Infusing alternative rock with solid riffs, Stone Temple Pilots teased out elements from Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Sex Pistols, and others into their own thing. For their trouble, they were often slammed by critics and purists, but adored by fans and radio programmers.
The band's 1992 debut, Core, took a little while to warm up, but once it started its ascent, it was nearly unstoppable. Tunes like “Sex Type Thing,” “Wicked Garden,” and “Plush” demonstrated that they deserved both the negative and positive reviews as they did indeed openly borrow from their predecessors; but they did so in an impossibly catchy way. The set went on to sell more than three million copies.
STP heard those voices and responded with a collection of psychedelia- and grunge-tinged tunes that were melodic as all get out. When Purple was released in 1994, it went to number one. “Vasoline,” “Interstate Love Song,” “Big Empty” ... these were the entries into evidence offered up that STP deserved its success.
Sadly, after making those inroads so quickly, front man Scott Weiland fell prey to heroin addiction. A 1995 arrest for possession landed him in rehab. Once he got out, the band went back into the studio, emerging with Tiny Music...Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop in '96.
The effort debuted at number four on the Billboard album chart. The accompanying tour was derailed by Weiland's relapse and second stab at rehab. Without the tour support, the album stalled at a million sales.
Over the next couple of years, Weiland issued his 12 Bar Blues solo set, as the rest of the band worked with singer Dave Coutts on the Talk Show album.
Then, STP was back with No. 4 in 1999 only to have Weiland thrown in the pokey for violating his probation. Once he got out, though, Stone Temple Pilots were on seemingly solid footing for 2001's Shangri-La Dee Da. For their Thank You greatest-hits collection in 2003, STP added one new track, "All in the Suit That You Wear."
And, then, it was crickets as STP went on hiatus for five years. Weiland spent the time fronting Velvet Revolver until he got himself booted from the group. Back with Stone Temple Pilots, a 2008 reunion tour sold very well and led to an eponymous album in 2010.