Released on June 7, 1994.

The San Diego band released their sophomore album Purple on June 7, 1994. It’s certainly worthy of an edition of Stone Temple Pilots Ranked.

As second albums go, Purple is an all-timer. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling a quarter of a million copies in a week. The album remained there for two more weeks, eventually going six-times platinum. Not too shabby.

More importantly, though, Purple‘s success quelled the critics. When STP debuted with Core in 1992, they were dismissed by some as a Pearl Jam knock-off. The evolution that the band showed between those first two albums quieted that noise.

Stone Temple Pilots Ranked: Release Day

June 7, 1994 was a Tuesday. I know this because, back in those days, new albums were released on Tuesdays. I was a sophomore at Wakefield High School, and a huge STP fan. I had to have the album the moment it dropped.

So I ducked out of school during lunch that day, climbed into my ’85 Chevy Monte Carlo (with sliding bench seat), and cruised over to Strawberries on Rt. 1 in Saugus. I bought Purple on cassette, grabbed Taco Bell, and listened to Side A while I noshed.

Stone Temple Pilots Ranked: 12 Gracious Melodies

As I did with Weezer for the 30th anniversary of the Blue Album, I’m going through Purple and ranking every track, from “best to better.” Because, not unlike the Blue Album, Purple is a bit of a classic. There’s nothing “worst” about it.

Oh, and I’ll be going by the original track listing, not by the Super Deluxe 25th Anniversary Edition that dropped in 2019. That’s why I shared the “Dancing Days” cover up above. You won’t find it down below. But you will find “12 gracious melodies.” Enjoy.

  • 12) "Second Album"

    I mean, it would be weird not to open with the hidden track, right? Shout out to Richard Peterson, the crooner on this bit of surprise, album-ending lounge goodness.

  • 11) "Army Ants"

    Again, the disclaimer: there are no bad songs here. Just differing levels of greatness. That being said, I’ve always felt this one is the lesser of the lot.

  • 10) "Lounge Fly"

    This one was recorded almost a year before the rest of the album, and it does have a bit of a different feel. The “in between” space between Core and Purple. Bonus points if you’re old enough to remember the intro being used on MTV News.

  • 9) "Meatplow"

    I always thought of this one as sort of a weak album opener. But now I’m realizing the band was just setting us all up. “Of course this isn’t the best song on the album,” they seem to be saying. “Just wait and hear what’s to come…”

  • 8) "Silvergun Superman"

    Similar in tone and style to “Meatplow,” this one gives some rock heft to the second side of the album. I have no issue with STP’s heavier, grungier side.

  • 7) "Kitchenware & Candybars"

    This one is the album’s closer (minus the cheeky hidden track) and that just makes sense. It encapsulates all that Stone Temple Pilots is about, sonically, in just about five minutes. Brilliant.

  • 6) "Pretty Penny"

    This one gets extra love because, when STP toured behind Purple, they would stop mid-set and kill the lights. When the lights came back up, there’d be a small living room set on stage. They band would then play a short, acoustic set featuring this song.

  • 5) "Still Remains"

    This song just soars. And Weiland is somehow able to write a lyric about drinking someone’s bathwater and have it sound romantic and almost quaint.

  • 4) "Unglued"

    STP at their punkest. No, they’re not a punk band. But that opening riff is a punk riff. And clocking in at a lean 2:34, you could almost call it a punk song.

  • 3) "Interstate Love Song"

    Of all the songs on Purple, this is the one that endures. Even if you’re not a core (haha) STP fan, you know this song. And you probably love it.

  • 2) "Vasoline"

    Rarely has a rock band done so much with so little. The main riff? Two notes. So simple, so catchy. One of the first riffs I ever learned on guitar. Second single, second-best song on the album.

  • 1) "Big Empty"

    The best song on Purple actually predates the album by a few weeks. First released on The Crow Soundtrack in March of ’94, STP fans got a taste of what was to come on the sophomore release. Little did we know we’d be getting the best damn song on the whole album.

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