Stone Temple Pilots-Core (DVD-Audio) (2000) (NTSC)

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Released 4-Jun-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Booklet-10 pages
Music Video-Plush
Discography-4 albums
Gallery-Photo-6 stills of the band
Notes-Album Credits
Lyrics-In booklet and on DVD-A version only
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 54:20
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Nick DiDia
Brendan O'Brien
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Scott Weiland
Robert DeLeo
Dean DeLeo
Eric Kretz
Case DVD-Audio Jewel
RPI $32.95 Music Stone Temple Pilots


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (320Kb/s)
English MLP 96/24 5.1
English MLP 96/24 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

"I am, smellin' like the rose, that somebody gave me on my birthday deathbed.
 I am smellin' like a rose that somebody gave me 'cause I'm dead and bloated"

    Poetry in motion - so opens Dead and Bloated, the first track on Stone Temple Pilots' debut album Core, released on September 29th 1992, on its way to becoming a triple platinum seller. Formed back in 1988, apparently by the chance meeting of vocalist Scott Weiland and bass player Robert DeLeo who, by the nature of these things, discovered they were dating the same girl. Sorting out this minor logistic difficulty by both moving into her Texas apartment, the two formed a musical union of post-punk and rock influences, following the trail of grunge blazed by the likes of Nirvana and contemporary artists Pearl Jam, Violent Femmes and Nine Inch Nails. The group was joined by high-impact drummer Eric Kretz and Robert's brother Dean DeLeo on guitars. Basing themselves in San Diego so as to be removed from the glitz and influence of Hollywood, the band worked steadily to build themselves a following and in 1994 were voted as Best Band of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine. 1994 also saw the band contribute the song Big Empty to the soundtrack of  the black, supernatural action film The Crow.

    So, for the uninitiated, what's the music all about? My 1992 Collins dictionary ain't a lot of help (surprise surprise!) Best we can find is Grunge - Noun derivative of adjective grungy - seedy, squalid, grotty - mmm, maybe that's along the right track after all, can't help notice grunge is similar to grudge. Well the music's heavy, with a grinding relentless rhythm of overdriven guitar(s), the vocals are often discordant, there's no flashy effects except for the occasional calloused fingers dragged screechingly down a tortured guitar string. Melody is basic, harmony is frowned on and at times it's hard to pick if the separate musicians are in fact playing the same piece, or even on the same planet! The lyrics open a window onto the dark tortured world of despair, frustration and rejection of a society that's passed a generation by where only the extreme emotions conjured by death, sex and pain can elicit any awareness. Well folks - it's all been done and said before many times. In Roman times the satires of Juvenal, in Victorian times the works of Dickens, in my own time the Stones' "Satisfaction", The Who's "My Generation" and Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" and more latterly the Sex Pistols, the grunge movement and even rap culture, have all had their say in expressing the sentiments of human nature evoked by the Dark Side of The Force. My personal pick would probably go to Ian Dury's "Sex and Drugs and Rock 'n Roll" or the Chili Peppers' album Blood Sugar Sex Magik.

    You've probably guessed by now, that yep, I'm probably a member of the "... dead and bloated nation of sleepwalkers, so content to drown in your own rancid apathy .."- well too bad, not my fault I was born 15 years too late to join in the STP generation. (Incidentally those who are familiar with Pete Townsend's reminiscences of the 60s will recall that STP was a certain mind-altering substance somewhat more potent than the chemically-related LSD).

    It is a curious choice to put Core onto DVD-Audio - the wall of distorted sound is hardly the ideal content to display the finer qualities of resolution, clarity and dynamic range that DVD-A is fast becoming famous for. Well I guess the guys (and girls) on the street in the early 90s have now grown up to be successful and bought their home theatres and DVD-A players (or succumbed to The Dark Side ...). Yet, not all is doom and despair on the album. There are flashes of hope and enlightenment with tight, melodious, breaks on Sin, ornate rolling percussion on Naked Sunday or the rich instrumental track of No Memory. A change of pace is provided by the slower ballad of Creep, whilst Plush, probably the best known track off the album, displays a technically challenging, intricate and intriguing change of rhythm and tempo to accompany the authoritative impassioned vocals of Weiland.

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Track Listing

1. Dead & Bloated
2. Sex Type Thing
3. Wicked Garden
4. No Memory
5. Sin
6. Naked Sunday
7. Creep
8. Piece Of Pie
9. Plush
10. Wet My Bed
11. Crackerman
12. Where The River Goes

Transfer Quality

Video

    Video in the DVD-V version was confined to a track listing, whereas the DVD-A version sported lyrics also. All video, including the clip of Plush (see below), was filmed in NTSC and was in non 16 x 9 enhanced 1.33:1 aspect ratio. There are no subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This is an excellent audio transfer.

    There are two DVD-Audio tracks, stereo and 5.1 surround both recorded in 96/24 resolution MLP. The DVD-V version was Dolby Digital 5.1 surround-encoded at the lower rate of 320 bps. It is not possible to switch 'on-the-fly' between any of these tracks. I listened to the whole album in 5.1 Advanced Resolution and then went through track by track listening to each version.

    To my surprise, the increased resolution of DVD-A not only improved the quieter acoustic sections mentioned above, but also filled in some detail not apparent in some of the louder tracks such as some guitar melody in Plush. No Memory provided the greatest illustration of the sonic superiority of DVD-A with crisper, cleaner bass and fret-pulls. The stereo DVD-A was also very good and I thought the bass on this was smoother and more detailed than on the surround version. DVD-V players are also catered for well - the mix is basically the same as the DVD-A but a little coarser and in some ways, the increased bite of this lower resolution format gave an edge to the overdriven guitar of Dean DeLeo.

   The dialogue was reasonably clear but one feature of the surround mix was to diffuse the vocals throughout the soundstage and occasionally to the surrounds making the vocals somewhat drowned out by the the rhythm tracks.

    The surround channels were used in an interesting manner to diffuse the sound. As a result, the soundstage was confused and it was difficult to effectively localise the origin of a particular sound. I'm quite sure that this effect was intentional and in keeping with the genre of the music. There was some nice circle-type effects on the percussion intro of Naked Sunday.

    The subwoofer nicely complemented the not insubstantial porting of bass to the front mains - this is not an ideal disc for your sub-sat system I'm afraid, unless you go digital for your player-processor interface and lose some of the detail of DVD-A.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The static opening and title menu of the disc features the cover of the album and choice selection.

Playlist

Plush Video

    Probably the most commercial track features in this 4:22 promo video shot in 1993. The video is in low resolution 1.33:1 and displays just about every video and MPEG artefact imaginable. No, it's not 16 x 9 enhanced - just an astigmatic camera lens! The sound quality is good and presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sampled at 448 kbps.

Discography

    Four slicks of the STP albums Core, Purple, Tiny Music .. songs from the Vatican Gift Shop, and No. 4 - clicking on the slicks reveals title tracks and label number.

Photo Gallery

    6 good quality stills of the band.

Album Credits

    Track list with song writers and track length followed by two pages of band and production credits.

Booklet

    10 page, good-quality booklet of photos, credits, track lists and song lyrics.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As is normal with DVD-Audio, so far(!), this multi-region disc is identical in all versions.

Summary

    One of the reference albums of the 90s given the DVD-Audio makeover on a nicely produced disc.

    The video quality is a bit above average for the format as it features song lyrics.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The extras are worthwhile and of interest - it is certainly a bonus to have a music video included on these audio biased presentations.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Lancaster (read my bio)
Friday, August 23, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-900E, using RGB output
DisplayPioneer SD-T50W1 (127cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderNaim AV2. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationTheta Digital Intrepid
SpeakersML Aeon front. B&W LRC6 Centre. ML Script rear. REL Strata III SW.

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