“Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots’ “Plush” traces its origin, at least in part, to a real-life story that was circulating at the time of its inception centered on a kidnapped girl who was subsequently discovered dead. And according to analysts, the influence of that crime is most felt with references to ‘dogs smelling and finding’ the addressee. In other words, those lyrics were inspired by the tracking dogs law enforcement uses to find missing people.

Lyrics of “Plush”

But that being noted, no, this song is not about a missing girl in the truest sense. To the contrary, the addressee is actually, as it would appear, the vocalist’s significant other. And the concept of her being missing is actually a metaphor for, most simply put, their relationship being messed up. 

Moreover, it has been concluded that as for the references to “dogs”, Weiland is actually utilizing that term based on its well-known colloquial definition, i.e. to point to horny and seductive playas. Yes, this song is very metaphorical. But what it comprehensively reads like is that this romance has degenerated to the point where there’s more or less open cheating going on, particularly on behalf of the addressee.

Of course most guys, if they truly suspect the woman they love of cheating, would likely proceed to terminate the relationship. But the fact that the vocalist is not doing so is why Scott Weiland has referred to this piece as being “a metaphor for a lost obsessive relationship”. 

Or put otherwise, by many other people’s standards this romance may already be dead. But the singer seems unable to accept that reality. Instead, it appears he’s under the belief that he may be able to rectify the situation in the future. Or if anything, it is obvious he still has feelings for the addressee despite her hypothetically being involved with other guys.

Song’s Title (“Plush”)

Meanwhile, the title of this song doesn’t appear in the lyrics, nor is it abundantly clear how such a word relates to the narrative. But it may have something to do with the addressee’s “smell”, which again serves as a major plot device.

Stone Temple Pilots, "Plush" Lyrics
Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland discusses "Plush"

Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots is an act from San Diego that is very well known in music circles. That is to say that they have experienced monumental mainstream success, especially during the band’s early goings. For instance, “Plush”, which officially went up for sale on 29 September 1992, was only the crew’s second single. However, having topped Billboard’s Mainstream Rock list and charted in approximately 11 countries overall, it became one of the band’s biggest hits.

Facts about “Plush”

“Plush” does not appear to have earned Stone Temple Pilots any certificates. But it should be noted in that particular regard that Atlantic Records opted not to sell it, despite the track being a single, on its own in the United States. The label did this in an attempt to make likers purchase the entire, more expensive album. 

That said, the fact that this track is a verifiable hit cannot be denied. This is a reality that is further buttressed by it winning a Grammy in 1994. It won in the Best Hard Rock Performance category.

Logically, this song’s success would be partially attributable to its well-received visual, as assembled by director Josh Taft. For instance, the clip earned Stone Temple Pilots the distinction of being named Best New Artist in a Video at the 1993 MTV VMAs.

This track is from “Core”, Stone Temple Pilots’ first album. Three members of the group from back then – Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz – are still participants to this day. 

Scott Weiland served as the band’s lead singer up until 2013 and subsequently passed away, at the age of 48, in 2015.

There is an alternate, acoustic version of this song floating about, as rendered in 1998 for a MTV program known as Headbangers Ball.

The aforementioned Kretz, Weiland and (Robert) DeLeo wrote this song. The latter two are actually credited as the song’s lyricists. And well-traveled behind-the-scenes’ man Breandan O’Brien served as producer of the track.

“Plush” has made its way onto a handful of videogames. One such famous games is Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004).


The “Core” Album

The album, “Core” was released on September 29 of 1992. It came out as the band’s maiden studio album.

The album was recorded at the Rumbo Recorders, a recording studio which was based in Los Angeles but got defunct in 2003.

American record producer, sound engineer and musician, Brendan O’Brien, was responsible for the album’s production. The public got access to the album through Atlantic Records.

“Core” was placed at No. 10 on the list, “Top Ten List of Guitar Albums”, published in 1992 by Guitar World Magazine. It occupied the 11th position on Rolling Stone’s “50 Greatest Grunge Albums”, a list published in 2019.

Furthermore, “Core” was No. 3 on the Billboard 200. In Sweden, it reached No. 9 on the Sverigetopplistan. In Canada, it flew to No. 8 on the RPM charts.

Its commercial performance was nothing short of being successful. “Core” has been certified 8x Platinum in the United States and 2x Platinum in Canada. It is widely regarded as the band’s most successful album.

1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am amazed in that initial description From the moment I heard this song I KNEW what it was about My dad used to use the expression She puts the “scent” out describing girls of my generation who were of questionable morals While all this time I always considered it to not only be a disgusting metaphor it is a true one and as a now 71 year old woman that has been CHEATED on and DESTROYED by cheaters time and time again I totally get it and this song works both ways cause while women may put out the ‘scent” the cheating men go in search of it when they “smell” it so apropro The word Plush always confused me though so thanks for the clarification This song is old but then again so am I LOL

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