Since releasing their debut album Core, in 1992, Stone Temple Pilots have released eight studio albums, two live albums, three compilations, an EP, and 34 singles. No matter, how you slice it, that’s a pretty weighty discography for someone to wade into for the first time, but don’t worry: we’re here to help simplify things for you by offering up a sampler of sorts, shining a spotlight on the most popular song from each of STP’s studio albums. It’s a perfect way to ease yourself into their back catalog and find out what you’ve been missing.
“Plush” (from Core, 1992): Written by Scott Weiland, Eric Kretz, and Robert DeLeo, this song wasn’t STP’s first single, but it was the band’s first song to find its way to the top of Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, a pretty solid accomplishment for a second single. In addition, it cracked the alternative top 10 (No. 9) and even made it to No. 18 the Billboard Hot 100, making it evident to virtually everyone paying attention to music in ’92 that STP were a force to be reckoned with.
“Interstate Love Song” (from Purple, 1994): Produced by Brenan O’Brien and featuring lyrics by Weiland and music by Robert DeLeo, the chords were seemingly on loan from Jim Croce’s “I Got a Name,” which is quite possibly referenced in the song’s title, since Croce sings, “Moving me down the highway, rolling me down the highway...” Whatever the case, we know that Weiland recorded his vocals in a single take, which is an impressive feat by anyone’s standards.
“Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart” (from Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, 1996): Featuring music written by drummer Eric Kretz, Weiland – who penned the lyrics – said in his memoir, Not Dead and Not for Sale, that the song “reflects my hunger for redemption.”
“Sour Girl” (from No. 4, 1999): Some folks thought this song was about Weiland’s second wife, Mary Forsberg, but Weiland wrote in his memoir that it was actually about his first wife. “'Sour Girl' was written after the collapse of my relationship with Jannina,” Weiland wrote. “It's about her. 'She was a sour girl the day that she met me,' I wrote. 'She was a happy girl the day she left me… I was a superman, but looks are deceiving. The rollercoaster ride's a lonely one. I pay a ransom note to stop it from steaming.' The ransom note, of course, was the fortune our divorce was costing me. And the happy state, which I presumed to be Jannina's mood, was because she had finally rid her life of a man who had never been faithful."
“Days of the Week” (from Shangri-La Dee Da, 2001): An instance of popularity being fleeting, this definitely was the most popular song at the time of the album’s release, but as of this writing, it hasn’t found its way into an STP set in nearly 20 years. That’s a shame, because it’s poppy as hell. Then again, that may also be the reason for its exclusion.
“Between the Lines” (from Stone Temple Pilots, 2010): As both the lead track on the band’s reunion album and the first single from that album, this song got a lot of exposure straight out of the gate, which might well explain why it eventually climbed all the way to the top of the Billboard Rock Songs chart. It also ended up scoring a nod for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 53rd Grammy Awards. Not bad, but a bit sad, as it turned out to be Weiland’s last album with the band.
“Meadow” (from Stone Temple Pilots, 2018): After the death of both Weiland and Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington, who’d sung for STP between 2013 and 2015, the band reunited in 2017 with a new self-titled album featuring Jeff Gutt on vocals. This was the first single, and it was well-received by most fans. In fact, the DeLeo brothers and Eric Kretz wrote the music and then gave it to Gutt as part of his audition process for the band. The fact that he was capable of penning lyrics and write melodies helped seal the deal.
“Fare Thee Well” (from Perdida, 2020): This was the track that kicked off STP’s most recent album, one which they obviously didn’t have much of a chance to tour behind, what with the rise of COVID-19 and all. Still, this song served to give fans an idea of how the band was interesting in trying to branch out, leaving the possibilities for the future limitless.