A Beautifully Remastered Classic
Stone Temple Pilots are re-releasing their debut album Core just in time for its 25th anniversary. For devoted Stone Temple Pilots fans and new listeners alike, Core’s re-release in the form of the 25th Anniversary Super Deluxe Set, brings some wonderful remastered hits along with a multitude of demos, live versions and MTV unplugged versions of their hit songs. Spanning four discs, Stone Temple Pilots have created a masterpiece celebrating their own legacy.
As always, the original songs off of Core are instant hits that deserve a revisit. From the rambunctious “Wicked Garden” to the softer “Creep,” and of course the incredibly recognizable “Plush,” Core is just as amazing of an album as it was when it first came out. 25 years haven’t aged the songs one bit, and it’s often at these mile markers in an artist or band’s career that their original songs sound and feel fresher than ever.
What makes this anniversary album so incredible however is the extra content that comes with it. The demos on disc two especially are some golden treasures that fans will love. The rougher sound of “Sex Type Thing,” without the treatment that songs ultimately got before being released will bring a whole new way of viewing the band’s first single. The acoustic demo of “Plush,” with its simple percussion and mainly only the vocals of the late Scott Weiland shining through is almost better than the final version of the song itself, simply because of its beautiful simplicity. Another interesting addition to disc two, the demo of “Sin” stands out because it’s significantly less muted than the final version, an oddity for a demo. Weiland’s vocals again make the demo great, for they are highlighted more than in the final version.
Disc three gives us some live versions of the original songs off of the album, and like any live album, this disc doesn’t disappoint. Something about live music makes it such a very different experience from listening to the regular album, even if the live music isn’t being listened to in person. “Wicked Garden” from Live at Castaic Lake Natural Amphitheater on July 2nd, 1993 is a lot of fun. You can feel the band’s energy, and the crowd’s enthusiasm and the recording itself is fantastic. It’s hard to believe that it was taken back in 1993, as it sounds like it could have been recorded just a few days ago. Another great live song off of disc three is “Lounge Fly,” a song from the band’s second album Purple. This version of the song is from the Reading Festival, August 27th, 1993. Despite it not being from Core, it’s an exciting live version of a great song, and it’s not hard to see why Stone Temple Pilots decided to include it on this re-release. Hopefully, when 25 years of Purple comes up they will re-release it too, for hearing “Lounge Fly” feels like much of a sneak peek.
The fourth and final disc of the album is the MTV Unplugged songs from November 17th, 1993. Starting off with “Crackerman” and ending with “Sex Type Thing,” the songs on this disc are a flash to the past. MTV Unplugged was a staple of music in the early ’90s; it’s always a treasure to be able to revisit a band’s appearance. Two golden gems are the cover of David Bowie’s “Andy Warhol” and another song off of Purple “Big Empty.” Both songs provide a fantastic wrap-up to the album, adding a bit of variety to the mix.
Stone Temple Pilots absolutely outdid themselves with the re-release of Core. It has a little bit of something for everyone, from diehard fans to people who are just listening to the band for the first time. The Core 25th Anniversary Super Deluxe Set comes with all four discs, but the first two; the remaster and the live album, can also be purchased on their own as the Core 25th Anniversary Deluxe CD.