10 Biggest Stone Temple Pilots Hits

Stone Temple Pilots Hits

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The 10 biggest Stone Temple Pilots hits primarily focus on the impact this rock group from San Diego, California, had on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts. Even though none of the hit singles issued by the Stone Temple Pilots made a big impression on the US Billboard Hot 100, this was a rock group that became one of the biggest influencers of grunge rock ever since it made its debut in 1989.

Among the multitude of hits the men experienced on the Mainstream Rock Chart, only “Sour Girl” made a chart appearance on the US Billboard Hot 100 as it became a number seventy-eight hit. That one came from the group’s fifth album, No. 4. However, was it good enough to make the cut as one of the ten biggest hits from Stone Temple Pilots? Although it did peak as high as number four on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart, the men from California had ten other songs that performed even better than that.

First Flight

Before officially becoming the Stone Temple Pilots in 1989, the lineup of David Allin, Robert DeLeo, Corey Hicock, and Scott Weiland performed together as Swing. Allin was the first to leave the lineup and was replaced by Eric Kretz. Hicock was next and was replaced by Robert’s older brother, Dean DeLeo. Dean was a successful businessman who was a musician once upon a time before making his career switch.

However, he never gave up playing the guitar and it was perceived by Robert that his love for performing music was still alive and kicking. At the time, Dean DeLeo wasn’t fond of the idea of playing for a band named Swing. As a result, the group became Mighty Joe Young and performed with this name until it was discovered it was a band name already taken by somebody else. Although a demo was already recorded, the group changed its name to Stone Temple Pilots in order to avoid a lawsuit. The name came from the STP Motor Oil stickers that had the band members toy with name possibilities using the brand’s initials.

Once a new name was established, the Stone Temple Pilots earned a sizeable fan base in San Diego before signing with Atlantic Records in 1992. This produced the group’s debut album, Core. It became a number three favorite on the US Billboard 200. The success of Core and its four singles came with a mixed reaction from music critics as some felt the group were merely grunge imitators instead of musical innovators. However, as far as the fans were concerned, “Plush” and “Creep” were two really good songs that belonged in the innovator category.

This became especially so after Scott Weiland and Den DeLeo played an acoustic version of “Plush” on the MTV Headbangers Ball. After this, it was a 1993 episode of MTV Unplugged that would feature the debut of “Big Empty.” This earned the Stone Temple Pilots recognition as one of the best new bands, as well as one of the worst new bands by a divided fan base of rock music.

There was no denying the fan base in favor of the Stone Temple Pilots was growing rapidly as the group continued to take flight as the music industry’s next big thing. As fate had it, Core went on to become a multi-platinum success. It was certified platinum eight times with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and twice with Music Canada. It also became platinum in Australia. In the UK and New Zealand, the album became certified gold.

Flying High

In 1994, the Stone Temple Pilots went back to work so it could put together its second album, Purple. It took less than a month to do it and it debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. The radio-friendly “Interstate Love Song” would be released as a single and it quickly became a huge hit on the album rock charts, as did its follow-up singles, ‘Vasoline” and “Big Empty.”

Only four months after the album was released, Purple already sold three million copies. This one became platinum six times with the RIAA, three times in Canada, and twice in Australia. It also became platinum in New Zealand. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) certified Purple at silver. After this, it was 1995’s Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop. The recording of this album took place inside a mansion in Santa Barbara, California as the men rented and lived in the place until it was completed. When it was released in 1996, fans found a very different album than the previous two.

The Stone Temple Pilots steered away from grunge rock in favor of adopting a mix of glam and psychedelic sounds. At first, this recording met with a mixed reaction as some critics once again bashed the group for its brand of music. At the same time, other critics were in favor of it but were also concerned about the band’s future. The recording also came at a time when Scott Weiland experienced a highly publicized bout with drug addiction and the law. Thankfully, the fans yet again proved they weren’t nearly as biased as they responded favorably to what they felt was a sharpened version of Stone Temple Pilots.

The album did do well as it became double platinum with the RIAA, as well as single platinum in Canada. It also became certified gold in Australia and New Zealand. However, the tour that was supposed to support Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Group met with a few disappointing issues. The Stone Temple Pilots pulled out of a support slot it had when KISS went on its reunion tour in 1996. While on tour, the final set of scheduled concerts had to be canceled as Weiland went to rehab in an effort to kick his drug addiction habit.

Crash Landing

It would be near the end of 1998 that the Stone Temple Pilots would unite again so it could record its fourth album, 4. It was designed as an album that returned the group back to its roots with a back-to-basics approach that came across as a contemporary version of alternative metal. This would be the recording that would feature “Sour Girl,” the first and only single released by the group that would make an impression on the US Billboard Hot 100. It wasn’t much of one at number seventy-eight but the music video featuring Sarah Michelle Gellar while she was still popular as Buffy the Vampire Slayer made the song more popular with MTV and YouTube fans.

The album would become certified platinum by the RIAA and Music Canada. After this, it was 2001’s Shangri-La Dee Da. Unlike the previous four albums, this one met with commercial disappointment and it seemed as if the best days of the Stone Temple Pilots may now be behind them. Although the album became certified gold with the RIAA and Music Canada, it was not enough.

Between this and the minimal support the group received from Atlantic Records at the time, this was enough for the Stone Temple Pilots to call for a break before recording any new albums. They did record “All in the Suit That You Wear” as the lead single intended for the 2002 Spider-Man movie and soundtrack but it was passed in favor of Chad Kroeger’s “Hero.”

2002 marked the beginning of a hiatus after rumor had it Dean DeLeo and Scott Weiland had a stark disagreement after the group’s final show of its concert tour. In 2003, Atlantic Records released Thank You as a Stone Temple Pilots greatest hits album and a bonus DVD. In an interview after this release, the DeLeo brothers announced the Stone Temple Pilots were officially dissolved as a rock band.

From 2003 until 2007, the core lineup embarked on separate projects that had Scott Weiland perform with the supergroup, Velvet Revolver, for the recording and release of two albums, 2004’s Contraband and 2007’s Libertad. At the same time, the DeLeos formed a supergroup of their own, Army of Anyone. Richard Patrick was their lead singer and Ray Luzier was their drummer. It recorded and released Army of Anyone as an album in 2007. In the meantime, drummer Eric Kretz was content operating his own business, Bomb Shelter Studios, while drumming for a band called Spiralarms.

Flight Trouble

The reformation of the Stone Temple Pilots began after Scott Weiland’s wife, Mary Forsberg, made a call to invite the DeLeo brothers to play at a private beach party that would lead to a reconciliation. As of 2008, the Stone Temple Pilots resumed its run as a group again with a North American tour. 2010’s Stone Temple Pilots would be the first album the group produced in nine years and it was first from the Rhino Entertainment Company. This was the album that featured the hit single, “Between the Lines.”

As ideal as it seemed to be that the Stone Temple Pilots were back together, fate had other ideas. Tensions between the bandmates began to mount up again which included a disagreement about which songs the DeLeo brothers felt Weiland was still able to perform as a vocalist. Among the songs they didn’t want Weiland to perform while the Stone Temple Pilots were on tour, he’d do on his own as a solo act when he ran his own tour. Little did he know his decision to do so angered his bandmates as they felt violated by his actions.

Adding fuel to the fire, a concert scheduled on September 17, 2012, in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada was delayed by two hours. Angering the fans even further, the Stone Temple Pilots cut its performance short by thirty minutes. The next day the group announced its scheduled concert in Lethbridge, Alberta was cancelled as Weiland was ordered to forty-eight hours of complete vocal rest. However, the remainder of 2012 revealed a series of events that there was more going on behind the scenes than Weiland’s physical health.

As of February 27, 2013, it was announced Scott Weiland was no longer a member of the Stone Temple Pilots. Instead of parting ways amicably, the DeLeos and Weiland feuded against each other in what became a legal dispute over who has the rights to the Stone Temple Pilots. A settlement was reached out of court where the DeLeos and Eric Kretz kept the name.

Starting on May 18, 2013, Dean and Rober DeLeo, along with Eric Kretz, performed with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington as special guests of a festival weenie roast near San Francisco, California. Together, they performed a new song called “Out of Time.” At that time, he officially became Weiland’s replacement as the Stone Temple Pilots new lead singer.

The year witnessed the group embark on a concert tour, as well as the release of an EP, High Rise. Two years after this, Bennington announced he was leaving the Stone Temple Pilots so he could focus more on Linkin Park. On December 3, 2015, less than a month after Bennington left the STP lineup, the body of Scott Weiland was found on his tour bus in Minnesota. The cause of death was an accidental dose of alcohol and narcotics. He was forty-eight years old.

Still Flying

After the amicable split with Chester Bennington and coping with the death of Scott Weiland, the surviving members of the Stone Temple Pilots moved on with the hunt for a new lead singer. The invite was extended in February 2016 and it would be Jeff Gutt who was chosen out of all the applicants to join the lineup.

In November 2017, “Meadow” became the group’s first single since Gutt and it became a number six hit on the US Mainstream Rock Chart. This came from the 2018 edition of Stone Temple Pilots  as did the album’s second single, “Roll Me Under.” That one became a number sixteen hit on the same chart. After this, the Stone Temple Pilots released its eighth studio album, Perdida.

This one featured “Fare Thee Well,” a single that became a number thirty-four hit on the US Mainstream Rock Chart. The latest recording featured an album that relied mostly on vintage instruments as the group leaned in favor of acoustic-style songs.

10 Biggest Stone Temple Pilots Hits

#10 – Dancing Days

On the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart, “Dancing Days” became a number-three hit after it was released as a single in 1995. This was a cover version performed by the Stone Temple Pilots that was originally released by Led Zeppelin in 1973 from its album, Houses of the Holy. The one from Stone Temple Pilots is part of its tribute album to the iconic UK-based rock band, Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin. The version performed by the Stone Temple Pilots also peaked as high as number eleven on the US Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart and at number forty-six on the Canadian Singles Chart.

The original inspiration behind this song came after Jimmy Page and Robert Plant visited Bombay, India. The influence of its musical culture served as a trigger that would have it recorded on the B-side with “Over the Hills and Far Away” on the A-side. While the version from Led Zeppelin didn’t seem to appease the critics when it was first released, it was the opposite story for the Stone Temple Pilots as these hard rockers gave “Dancing Days” the recognition it deserved as a hit.

#9 – Big Empty

“Big Empty” was a hit single the Stone Temple Pilots released from its second studio album, Purple. In 1994, it peaked as high as number three on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart and it was a number seven hit on the US Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart. In Australia and New Zealand, it also became a modest hit at number sixty-three and forty-seven, respectively.

This song was featured in The Crow as well as on its soundtrack and it won an MTV Movie Award for Best Song Featured in a Movie. There are similarities between this song and “Creep,” as it started off with an acoustic verse that was soft and slow before surging to a distorted chorus that was highlighted with heavy guitar.

#8 – Creep

Released in 1993, “Creep” was the third single coming from the Stone Temple Pilots’ debut album, Core. This one peaked as high as number two on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart and at number twelve on the US Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart and the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs Chart. This also became the group’s second international hit as it became a number twenty-four hit in New Zealand, a number forty-five hit in Canada, and a number seventy-six hit in Australia.

The song was performed from the perspective of a young man whose apathetic transition from childhood to adulthood had him expressing a state of uncertainty. This became a favorite song for many performers and recovering artists to cover placed “Creep” as one of Stone Temple Pilots’ signature songs.

#7 – Between the Lines

“Between the Lines” was a 2010 release by the Stone Temple Pilots from the group’s sixth studio album, Stone Temple Pilots. On the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart, it became a number-two hit. It also topped the charts belonging to the US Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart and the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs Chart. In Canada, it became a number fifty hit. This was the first hit the group achieved since 2003’s All in the Suit You Wear,” a single that came from its previous album, Thank You.

At the 2011 edition of the Grammy Awards, “Between the Lines” was nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance. It lost out to Them Crooked Vultures and “New Fang.” What “Between the Lines” did after it was released as a single made history by making the largest chart jump on the US Billboard Modern Rock Chart from number forty to number two in a single week before it peaked at number one.

The inspiration for the song came to Robert DeLeo after he expressed thoughts about animals, zombies, and the 1960s era of musical and fashion influence. This was brought to Scott Weiland who’d write up the lyrics before presenting it to DeLeo and his brother, Dean, as a punk song.

#6 – Lady Picture Show

1996’s “Lady Picture Show” was a single that came from Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop. This was the Stone Temple Pilots’ third studio album, a recording that debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200. “Lady Picture Show” became the sixth hit single from the group that would top the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. It also peaked as high as number six on the US Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart. The song exposed a tale of a dancer who was gang raped and was having a difficult time getting past this horrific experience. What made it stand out was the similarities it had with guitar classics from the 1970s, as well as the influence of psychedelic rock. This also featured Scott Weiland performing with a higher croon instead of his more familiar growl.

#5 – Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart

“Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart” was released as a single in 1996. This one came from the group’s third studio album, Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop. The Stone Temple Pilots earned its fifth number-one hit on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart with this song, as well as in Canada on its alternative rock chart. On the US Billboard Alternative Airplay Songs Chart, it peaked as high as number three. The band’s drummer, Eric Kretz, wrote this song while the lyrics were put together by Scott Weiland.

The song was about dealing with a bad acid-related drug experience while at the same time striving for redemption. As far as fans and music critics are concerned, “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart” is one of the Stone Temple Pilots’s finest performances as a group.

#4 – Big Bang Baby

“Big Bang Baby” became a number-one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1996 as the first of three hit singles from Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop. It also became a number-one hit on the Canadian Rock/Alternative Chart. On the US Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart, it peaked as high as number two. This also became a hit in Australia at number thirty-seven and in the UK at number eleven on its Rock & Metal chart.

“Big Bang Baby” was produced as a musical statement by the Stone Temple Pilots that was purposely written to seem as if the lyrics didn’t make any sense. It was designed to be less technical than the majority of the group’s work as a dark approach to a person’s psyche and some of the unpredictabilities that come with it. The musical formula Robert DeLeo used came from the influence of 1950s music by Little Richard. As for the lyrics, Scott Weiland had “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” in his head, a 1968 classic by the Rolling Stones.

#3 – Vasoline

As soon as “Vasoline” was released as a single in 1994, it became one of the Stone Temple Pilots’ signature hits. It came from the group’s second studio album, Purple. On the US Mainstream Rock Chart, it became a number-one hit. It peaked as high as number two on the US Billboard Alternative Airplay Songs Chart. In Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, “Vasoline” was a top forty hit. On the UK Singles Chart, it peaked as high as number forty-eight. The wah-wah pedal used by bassist Robert DeLeo was credited for the song’s unusual intro while lyricist Scott Weiland sang about the feeling of insignificance like a bunch of flies.

The inspiration for the song partly came from Weiland’s misinterpretation of an Eagles classic, “Live in the Fast Lane.” Before he was corrected as a kid, Weiland assumed the men were singing “Flies in the Vaseline.” Another key influence to “Vaseline” was the dependency Weiland had at the time on heroin which turned his life upside down, making him feel like he was stuck in a rut that seemed impossible to get out of.

#2 – Plush

“Plush became the first number-one hit for the Stone Temple Pilots after it was released as a single in 1993. This came from the group’s debut studio album, Core. It also served as a big breakthrough for the men from California as it became an international fan favorite. “Plush” was the result of Robert DeLeo expressing his fondness of ragtime music while Scott Weiland sang about a kidnapped girl whose body was found as a suspected victim of foul play. What “Plush” did was make history as the first alternative rock song to hit the number-one spot on the US Billboard Album Rock Tracks while the music industry at the time was at the peak of its grunge influence.

In 1994, it won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance after it already won an MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist in 1993. It also won two awards with Billboard, namely for Rock Song of the Year and Top Modern Rock Act of the Year. It also earned Stone Temple Pilots an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock New Artist. This song remains an all-time favorite that still receives significant airplay on many radio stations in North America and overseas. This was a song of choice for video games such as 2010’s Rock Band 3 and 2010’s Power Gig: Rise of the Six String. In 2015, “Plush” became a hit again on the music charts as it peaked as high as number seven on the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs.

#1 – Interstate Love Song

The biggest hit for the Stone Temple Pilots was “Interstate Love Song” after it was released as a single in 1994. It was released from the group’s second studio album, Purple, and it peaked as high as number one on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. On the US Billboard Alternative Airplay Songs Chart, it was a number two hit while on the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs Chart at number nine.

In Canada, “Interstate Love Song” peaked as high as number twenty. Among the nations of Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, it was a minor hit that maintained the rock group’s popularity as this song and Purple continued to keep the fans rockin’ until the Stone Temple Pilots would score another hit in those nations in 1996 with “Big Bang Baby.”

“Interstate Love Song” was among the brightest highlights of grunge rock that also featured the influence of alternative rock, country rock, and hard rock. The Bossa nova style composed by Robert DeLeo worked out beautifully as Scott Weiland lyrically shared the troubles he was experiencing with his girlfriend.

This came at a time when he tried to balance his personal and professional life issues while contending with the heroin addiction that plagued him. As Weiland wrote the lyrics, he attempted to approach the storyline of the song from the perspective of his girlfriend. In the music video, a Pinocchio theme was used to portray the lying theme that came from the song’s lyrics.

10 Biggest Stone Temple Pilots Hits article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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