What does it sound like?:
This is a huge deluxe reissue of Stone Temple Pilots’ 1992 debut, now appearing as four cds plus a DVD plus a heavyweight vinyl copy of the original lp – oh and there’s a book thrown in too – all to commemorate the album’s twenty fifth anniversary.
You’ll no doubt recall this seminal grunge album, which has now been remastered, from back in the day, featuring the late Scott Weiland on vocals. Songs such as Sex Type Thing, Crackerman, Wicked Garden and Plush still hold their own to this day against anything released by more commercially successful grunge bands such as Nirvana. There was always something slightly dark about this album, and indeed this band, but this was their most commercially and critically successful album. The second cd has a collection of demos and B sides, including good acoustic takes of Plush and Creep, and it’s interesting to hear the demo of Sex Type Thing. However, with all these sets, you always wonder just how many times this type of thing will actually be listened to more than on the odd occasion. Cd three has extracts from two live shows from 93, one in the US, the other being their Reading appearance, both of which capture crackling live performances from the band at their early peak. The fourth cd gives us seven tracks from their MTV Unplugged performance from later in 1993, including a cover of Bowie’s Andy Warhol, and again it’s interesting to hear these songs stripped back to their bare bones, although some of the performances do lack the oomph of the originals. Finally, the DVD has a 5.1 surround mix of the original album plus four videos for the best known songs.
What does it all *mean*?
All in all, as well as the original album, there’s also over two hours of previously unreleased material here, so it’s a lot to get through in one sitting. (there are no fewer than six different versions of Plush alone, for example). This is certainly one for the committed rather than casual fan.
Goes well with…
Best enjoyed by dipping into and out of for small, more manageable doses over several listening sessions, rather than in one marathon session.
Might suit people who like…
Grunge era bands, the usual suspects.