Picture it: you're in your 20s, you're fed up with the way you feel, and you just want to get some of that negative energy out of your system. What kind of song would you write? Would it be something dark, or would it be loud, in-your-face rock and roll? If you lean more toward the second option, "'Unglued'" is probably the song for you.
The shortest song on Purple by a 20-second margin ("Vasoline" is the only other song that clocks in under three minutes), "'Unglued'" begins with an off-kilter guitar and some pounding drums. It's not an overly complicated song, but this is not really a time for layered proficiency. This is a time for letting it all go.
Just, you know, shootin' pool with Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards down at the rock star clubhouse.
Anyone who has ever seen STP live (or seen footage of one of their shows) knows that Scott Weiland is inordinately fond of spinning and undulating across the stage during songs, and whenever I hear "'Unglued,'" I think of his serpentine ways. And maybe that's what he means when he sings, "I got this thing that's comin' over me"--an irresistible urge to shake what his mama gave him. Wouldn't you like to join in?
Fun fact: Robert DeLeo once expressed reservations about how Nirvana-like "'Unglued'" sounds. But--at least in the context of Purple, and to this listener's ears--it's pure Stone Temple Pilots.
Tomorrow we'll explore "Army Ants"!
Image via Below Empty.