Stone Temple Pilots: Core (25th Anniversary Box Set) Review

A few weeks ago, Rhino released various editions of Stone Temple Pilot’s debut, Core, in various configurations.  Because I’m such a fan of the album, I splurged on the complete package that came with a bonus item!

When the news of this release came out in late June/early July, I jumped on it.  I ordered it from the band’s web store, or should I say the store that’s run by Live Nation and I’m not a happy camper.  Before I get into the set that was released by Rhino, I need to share my dissatisfaction first, and this has to do with obtaining this set, not the set itself.

When this went up for pre-order, how it is worded, I thought this “limited” set would only be available via the web store.  It turns out the bonus 7″ that comes with is the only exclusive thing about the set.  They claim to only have 1000 of them made but nothing is numbered and they bundle is still available to buy.

Imagine my surprise when I saw on Amazon.ca had this set available for $68.22 Canadian while the set I ordered was $79.99 American.  Although I would have to pay Ontario tax on the Amazon order, it would still be less than the shipping in US dolars I paid and the $79.99 when converted into Canadian funds.  To add insult to injury, it took almost weeks to get here (shipped out before the release date), they wouldn’t provide a tracking number that worked, AND they way they filled out the paperwork, I got dinged for an extra $22 Canadian.  All this extra money I’m out is not worth it for a 7″ record bonus.

Live Nation has not gotten back to any of my emails regarding a proper tracking number, their return policy, or my dissatisfaction for both issues and not hearing back from them in the first place.  They won’t get my money again.

With all that ugliness out of the way, as you can see from the sticker below, this super deluxe version comes with 4 CDs, 1 DVD, and a 180 gram record or the album.  In a nutshell here’s the breakdown of what comes on what:

CD 1: original album remastered
CD 2: B-sides and Demos
CD 3: Live 1993: Castaic Lake Natural Amphitheater (July 2, 1993) & Live at the Reading Festival (August 27, 1993)
CD 4: MTV Unplugged (November 17th, 1993)
DVD: 5.1 Surround Mix and 24/96 Stereo Audio and the music videos from the album

For the specific songs on each CD and DVD information, you can view the picture I’ve added when you scroll down or you can go to this page.

fullsizeoutput_4cf4

I remember hearing the song “Sex Type Thing” during an airing of the video on MuchMusic and I was sold immediately.  For those not in the know, MuchMusic WAS a music video station.  It was Canada’s answer to MTV and it was wonderful in the 80s and 90s.

This album, originally released in 1992, was an album that I connected with right away.  From the hard rock/metal edge to it, to some catchy full out rock songs, and intertwining some calmer tracks, it was a complete package and I can put this on and listen to it front to back.

The packaging for this set is pretty cool.  It’s the album cover but on a hard stock booklet.  It’s got a great metallic, glossy finish to it and the logo is actually embroidered and it pops out from the front just a bit.  It is awesome to see Rhino took the whole theme and wrap it around to the back.  The presentation is high-end and it’s important to me to see a company go all the way to pay tribute to such an important release not just in my life, but music in the 90s in general.

 

 

 

There’s a paper that is stuck to the back and it allows people checking this item out in the stores a chance to see what’s included.  I’m really impressed with all the unreleased stuff compiled here.

fullsizeoutput_4cf5

When you open the case/booklet that holds everything, you’re welcomed by a really cool photo of the band in their early days.  As soon as I saw the photo, I thought about high school, my friends, and how my teens were an amazing part of my life.  Oh, the power of nostalgia and how music can instantly transfer you to the past.

fullsizeoutput_4cf7

On the other side of the flap, you’ll find the DVD and the four CDs.  The 5.1 mix sound on the DVD unbelievable.  I love sitting down with albums I think I know like the back of my hand and just hear things pop more than ever.

fullsizeoutput_4cf6

Also included in the package is a booklet with many pictures of the band at this point in their lives as well as an insightful write-up about the band and the album.

fullsizeoutput_4cf8

Here’s the 180g vinyl that features the remastered album.  I’m really on the fence about the remaster.  I’m not sure that I really hear too much difference.  It does sound great but I have the Music on Vinyl pressing that’s spread over two vinyl (well, one and a half because side D has an etching) and I think that one sounds just as good, if not better.

fullsizeoutput_4d00

The “bonus” I got from ordering this from the Live Nation/STP site is this 7″ that features the songs “Plush” and “Sin.”  I don’t know if I’ll ever spin this because both songs are on the album.  I guess this is just for fans to obtain this UK 7″ that was released in 1993.  The prices on Discogs for the original hovers around $16, so I don’t think it would be too hard to get.  I wish the 7″ would have featured something different not included in the box set OR at least live tracks.  It’s a missed opportunity.

 

 

 

I really like the work Rhino did for this release. I think it really celebrates the album and the legacy of the band. Purchasing this was a no-brainer because I love this album.  I remember back in the day where people were claiming this band was a Pearl Jam rip-off.  They didn’t even sound alike to me, so I had no idea where people got that crap from.  I hope Purple gets the same treatment when its 25th anniversary happens.

I know the feature started out with a bit of a negative but don’t let my experience obtaining it deter you from picking up this up.  Just don’t order from Live Nation.

Enjoy the unboxing video that features my first impressions.

 

Advertisements