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Stone Temple Pilots are an American rock band from San Diego, California. Formed in 1986 by Scott Weiland (vocals) and Robert DeLeo (bass), they were later joined by Robert's brother Dean DeLeo (guitar) and Eric Kretz (drums). The band's lineup has remained the same throughout its active years.
They were, and still are, The Nineties rock version of Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly, a band that constantly tried to break from the pack of the era's rock titans to establish their own fan base and sound. Writer Chuck Klosterman once claimed he had never met anyone who claimed to be a passionate STP fan, yet he had met numerous people who knew who they were.
At any rate, STP's first two albums sold 14 million copies combined, cementing their reputation as rock radio mainstays. Scott Weiland, the Face of the Band for all the wrong reasons, cited Jim Morrison and David Bowie as influences in his own singing. The band has split twice, the first time in 1995, when Weiland was arrested and convicted for buying crack cocaine, and in 2002, when Weiland and Dean DeLeo got into a fistfight. They re-formed in 2008, to moderate success.
The band's studio albums are:
- Core (1992) went eight times platinum, featuring songs the band is most famously known for, including "Dead & Bloated", "Sex Type Thing", "Wicked Garden", "Creep" and "Plush". An acoustic version of "Plush" from MTV's Headbangers' Ball still gets airplay. The album was pilloried by critics, who called them a faceless, generic Grunge band and accused them of "ripping off" Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. (Not to mention people who misinterpreted the lyrics to "Sex Type Thing".)
- Purple (1994) featuring "Vasoline", "Interstate Love Song", "Big Empty" and "Unglued". This album improved their critical reception, introducing more Psychedelic Rock elements to their style, and relying less on what was perceived to be formulaic grunge songs. This was the first album where Scott Weiland was credited with his full name, since for the debut he was credited solely as "Weiland".
- Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop (1996), featuring "Trippin' on a Hole In a Paper Heart". Probably the band's best example of Word Salad Lyrics. This album featured heavier influences from Psychedelic Rock, making it the first STP album to receive very good reviews.
- No. 4 (1999), featuring "Down" and "Sour Girl". This album continued their psych-grunge mashup and resulting good reception. The video for "Sour Girl" included a cameo by Sarah Michelle Gellar since Weiland was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan.
- Shangri-La-Dee-Da (2001) featuring "Days of the Week" and whatever other songs diehard fans like. This album was a flop commercially and critically.
- Stone Temple Pilots (self-titled) (2010). The band's comeback album, featuring "Between the Lines".
This band provides examples of:
- Bowdlerized: The band name, actually. After changing their name from "Mighty Joe Young", they briefly went by the moniker "Shirley Temple's Pussy". Even now, if you type that name into The Other Wiki's search engine, the Stone Temple Pilots page comes up.
- Disappeared Dad: "Pop's Love Suicide", an obliquely autobiographical song written by Scott.
- Hidden Track: "12 Gracious Melodies", at the end of Purple, a lounge-jazz number which name-drops Johnny Mathis.
- Grunge: Their most cited genre. Regardless what genre one cites, they certainly rode the same zeitgeist as Pearl Jam and company to superstardom.
- Long Runner Lineup: With an hiatus in-between.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally about a 6. With songs like Plush being more a 4.
- New Sound Album: Purple