Live Through This ( 1994 ) DGCD-24631
Celebrity Skin ( 1998 ) DGSSD-25164
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Hole was an American alternative rock band that formed in Los Angeles in 1989 and disbanded in 2002. The band was fronted by vocalist/rhythm guitarist Courtney Love, who co-founded Hole with lead guitarist Eric Erlandson when he responded to an ad she placed in the punk zine Flipside. Lisa Roberts, Love's neighbor, filled in as the band's first bassist but dropped the project very early on.
Hole's abrasive, self-consciously obnoxious style of alternative rock was initially influenced heavily by punk rock and noise rock, though as they progressed they began to incorporate elements of pop punk and power pop into their sound. Love has joked that she took the name for the band from "my husband's favorite drinking spot", but this claim is dubious since she met Kurt Cobain, her husband, the year after Hole was formed. Love later said that the name came from a conversation she had with her mother.
Hole had a brief period as a three-guitar lineup, with the musician Errol Stewert, but the lineup that recorded the first album included only Love, Erlandson, bassist Jill Emery and drummer Caroline Rue. Rue was fired in 1992 and Emery left soon after, to be replaced by Leslie Hardy and Patty Schemel, respectively. Hardy left after recording just one single with the band, "Beautiful Son", and was subsequently replaced by Kristen Pfaff in 1993. After Pfaff died of a drug overdose in 1994, Melissa Auf der Maur took her place from 1995 until the band's dissolution in 2002. When Schemel left the band in 1998, Samantha Maloney took her place as drummer.
On VH1's countdown of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, Hole was number 77
Live Through This 1994
When released on April 12, 1994, Live Through This debuted on the charts at number 56, never hitting the Top 40 in the U.S. In December 1994, the record went Gold, having sold a total of 500,000 copies, going platinum six months later for having sold 1 million copies. To date, the album has achieved worldwide double platinum status.
The album was noted for being more accessible and melodic than the band's previous album, Pretty on the Inside. According to BMI's website, most of the songs credited officially to Hole were written just by Courtney Love and Eric Erlandson. "Doll Parts" was officially written only by Love and "I Think That I Would Die" was written by Erlandson, Love and Kat Bjelland. "Credit in the Straight World" is a Young Marble Giants cover.
Bassist Kristen Pfaff had decided to take a break from the band at the time of Cobain's suicide. In June 1994, she was found dead by boyfriend and bandmate Eric Erlandson from a heroin overdose. Two months after Kristen's death, Hole began an extensive tour, with Melissa Auf der Maur replacing her on bass.
There have been unsubstantiated rumors regarding Cobain's involvement in this record, from alleged instrumental and songwriting contributions, to claims that he effectively wrote the entire album. What is known is that Cobain sang background vocals for at least a few tracks; he can be heard in the bridge of the released version of "Asking For It", though his vocals are low in the mix. An alternate mix has surfaced which more prominently features his singing. He can also be heard towards the end of "Softer, Softest", and supposedly at some point in "Doll Parts". After Cobain's vocal takes; Eric, Kristen and Kurt "motored into an intense jam" that included studio engineer Steve on bass.
A year earlier, a b-side track for Beautiful Son, "Old Age", was credited as being written by Hole, but had a more complex origin: the song had been recorded a year before by Cobain's band Nirvana, but its lyrics were almost entirely different. Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson later clarified that the song had been given to Hole to re-write and record. An excerpt of the outtake version of "Old Age" from the "Live Through This" sessions is featured before the track "Credit in the Straight World" on the album.
A song entitled "Rock Star", which took a swipe at The Lemonheads, was originally slated to close the album, however the band chose to replace it with the track "Olympia". Since the artwork had already been printed, however, the title of "Rock Star" remained. There was also concern about the lyric "barrel of laughs to be Nirvana, hope you'd rather die". To those not aware that Live Through This was completed before Cobain's death, the lyric could be potentially misconstrued as a reference made in poor taste regarding the discovery of Cobain's body.
Four singles were released from the album and three promotional videos were shot, for "Miss World" (still with Kristen Pfaff), "Doll Parts" (with L7's bassist Jennifer Finch replacing her) and "Violet" (already with Melissa Auf der Maur). "Softer, Softest" was also released as a single, and Hole's performance of this song at their MTV Unplugged session was used as a promotional video.
Everett True titled a book after the album, which details the rise and fall of the early grunge bands of the Nineties.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 466 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was also given a spot in TIME magazine's All-TIME 100 Albums list.
1. "Violet" – 3:24
2. "Miss World" – 3:00
3. "Plump" – 2:34
4. "Asking for It" – 3:29
5. "Jennifer's Body" – 3:41
6. "Doll Parts" – 3:31
7. "Credit in the Straight World" (Stuart Moxham) – 3:11
8. "Softer, Softest" – 3:27
9. "She Walks on Me" – 3:23
10. "I Think That I Would Die" (Hole, Kat Bjelland) – 3:36
11. "Gutless" – 2:15
12. "Rock Star" – 2:42
Celebrity Skin 1998
Celebrity Skin is Hole's fourth and final album, released worldwide on September 7, 1998, and a day later in the United States.
The songs were written by the band, some with the help of Billy Corgan; Courtney Love penned all of the lyrics. The studio work took almost a year and a half, due to Love's rising movie career, fruitless recording attempts in New Orleans and Nashville in 1997, Corgan's involvement in songwriting and the actual album sessions, between Los Angeles, New York City, London and Miami.
1. "Celebrity Skin" (Love, Erlandson, Corgan) – 2:42
2. "Awful" (Love, Erlandson, Auf der Maur, Schemel) – 3:16
3. "Hit So Hard" (Love, Erlandson, Corgan) – 4:00
4. "Malibu" (Love, Erlandson, Corgan) – 3:50
5. "Reasons to Be Beautiful" (Love, Erlandson, Auf der Maur, Caffey, Zadorozny) – 5:19
6. "Dying" (Love, Corgan, Erlandson) – 3:44
7. "Use Once & Destroy" (Love, Erlandson, Auf der Maur, Schemel) – 5:04
8. "Northern Star" (Love, Erlandson) – 4:58
9. "Boys on the Radio" (Love, Erlandson, Auf der Maur) – 5:09
10. "Heaven Tonight" (Love, Erlandson) – 3:31
11. "Playing Your Song" (Love, Erlandson) – 3:21
12. "Petals" (Love, Erlandson, Corgan) – 5:29