Scott Weiland – A Tribute: Ten Brilliant Songs


This list is introductory, displaying in chronological order of release a selection of some amazing tracks of which Scott Weiland was part. Weiland, who sadly passed away in December 2015, was frontman of two of the great rock bands of the post-Cobain era as well as a solo artist. This article does not even scratch the surface when it comes to all the great material that Weiland’s bands released. Such great songs as ‘Wicked Garden’, ‘Unglued’, ‘I Got You‘, ‘Loving the Alien’, ‘Days of the Week’ and ‘Let It Roll’ did not make it.  

Furthermore, while generally here quality is more important factor in the selection process than variety,  the selection is defined not necessarily as the best ten songs featuring Weiland but a brilliant ten-song playlist. It could be said because of the similarity of ‘Big Empty’ to ‘Creep’ that even though ‘Big Empty’ is arguably better than the 1992 hit ‘Plush’, its inclusion instead of ‘Plush’ would make the playlist weaker. This is both because of ‘Big Empty’s similarity to ‘Creep’ and the importance of ‘Plush’ in the history of grunge and of Stone Temple Pilots.

It could also be stated that due to its complete lack of material from the last three STP albums and Weiland’s solo album, this list could be criticised for lack of chronological balance in terms of examining STP and Weiland’s solo music. However, the lack of coverage of these albums is due to the superiority of Velvet Revolver’s output over the later STP material also released during the 21st century, and, additionally, the fact that STP’s catalogue up to and including 1996’s Tiny Music was generally stronger than the albums by either of those bands or by Weiland on his own that were released after that year.


Released as the lead single from STP’s debut, ‘Core’, ‘Plush’ demonstrates Weiland’s greatness as a vocalist and the band’s knack for coming up with great riffs, even if, as Kyle Anderson points out in his book on grunge, Accidental Revolution, the song sounded “way too derivative of Pearl Jam”. Even though the song is far from the best they ever recorded, it is still great. This fact lets us know what a brilliant band STP was.



Besides the anger and energy found in faster songs like Pearl Jam’s ‘Not For You’ and Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, grunge is also known for another kind of rock, one which channels through its musicians and lyricists a kind of forlorn release which can be just as cathartic as screaming like mad. Conveying a type of sadness which also occupies the majority of Radiohead’s song of the same name, STP’s ‘Creep’ also possesses at times a weight which, contrasted with less dynamic moments, is a cornerstone of the quiet-loud formula. This musical idea, as it has been documented by the BBC and other sources, fuels many more grunge songs.


Piece of Pie

While with ‘Plush’ STP has been accused of mimicking Pearl Jam stylistically, one could make a case that ‘Piece of Pie’ sounds a lot like another grunge icon, Alice in Chains. That said, it is still one of STP’s most underrated tracks.


Showcasing a psychedelic feel, an aura (amplified by the imagery of the song’s video) which is rare in grunge except for its quite frequent appearance in STP songs, this song displays many great features that light up many of the band’s compositions, including a simple but effective verse riff and a quite anthemic chorus.

Interstate Love Song

Starring a bass performance more interesting than most musicians’, another excellent showcase on guitar, and, let’s not forget, great lyrics, ‘Interstate Love Song’, quite complex yet rather catchy, rates as one of the greatest songs of what is arguably the greatest decade for music.

Lady Picture Show

The relatively gentle rocker ‘Lady Picture Show’ has inevitably been compared to The Beatles, but it is more than just another track arguably excessively lacking in originality. The song contains a description of a reclusive and confused actress that makes this a memorably excellent lyrical outing as well as a polished pop gem.

Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart

With superb performances from all musicians – they shine here both as individuals and collectively – ‘Trippin’…’ is another supreme effort from ‘Tiny Music…’. Scratchy guitars intertwine with an intricate bass line and powerful drums, and Weiland’s singing of the refrain, featuring the words “I’m not dead and I’m not for sale”, is as energizing as it is energetic.


The shredding here sounds so effective that it attacks your ear like a painless cheese-grater: just another day’s work for Slash, then. Also combined with its infectious riff is ‘Slither’’s raw edge: a grinding chug. This potent substance means that Velvet Revolver’s all-star cast, featuring Weiland and the core of Guns ‘N Roses’ instrumentalists, lives up to its billing; that is not an easy feat.

Fall to Pieces

Apparently designed as the exactly the kind of stadium-filler specialised in by Guns ‘N’ Roses and, to a lesser extent, STP, ‘Fall to Pieces’ features star turns from every performer involved. Superlative pop with a great mixture of tenderness and muscle, it is the epitome of brilliant mainstream rock.

She Builds Quick Machines

Yet another classic of hard rock, ‘She Builds Quick Machines’ does not make much sense as a whole lyrically, but the way that Weiland sings it suggests that whatever the words mean, they are most significant to him. To this often-great singing is added great backing: the effective, insistent rhythm section and another monumental solo.

David J. Lownds
David J. Lownds is an aspiring author and philosopher who also writes for Muso’s Guide, Far Out Magazine and his own blog ( He listens to almost every style of music from jazz to grunge to underground hip-hop, and is learning to play bass and acoustic guitar. CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Libertines, Green Day, John Frusciante, Arctic Monkeys SPECIALIST SUBJECT: The life and work of Dave Grohl, and Anthony Kiedis.

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