Stone Temple Pilots stormed onto the music scene in 1992 with their debut album, Core, which spawned huge hits like "Sex Type Thing," "Plush" and "Creep." The band was immediately lumped into the new burgeoning grunge music scene and received some criticism for being derivative of the artists in the genre that came before them like Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.
However, frontman Scott Weiland and company proved that they were a force to be reckoned with as they unleashed their sophomore disc, 1994’s Purple, which showed off the band’s versatility and strong songwriting. With tracks like "Vasoline," "Interstate Love Song," and "Big Empty," Stone Temple Pilots cemented their place among rock's top acts at the time.
All told, Stone Temple Pilots have released five albums, including 1996’s Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, 1999’s No. 4 and 2001’s Shangri-La Dee-Da, all of which scored hits for the band and solidified their place in rock history.
Like any band, STP have had their ups and downs. Weiland's struggles with sobriety and legal issues are well documented. The band parted ways with Weiland in 2013 and replaced him with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. Now known as Stone Temple Pilots Featuring Chester Bennington, the group released an EP in 2013 titled High Rise, and are at work on a new full-length album.
Stone Temple Pilots have a deep catalog of amazing music and we've made our picks of the band's 10 best songs below.
'Sex Type Thing'From 1992's 'Core'
"Sex Type Thing" was Stone Temple Pilots’ first single off their debut album Core. The video for the track was a staple on MTV back in 1992, featuring a shirtless Scott Weiland swinging on chains in an industrial building. It served as an introduction to the group and got lumped in with the relatively new music genre called grunge. The heavy track still stands up well over twenty years later.
'Lady Picture Show'From 1996's 'Tiny Music... Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop'
"Lady Picture Show" is the one of the standout tracks off the band’s 1996 album Tiny Music… Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop. The Beatle-esque vibe of the song shows off a different side of the band. The tune is one of three tracks from STP to top the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
'Vasoline'From 1994's 'Purple'
"Vasoline" was the second single released from the group’s sophomore effort Purple. The infectious rock track is all about frontman Scott Weiland’s heroin addiction, as he wrote in his autobiography Not Dead and Not For Sale. Drummer Eric Kretz turns the straightforward track into a more complicated and layered song with his syncopated drum pattern over the simple guitar riff.
'Creep'From 1992's 'Core'
"Creep" was the fourth song released from the band’s debut album Core. It showed off a different and softer side of the band that they continued to investigate in their other songs like "Big Empty" and "Lady Picture Show." The catchy chorus had everyone singing, “I’m half the man I used to be / This I feel as the dawn it fades to gray.”
'Trippin on a Hole in a Paper Heart'From 1996's 'Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop
"Trippin on a Hole in a Paper Heart" is another stellar track from 1996’s Tiny Music… Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop. The upbeat and fun song features the band at a creative high and truly shows off their musicianship. The catchy chorus features a monster bass line from Robert DeLeo as guitarist Dean DeLeo shines as well with a stellar solo. The chorus of the song features the line “I’m not dead and I’m not for sale,” which inspired the title of Scott Weiland’s 2012 autobiography. The video for the track lifts the veil and shows the band in their daily lives and recording in the studio.
'Dead & Bloated'From 1992's 'Core'
"Dead & Bloated" is the leadoff track on Stone Temple Pilot’s debut album Core. The heavy tune starts with frontman Scott Weiland singing a capella: “I am smelling like the rose / That somebody gave me / On my birthday deathbed.” The infectious rock track is a fan favorite and while the band has more popular tracks, this deep cut captures the hunger and energy of a new group about to put their stamp on the music scene
'Down'From 1999's 'No. 4'
Stone Temple Pilot’s 1999 album No. 4 marked a return to the band’s heavy roots. The first single off the effort was "Down," which could be the band’s hardest hitting song to date. The crushing track was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance but lost to Rage Against The Machine’s "Guerilla Radio."
'Big Empty'From 1994's 'Purple'
"Big Empty" was the first single peeled off 1994’s ‘Purple.’ The track was a true departure for the band, who actually debuted the song on MTV’s Unplugged in 1993 months before the album was released. The performance of the song was originally cut from the initial broadcast but months later the stellar version of the track received a lot of play on MTV after the song became an undeniable hit. The track also appeared on the soundtrack to the 1994 film ‘The Crow.’ Check out their memorable MTV Unplugged performance of the tune below.
'Plush'From 1992's 'Core'
"Plush" is the song that truly put STP on the map. Released in 1993, as the second single off the band’s debut album, the song won the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance. It also helped earn the group the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist in 1994.
'Interstate Love Song'From 1994's 'Purple'
"Interstate Love Song" tops our list as the best Stone Temple Pilots song and is among the best rock songs of the 1990s. The short and succinct track has it all from its Led Zeppelin-esque riff to an amazingly catchy chorus. The band truly shines on the song from Eric Kretz’s powerful drummer to Robert DeLeo’s moving bass lines to Dean DeLeo’s memorable riff and Scott Weiland’s superb vocals. The song topped the Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for 15 weeks in 1994. And don't forget the bizarre video for the song featuring a man wearing a creepy mask with a long nose, which grows continuously throughout the clip.