“I’m not saying we’re better than everybody else,” Scott Weiland told RIP magazine in 1994, “but we’re a completely different entity than anyone else.”
It may sound like a bit of chest-puffing self-promotion — what band doesn’t want to think they’re unique? But Stone Temple Pilots needed this sort of instinct to survive. Starting with their multiplatinum 1992 debut, Core, they were swiftly written off as grunge copycats by critics who failed to notice the nuance and sophistication of their songwriting. Granted, that album’s murky riffs and overtly macho posture weren’t doing them any favors. But Weiland’s confidence was justified.
On their next record, Purple — the one they were promoting with that RIP interview — STP took their big leap, adding psychedelia, glam and even country rock to their toolbox. During their run with Weiland, who died from an overdose in 2015, they created one of the most distinctive catalogs from their era.
The frontman, with his chiseled features and old-school stage charisma, played the most obvious role in the band’s success. But he was also a versatile singer who could tackle whatever mood his bandmates threw at him — from the twang of “Interstate Love Song” to the metallic crunch of “Down.”
“He had a John Lennon-ish quality, a little bit of Jim Morrison and a touch of almost David Bowie,” Slash, Weiland’s bandmate in Velvet Revolver, wrote in his 2008 autobiography. “He was the best singer to come out in a long time, in my opinion.”
But even after the mild revisionism that followed Weiland’s death, critics continue to sleep on this band’s gifts as players, writers of melody and, crucially, craftsmen of LPs as musical journeys. Below, we rank every Stone Temple Pilots studio album from worst to best.
Stone Temple Pilots Albums Ranked
During their run with original singer Scott Weiland, they created one of the most unique and underrated catalogs from their era.