Sunday, November 17, 2013

Song Of The Week: 11/17/13

Song: "Pictures & Computers (I'm Not Superman)"

Artist: Scott Weiland

Album: "Happy In Galoshes"

Year: 2008

"Pictures & Computers (I'm Not Superman)" appears to be a song where the vocalist's imperfections are clearly outweighed by his partner's lies and abusive treatment towards him. It has been said that many of the songs written on "Happy In Galoshes" were about Scott Weiland's ex-wife and I believe this song is one of those. He is not the strong man that he once was and she has burned down the world he once knew. Scott Weiland's musical career began way back in 1986 at a Black Flag show in California. It was at this show where he met Robert DeLeo and formed the band Swing. DeLeo left the band shortly after but his brother Dean and drummer Eric Kretz joined Weiland to form Mighty Joe Young. After recording a demo, the band was signed by Atlantic Records in 1990 and officially changed their name to Stone Temple Pilots. 1992's "Core" and 1994's "Purple" put STP on the map, joining grunge stalwarts Nirvana and Pearl Jam at the top of the rock and roll world at that time. Weiland helped pen some of the biggest songs of that era such as "Wicked Garden", "Sex Type Thing", "Plush", "Big Empty" and "Interstate Love Song" to name a few. In 1995, Weiland formed the short-lived band, The Magnificent Bastards. This band only recorded two songs, "Mockingbird Girl" for the Tank Girl soundtrack and "How Do You Sleep" for a John Lennon tribute album. 1996 saw STP release "Tiny Music...Songs From A Vatican Gift Shop". Shortly after the release of this album STP went on a hiatus, mostly due to Weiland serving a stint in jail for heroin possession. This wouldn't be the first or the last time that Weiland's musical career would be stunted by his drug and alcohol abuse. He struggled with cocaine, heroin and even crack and has been in and out of numerous rehabs trying to get his life together. In 1998, Weiland released his very first solo album called "12 Bar Blues". This album was quite the departure from his STP sound. It spanned all kinds of genres, not solely focusing on hard rock. Being experimental didn't lead to being successful however, and the album did not do well, with critics or fans. In 1999, Weiland and STP dropped "No. 4", which featured singles "Down" and "Sour Girl". In 2000, Weiland performed "Break On Through" and "Five To One" with the remaining members of The Doors for VH1's Storytellers. STP would record "Break On Through" for The Doors tribute album "Stoned Immaculate" as well. 2001 saw STP drop their fifth album, "Shangri-La Dee Da". While touring for this album, an altercation happened between Weiland and Dean DeLeo that led to an indefinite hiatus of Stone Temple Pilots. In 2003, Weiland joined Slash and Duff McKagan to form the supergroup Velvet Revolver. This band dropped two albums, 2004's "Contraband" and 2007's "Libertad". Weiland helped write several hits for VR including "Set Me Free", "Slither", "I Fall To Pieces", "She Builds Quick Machines" and "The Last Fight". By 2008 however, conflicts between the band members and Weiland led to the break-up of Velvet Revolver. Weiland moved on from Velvet Revolver by releasing his second solo album, "Happy In Galoshes" in 2008. This album featured the single "Missing Cleveland" as well as the David Bowie cover, "Fame". The album continued on with Weiland's experimental side. 2008 also saw Stone Temple Pilots reunite and headline several major festivals. In 2010, STP released their self/titled album and embarked on a world tour to promote it. 2011 saw Weiland release "A Compilation Of Scott Weiland Cover Songs". This album featured Weiland covering various artists such as Nirvana, Radiohead, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and David Bowie. That same year he also released "The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year", which was a whole Christmas album. In 2012, Weiland remarked that he would like to reunite with Velvet Revolver. In fact, he saw no reason why he couldn't work with both STP and VR. Velvet Revolver did reunite for a one time, 3 song gig to raise money for deceased musician John O'Brien, but that's as far as the reunion went as the VR members still don't seem to want to work with Weiland anymore. More bad news came to Weiland in 2012 as he found out that the other members of STP basically fired him from the band and hired Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington to take his place. This led to ongoing legal action as to who actually has the rights to the STP brand, as Weiland is a founding member. In 2013, Weiland embarked on the "Purple At The Core" tour with his new band The Wildabouts. Currently, Weiland has said that The Wildabouts may release new material in the near future. He is also still in a legal battle with the other three members of Stone Temple Pilots. Despite all of his personal demons and constant conflicts with his past band members, there is no doubt that Scott Weiland is one of the best vocalists to come out of the 90's grunge explosion. Ironically, new STP frontman Chester Bennington calls Weiland one of his main influences. Whether with STP, Velvet Revolver or solo, Weiland is still influential and relevant in the music world today.

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