Album Review: Stone Temple Pilots “Tiny Music…Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop” Super Deluxe Edition

“Tiny Music…Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop” Super Deluxe Edition

Stone Temple Pilots

Rhino

3 Cd’s, 1 LP

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Released originally on March 26, 1996, “Tiny Music…Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop” was Stone Temple Pilots third studio release and the follow up to the bands 1994 sophomore release “Purple”. “Tiny Music…” would was a huge success achieving double-platinum status and yielding three #1 hits – “Big Bang Baby,” “Lady Picture Show,” and “Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart.” To celebrate these achievements Rhino Records have release a “Super Deluxe Edition” of the album which includes a newly remastered version of the original studio album on both CD and vinyl, plus unreleased early versions of tracks, instrumentals, and alternate takes along with a complete concert recording from 1997 which all come housed in a colorful chromatic gatefold.

Easily one of the biggest bands of the nineties Stone Temple Pilots churned out hit after hit across four different albums, with three of those hits coming specifically from “Tiny Music…”. Given the albums achievements a special re-release was certainly fitting. Housed in a reflective gatefold adorned with the album’s original artwork the releases instantly grab’s the listener even before playing its first note. Upon opening the album, the release is separated into two sections. On the left you have the newly remastered LP of the record along with an oversized version of the liner notes which include lyrics and some great photos of the band from this era. The 180g LP remaster is crisp and pronounced which pairs nicely with the broad instrumentation and sounds on tracks like “Pop’s Love Suicide”, “Lady Picture Show” and the instrumental track “Daisy”.

On the right side of the collection are 3 different colored CD’s. Disc 1 is the remastered CD version of the album which includes all the same qualities of the LP version but in a more portable format.  Disc 2 features previously unreleased, alternate versions of each of the albums 12 tracks including one additional song (“Kretz’s Acoustic Song”). What I really enjoyed about this was that the track listing remained virtually the same as the studio release however, the alternate versions of each song brought a newness to the album that made it fresh while still retaining the structure and feel of the original. Often “previously unreleased” material is kept from the public for a reason and then when it is finally released often it’s done so as sort of an afterthought and it is lacking structure. This was not the case here. Disc 3 was easily my favorite of three as it is home to a previously unreleased live show from Spring break 1997. The band sounds strong and it’s great to hear the “Tiny Music…” songs performed live alongside other classic STP songs like “Crackerman”, “Vasoline” and “Interstate Love Song”. The only downside here is that I wish they had chosen a different show to include. Don’t get me wrong the one chosen is great however having been fortunate enough to see the band on the “Tiny Music…” tour it would have been great to have been able to relive more of that live show experience especially the mid-show acoustic sets they were doing at the time.

From front to back the “Tiny Music…Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop” Super Deluxe Edition is a nicely put together piece for Stone Temple Pilot fans. Even if you already have a copy of the original “Tiny Music…” album the newly re-mastering is certainly worth checking out but, where you will really find interest is the two discs containing brand new unreleased material. This is where the release really shined and the only thing I found lacking in this section was unlike the original album which included the liner notes and photos which accompanied the release in 1997 there was nothing visual to correspond with the studio outtakes and live performance. Had something additional like that been included this set would have been an instant homerun.

TINY MUSIC … SONGS FROM THE VATICAN GIFT SHOP: SUPER DELUXE EDITION

3-CD/1-LP Track Listing

Disc One: Original Album 2021 Remaster

  1. “Press Play”
  2. “Pop’s Love Suicide”
  3. “Tumble In The Rough”
  4. “Big Bang Baby”
  5. “Lady Picture Show”
  6. “And So I Know”
  7. “Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart”
  8. “Art School Girl”
  9. “Adhesive”
  10. “Ride The Cliché”
  11. “Daisy”
  12. “Seven Caged Tigers”

Disc Two: Early Versions, Instrumentals, & Alternate Mixes

  1. “Press Play” – Full Length Version *
  2. “Pop’s Love Suicide” – Early Version *
  3. “Tumble In The Rough” – Early Version *
  4. “Big Bang Baby” – Early Version *
  5. “Lady Picture Show” – Early Version *
  6. “And So I Know” – Early Version *
  7. “Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart” – Early Version *
  8. “5 Or 4 Times (Art School Girl)” – Early Version *
  9. “Adhesive” – Instrumental *
  10. “Ride The Cliché” – Instrumental *
  11. “Seven Caged Tigers” – Early Version *
  12. “Big Bang Baby” – Alternate Version *
  13. “Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart” – Percussion Mix *
  14. “Art School Girl” – Jaw Harp Version *
  15. “Kretz’s Acoustic Song” *

Disc Three: Live at Club La Vela, Panama City Beach, FL (3/14/97)

  1. “Crackerman” *
  2. “Meatplow” *
  3. “Tumble In The Rough” *
  4. “Vasoline” *
  5. “Wicked Garden” *
  6. “Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart” *
  7. “Plush” *
  8. “Big Empty” *
  9. “Interstate Love Song” *
  10. “Lady Picture Show” *
  11. “Unglued” *
  12. “Big Bang Baby” *
  13. “Dead & Bloated” *
  14. “Sex Type Thing” *

* previously unreleased

 

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