This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the release of Purple, Stone Temple Pilots’ behemoth of a breakout record. In honor of the occasion, a super deluxe edition of Purple has been released that contains remastered versions of the original eleven studio recordings that the world fell in love with, early demos and acoustic versions (some of which are covers), as well as previously unreleased live recordings of a 1994 concert held in New Haven, Connecticut. These components of the super deluxe edition of Purple allow listeners to develop a deeper and more intimate connection to the record, and this is because it presents the tracks, as well as the magic that Stone Temple Pilots shook the world with in 1994 specifically, in a comprehensive, 360° manner.
The remastered versions of the original studio recordings breathes a crispness into them while dutifully maintaining the elements of rawness and grit that have always lied Purple’s core. Beyond that, though, the second of the super deluxe edition’s three tracks offers the listener insight into the sonic journey that the tracks on purple underwent by providing their early or demo counterparts. It is almost surreal to hear this group of now-iconic tracks in their most primitive form and think that, unbeknownst to anyone then, these tracks would go onto be remastered for a special twenty-fifth anniversary edition as a result of being globally adored for nearly three decades. The inclusion of early versions and demos on the super deluxe edition allows the listener to ruminate not only on Purple’s immense cultural impact, but on just how much Stone Temple Pilots has evolved as artists throughout their career.
The third and final disc of Purple’s super deluxe edition, the live recordings from New Haven, are wrapped in an undeniable element of enchantment. 1994 was undeniably an incredibly transformative year for Stone Temple Pilots, and for listeners to now have the opportunity to hear live versions of the tracks from Purple (plus more, of course) from the same year it began to make its resounding cultural impact is so very special. The third disc therefore acts as an auditory time machine, taking everyone in the world – no matter where one may be – to New Haven for a live music experience that comes to life almost as vividly as if one had actually been there on that August night.
One of the most thrilling components of the live recordings is hearing the cheers and applause from the audience. Their enthusiasm for Stone Temple Pilots and the tracks from Purple is incredibly palpable and infectious, and twenty-five years later, we now know that that enthusiasm has prevailed – and grown – with notable strength. The allure and rapture of Purple has not just become a prominent cultural cornerstone of the past quarter of a century, but a prominent cultural cornerstone in the hearts and lives of individuals of all ages, locations, and backgrounds. After all, not every record is treated to a super deluxe twenty-fifth anniversary edition. That of Purple’s treated the ear to a comprehensive portrait of Stone Temple Pilots as artists, and in doing so encompassed precisely why the record has maintained the lasting impact that it has: the legacy of truly exceptional music can never, and will never, be extinguished.