On this day in music history: June 7, 1994 – “Purple”, the second album by Stone Temple Pilots is released. Produced by Brendan O’Brien, it is recorded at The Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA, Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, MN, Southern Tracks Recording in Atlanta, GA and Harptone Studios from May 23, 1993, July 12, 1993 and March 1994. With the success of their debut album “Core”, Stone Temple Pilots begin work on the follow up. During a break in recording, STP tape an episode of MTV Unplugged. They debut a new song from the forthcoming album titled “Big Empty” (#3 Album Rock, #7 Modern Rock). Originally titled “Only Dying”, it’s changed after death of actor Brandon Lee, when the song is also featured on the soundtrack to “The Crow”. Though it does not make the original cut of the Unplugged special, MTV begins airing the clip heavily. Fending off barbs from critics that they are merely “Pearl Jam copy cats”, Stone Temple Pilots are able to silence their detractors with the one-two punch of “Empty” and its follow up “Vasoline” (#1 Album Rock, #2 Modern Rock, #38 Hot 100 Airplay). Receiving some of their best critical notices to date, “Purple” is an instant smash debuting at number one. “Interstate Love Song” (#1 Album Rock, #2 Modern Rock, #18 Hot 100 Airplay) becomes a radio staple, spending a record breaking fifteen weeks at the top of that chart. Written during the tour for the “Core” album, “Interstate” begins as a chord progression and partial melody written by bassist Robert DeLeo. Lead singer Scott Weiland takes what is originally the intro section, into its immediately recognizable and hooky chorus. Weiland records his lead vocal on it in only one take. The album’s cover artwork features a painting a child riding on a Qilin (a mythical Chinese chimerical creature), with the back cover featuring a picture of a cake with “12 Gracious Melodies” written on it in icing. The cassette edition features slightly altered artwork with the child holding the Chinese character of the title in his hand, rather than in the lower left hand corner of the CD booklet and vinyl LP sleeve. Issued on a limited basis on vinyl in 1994, the US LP is pressed on translucent purple vinyl, and the UK edition on opaque purple marbled vinyl. The vinyl edition is reissued by Music On Vinyl in 2013, pressed on standard black, and limited edition purple vinyl. It is also reissued by Rhino Records in 2013 on 180 gram black vinyl, and as a limited edition marbled purple vinyl LP through retailer Hot Topic. For its 25th anniversary, “Purple” is remastered and reissued in various configurations, including a three CD + vinyl LP super deluxe box, set for release on September 13, 2019. “Purple” spends three weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 6x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
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