Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Stone Temple Pilots were able to make alternative rock into stadium rock; naturally, they became the most critically despised band of their era. Accused by many critics of being nothing more than rip-off artists, pilfering from Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains, the band nevertheless became major stars in 1993. And the influences of those bands are apparent in their music, but Stone Temple Pilots do manage to change things around a bit. STP are more concerned with tight song structure and riffs than punk rage. Their closest antecedents are not the Sex Pistols or Hüsker Dü; instead the band resembles arena rock acts from the '70s -- it's popular hard rock that sounds good on the radio and in concert. No matter what the critics might say, Stone Temple Pilots have undeniably catchy riffs and production; there's a reason why over three million people bought their debut album, Core, and why their second album, Purple, shot to number one when it was released.
Following the success of Purple and its accompanying tour, the band took some time off, during which the group's lead singer, Scott Weiland, developed a heroin addiction. In the spring of 1995, he was arrested for possession of heroin and cocaine, and was sentenced to a rehabilitation program. Following his completion of the program, Stone Temple Pilots recorded their third album. Released in the spring of 1996, Tiny Music...Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop, entered the charts at number four. Shortly after its release, Stone Temple Pilots announced that Weiland had relapsed and entered a drug rehabilitation facility, thereby canceling the group's plans for a summer tour. Weiland's drug problems and the group's inability to support Tiny Music with a tour meant that the album couldn't replicate the success of its predecessors -- by the end of the summer, it had fallen out the Top 50 and had stalled at platinum, which was considerably less than what the group's two previous albums achieved.
Still battling his personal demons, Weiland recorded a 1998 solo album, 12 Bar Blues, while the remaining members of STP recruited vocalist Dave Coutts to record a self-titled LP under the name Talk Show. To the surprise of many onlookers, Stone Temple Pilots then reunited, although shortly after completing 1999's No. 4 Weiland was sentenced to a year in a Los Angeles county jail for violating his probation stemming from an earlier conviction for heroin possession. A newly rejuvenated Stone Temple Pilots and a sober Weiland emerged stronger than ever during the new millennium. The band got back to basics on Shangri-La Dee Da, released in summer 2001. Two years later, STP issued the ambitious greatest-hits package Thank You. The audio-only edition featured 15 tracks -- 13 hits spanning the group's entire career, an acoustic version of "Plush" dating from 1992, and the new track "All in the Suit That You Wear." Thank You also appeared in a CD/DVD format that included three hours of videos, live performances, and behind-the-scenes footage
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