albums I rank from Worst to First!!

THE WORST – SHANGRI-LA-DEE-DA (2001):

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Stone Temple Pilots – Live 2018 – Album Review

For Record Store Day on Black Friday of 2018, I was able to pick up the new Stone Temple Pilots Live album simply called Live 2018.  I have been a fan of STP for years and was happy to hear they were getting a new singer and were going to continue despite the death of former lead singer, the great Scott Weiland.  The new singer, Jeff Gutt seemed like a good choice and their new album earlier this year wasn’t bad…wasn’t great either, but wasn’t bad (see review here).

When I heard they were doing a Live album for Record Store Day, I was excited and it was one I wanted to get to see how Jeff does live..  The track listing was only 10 songs, but they are a great 11 songs with 2 from the new album and the rest being STP classics.  The album cover was cool as it was rendered in 3-D and the album came with 3-D glassed

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And the back cover of course was in 3-D as well which is why it is a little blurry.

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Stone Temple Pilots – ‘Stone Temple Pilots’ (2018) – Album Review

Stone Temple Pilots are back with a brand new album and a brand new singer.  As you probably already know the story, their original lead singer was one of the most iconic lead singers of any band, Scott Weiland.  Scott had a lot of troubles with addiction and was in and out of the band several times.  He was replaced with Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, but Chester left to focus solely on his original band.  Since this time, both singers have passed away and will never rejoin the band.

Now STP has a decision to make.  Do they continue as a band?  The answer to that is obviously YES or I wouldn’t be doing a review of their new album.  Do they get a new lead singer that is completely their own person and nothing like the previous singer or do they get one that sounds just like Scott Weiland?  The answer to that will come later, but first let me explain why I asked that question myself.

In history, bands have always replaced lead singers.  There are two types of replacements..1) The singer that sounds nothing like the original singer and 2) the singer that sounds just like the old lead singer.  Depending on which one you choose can have a different impact on the band.  I think throughout history we have seen both work, however, for me there is only one solution.

Let’s look at the first, the new singer sounds nothing like the original singer.  There are many examples of that happening and quite successfully…Deep Purple has done it, Black Sabbath, Rainbow and even Van Halen.  Let’s look at Van Halen…with David Lee Roth (the original singer) and Sammy Hager (the replacement) were totally polar opposite singers and styles.  However, each band  was extremely successful in their own right.  Why you might ask? Because the band sound was still Van Halen and the songs were great.  Also, there was no real comparison between the two.  It was really two different bands that just happened to have the same name.  I personally like both versions (I am little more partial to David’s era just because I liked that sound a little better).

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Stone Temple Pilots – “Meadows” – Single Review

Back on November 14, 2017, Stone Temple Pilots announced their new lead singer, Jeff Gutt, and released their new single “Meadows”.  Through an exhaustive search of over 15,000 submissions they finally found the guy they were looking for in Jeff.  Over the past year, they  have been working together and honing their skills to make sure the band sounded as good as ever and that they gelled.  They didn’t want a Scott Weiland clone, but they needed someone that could pull off the old material as well as the new material (soon to come).  Not only can Jeff sing, but he writes as well.  That combination was what STP was looking for with a new singer.

Scott Weiland was one of the most iconic frontman any band had ever seen.  He is irreplaceable and STP will never be the STP they were with Scott.  A lot of fans won’t be accepting of Jeff for this reason and they are going to be too judgmental of anything new STP puts out.  That is a crying shame because STP isn’t trying to be that STP anymore.  They are trying to move forward with a new sound and honoring the days past.

With the release of “Meadows”, the band has stepped into the future without abandoning anything from the past.  Musically, the song sounds like STP and why wouldn’t it.  These are the same musicians and songwriters of the music from days gone by so of course it is going to sound like STP.  Jeff Gutt sounds amazing. With tinges of Scott’s sound, but not imitating him, you can hear Jeff’s own style shine through.  I think it was a great song choice for the introduction of Jeff as it bridges that gap between new and old so well.

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