|Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop|
|Studio album by|
|Released||March 26, 1996|
|Recorded||October 1995 – January 1996|
|Studio||Westerly Ranch, Santa Ynez, California|
|Stone Temple Pilots chronology|
|Singles from Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop|
Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop is the third studio album by American rock band Stone Temple Pilots, released on March 26, 1996 through Atlantic Records. After a brief hiatus throughout 1995, the band regrouped to record the album together at Westerly Ranch in Santa Ynez, California, where they also lived at the time.Like all of the band's albums up to that point, production was handled by Brendan O'Brien.
The album saw the band deviate from the grunge sound present on their first two records and incorporate a wider variety of different influences, including psychedelic rock and glam rock. Lead vocalist Scott Weiland opted for a higher and raspier tone for much of the album's material, as opposed to the deeper vocals present on their previous albums. The album also features a wider array of instrumentation, including organ, vibraphone, and trumpet.
Tiny Music... initially received mixed reviews, similar to the band's earlier work, but has since received acclaim for radically reinventing the band's sound and image. The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 and all three of its singles—"Big Bang Baby", "Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart", and "Lady Picture Show"—reached the top of the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.The album has been certified 2x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The band promoted the album with a tour throughout 1996 and 1997, although it had to be cut short due to Weiland's ongoing battles with substance abuse.
In early 1995, shortly after the band was forced to scrap two weeks' worth of recorded material, lead singer Scott Weiland was arrested for heroin and cocaine possession and sentenced to one year's probation. In the months following this incident, Weiland formed his own side-band, the Magnificent Bastards, and recorded songs for the Tank Girl soundtrack and for a John Lennon tribute album.
During this time the rest of the band decided to put together their own side project, which would later become the band Talk Show with Dave Coutts singing. In the fall of 1995, when Stone Temple Pilots regrouped to record again for Tiny Music, Robert and Dean got together to figure out which songs should be Tiny Music songs and which songs should be Talk Show songs. Dean would later say "Robert and I had about 30 songs, and we sat in the room one night and basically went down the list and marked next to every song: Scott, Scott, Dave, Scott, Dave, Dave, Scott.... It's really weird, because in all reality it was like 'Big Bang Baby' could've been on [the] Talk Show record and 'Everybody Loves My Car' could've been on Tiny Music."Weiland's drug use continued after his sentence, and STP cancelled some of their 1996-1997 tour for Tiny Music so that he could go to rehab.
Tiny Music displays a drastic change in the band's sound, featuring music strongly influenced by '60s rock and bands such as The Beatles. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic stated in his review of the album that "Tiny Music illustrates that the band aren't content with resting on their laurels" and "STP have added a new array of sounds that lend depth to their immediately accessible hooks," naming shoegaze and jangle pop as two examples of genres explored on the album. Erlewine also wrote that the album "showcases the band at their most tuneful and creative."
Doug McCausland of Alternative Nation said "Tiny Music really gelled the individual band members' musical tastes together into a new sound: vocalist Weiland's underground punk and glam sensibilities, guitarist Dean DeLeo's upbringing in sixties and seventies rock, and bassist Robert DeLeo's interest in genres like jazz and bossa nova."
The album cover was designed by John Eder to resemble a 70s-style LP cover and based on an idea from Weiland, features a woman in a swimsuit standing in a pool with a crocodile in it.The cover model was Maya Siklai (formerly Goodman), a family friend of art director John Heiden. Said John Eder, "The little altar in the background was a last minute addition Scott wanted to put in, and it actually existed in his house, where I went to shoot it."
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|
|Pitchfork||0.8/10 (1996) |
Rolling Stone favored the album, regarding it as the group's best effort to date. They expressed surprise, however, at "the clattering, upbeat character of the music" given Weiland's much-publicized run-ins with drugs and the law. The magazine also featured STP on its cover of issue No. 753 in February 1997.
David Browne of Entertainment Weekly , however, was less favorable of the album, writing that "none of it... has a distinct personality."
Band photographer John Eder recounts of the mixed reception, "I remember [Tiny Music] getting totally trashed critically, for example in Entertainment Weekly, with the critic even singling out and making fun of the bands' physical appearances – like, their actual body types – in the little snapshot fold-out thing that came in the CD."
Following Weiland's death, Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins posited, "It was STP's 3rd album that had got me hooked, a wizardly mix of glam and post-punk, and I confessed to Scott, as well as the band many times, how wrong I'd been in assessing their native brilliance. And like Bowie can and does, it was Scott's phrasing that pushed his music into a unique, and hard to pin down, aesthetic sonicsphere. Lastly, I'd like to share a thought which though clumsy, I hope would please Scott In Hominum. And that is if you asked me who I truly believed were the great voices of our generation, I'd say it were he, Layne, and Kurt."
In 2016, The A.V. Club noted that Tiny Music "was an almost shocking leap forward in creative ambition" and that "[STP] got weirder and better than anyone gives them credit for."
In 2021, Pitchfork published a positive review of the 25th anniversary reissue of Tiny Music, observing that it is "primarily an album of expansion" and acknowledged their original 1996 review (in which writer Ryan Schreiber wished that Weiland would "tie [himself] off and fall directly into space forever")as "genuinely deplorable." Pitchfork critic Marty Sartini Garner also praised the band's 1997 Panama City Beach concert included in the reissue, stating that it "captures Stone Temple Pilots' power as a live band."
In the United States, the album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 albums chart on the issue dated April 13, 1996,with 162,500 copies sold. This was a significant decline when compared to the bands previous efforts and can in part be attributed to the decline of grunge in the mid-90’s. Because of the tour cancellation, Tiny Music did not receive as much exposure as initially intended. The album was certified 2× platinum but was not as commercially successful as STP's first two albums.
All lyrics are written by Scott Weiland
|1.||"Press Play" (instrumental)||1:21|
|2.||"Pop's Love Suicide"||D. DeLeo||3:43|
|3.||"Tumble in the Rough"||Weiland||3:18|
|4.||"Big Bang Baby"||R. DeLeo||3:23|
|5.||"Lady Picture Show"||R. DeLeo||4:08|
|6.||"And So I Know"||R. DeLeo||3:57|
|7.||"Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart"||Kretz||2:57|
|8.||"Art School Girl"||3:35|
|10.||"Ride the Cliché"||D. DeLeo||3:17|
|11.||"Daisy" (instrumental)||R. DeLeo||2:18|
|12.||"Seven Caged Tigers"||D. DeLeo||4:17|
Note: "Press Play" has a length of 4:27 on LP reissues.
Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.
Stone Temple Pilots
|Year||Single||Mainstream Rock Tracks||Modern Rock Tracks||CAN Alternative 30|
|1996||"Big Bang Baby"||1||2||1|
|"Lady Picture Show"||1||6||2|
|"Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart"||1||3||1|
|"Tumble in the Rough"||9||36||23|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Gold||7,500^|
|United States (RIAA)||2× Platinum||2,000,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
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Scott Richard Weiland was an American singer and songwriter. He was best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Stone Temple Pilots from 1989 to 2003 and again from 2008 to 2013, recording six albums with them, and as the lead vocalist of the rock supergroup Velvet Revolver from 2003 to 2008. He also released one album with rock supergroup Art of Anarchy in 2015, as well as four solo studio albums and several collaborations with other musicians throughout his career.
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