Hole came to prominence in the 1990's as a band who were unafraid to be controversial, with the genuinely confusing Courtney Love as their lead singer their soundbites were always interesting and once Love married Kurt Cobain the band also got a lot of publicity for their music through that link.
For me this is the only good album they made and this in itself is an album of two halves.
Released in 1994 through Geffen the album is 38 minutes long in total, the music are short bursts of anger, opinion and grunge music.
The album is shouty, sarcastic and is actually in parts quite melodic for a hole album. It has been suggested that Cobain had some part in adding harmony and melody as the previous Hole album had potential but was virtually unlistenable.
For me there are a few stand out tracks, the song, Miss World is a cutting expose of little girls who want to be pretty but nothing more, Love cuts through the BS of this vacuousness with scathing one liners and almost spits out the lyrics, accusations of fake people spring throughout and this is the best song on the album.
Doll Parts is a harrowing song, it is destructive and the story told is harrowing, the song has a great melody and the shouting style of Love works perfectly here. It is a thoughtful song which works on every level.
Violet is a good opener with a lively bass and guitar and shouty lyrics. Other than that the songs do sound somewhat samey and are 3 minute soundbites of the bands excellent grunge-lite style, but without the lyrical excellence of Miss World or Doll Parts.
Asking for it does exactly what it says on the tin, portraying a senseless attack on a young woman and is quite disturbing, whilst Jennifer's Body obviously had some effect on the screenwriter and director Cody Diablo who named her most recent film after the song.
Overall I think this is a good rather than great album, it has two great songs but this is not enough to make it great in itself. The messages are confused, the musical styles similar, it is a hard hitting album that is great in parts and hard to enjoy in others.
The songs on the album are:
1 - Violet
2 - Miss World
3 - Plump
4 - Asking for it
5 - Jennifer's Body
6 - Doll Parts
7 - Credit in the straight world
8 - Softer, Softest
9 - She walks on me
10 - I think that I would die
11 - Gutless
12 - Rock Star
The album costs 99p on Ebay and around £5.73 on Amazon. I would suggest downloading Doll Parts, Miss World and Violet and leaving the rest.
Live Through This was to be the most controversial album by Hole, released a week after the death of lead singer/guitarist Courtney Love's husband, Kurt Cobain. This tragic incident makes the album all the more haunting and emotional. Hole pull you right in with the first track, 'Violet'. The song goes from sweet girl melody to riot grrl angst in seconds and is one of my favourite songs by Hole. Other stand out songs include 'Gutless' which is full of loathing and anger, and 'Doll Parts', which shows the much more vunerable side to Courtney Love which isn't potrayed very often. Also a song worth noting is 'Rock Star'. The song was originally about being in the band Nirvana and the truth of how Kurt felt but was changed at the last minute to the song about Olympia. However it was too late to change the title on the cover so the song became 'Rock Star'.
This album is not as raw as Pretty on the Inside and not as poppy and polished as Celebrity Skin. This is my own personal favourite by Hole and is certainly worth a listen.
I am writin this a long time after the actual gig (June 24th 1999) So my memory is obviously not as clear as it was about that night, but i still have good memories and i wanted to share them so other people would know what to expect if they are thinking of seeing Hole live. The support band were Queens Of The Stoneage, who are currently enjoying more popularity than they were back then. They didnt go down too well, with the Hole fans as the majority were there to see one band and one band only! Love came onstage to the sound of the chanting intro to Credit in the Straight World and launched straight into Violet with the crowd singing along to Courtney's encouragement. They preceded to play songs from both Celebrity Skin and Live Through This, even treatin the audience to a couple of older songs like Pretty On The Inside and the rarely played Beautiful Son. Love is an engaging front woman, helping members of the audience on to the stage and defiantly refusing security's requests for her to remove her new friends. She chats confidently to the audience( telling us how we have a nation of androgynous males, and how she is endeared to us as a nation because she lost her virginity to a Brit) she climbs the speaker stacks and gives away her guitar to an audience member. As ever her band members take a back seat to Loves antics, but Melissa Auf De Maur provides suberb backing vocals and struts her sexy stuff quietly. Eric Erlandson is given a chance to shine when he and Love perform an acoustic version of Northern Star. The show closes with a cover of Bob Dylans, It's All Over Now Baby Blue and Celebrity Skin, we are showered with silver glitter as Love rants seemingly to herself and then leaves the stage. All round, it was a long awaited show for Hole fans and lived up to their expectations.
This album is superb. It was the first Hole record I bought. I had previously heard a few of their tracks, so I was pretty established as to what their music sounded like, but this album truly blew me away. The CD opens with "Violet", typical of the rest of the album. It has its quiet-ish moments, but includes an amazing chorus. The production of the whole album is superb. "Doll Parts", a single, has virtually no drums, only two guitars in the whole mix, and despite the repetitiveness, is strangely captivating. Other stand out tracks are "Miss World" (my fave on this album), "Asking For It", "Softer, Softest", and "I Think That I Would Die". My only complaint is that the record isn't very long - a mere 38 minutes. This is a great album, though - I highly recommend it to fans of grunge / indie / rock / alternative music.
This is my favorite album of all time. A dangerous statement to make for any true music fan. Okay. Allow me to explain. I don't mean that I think this record is better than any other or that it is perfect. It is the one CD that I've played the most times in my life and that I think is the closest to the way I think a record should sound. From the reflective melancholy of 'Doll Parts' to the fiery punk potency of 'Violet', this is an album is a flawed masterpiece no true rock fan (and certainly not a female one) can afford to ignore. Take a look at the pop charts today. The vast majority of so-called 'artists' are not musicians, they are products, constructed by record companies in order to gain maximum profit. To take on a true musician who sells records on the basis of the quality of their own music rather than their bra cup size is just too risky. Much easier to take a bunch of talentless clothes horses and write records for them. Hole weren't like that. Loud, raucous and in your face, they combined punk attitude with poetic lyrics and a pop efferversence. Courtney has been described as many things - punk priestess, loudmouth agitator, a talentless Mrs Cobain who owed her fame (and some said her songs) to her husband - but one thing was for sure: the music world had finally found a band they couldn't afford to ignore with a woman at centre stage. 'Just you try to hold me down/ Come on try to shut me up!' she hollers on 'Gutless'. If I were you, I wouldn't argue... The songs vary in quality and memorability. The classics you'll probably already be familiar with: 'Doll Parts', with the haunting chorus 'Someday you will ache like I ache' and 'Violet'. Irony is the greatest weapon in Courtney's song writing armoury and she exploits the witch/bitch mythology which surrounded her to great effect: 'I'm Miss World/ Watch me break
and watch me burn/ No-one is listening my friend'. A rare mood of tenderness in 'Softer, Softest' is shattered by this lyrical twist: 'Oh the witch, the witch is dead/ Burn the witch, then BRING ME BACK HER HEAD!'. However hard I try I can't do justice to the intense impact of the songs by quoting them in fragments. Do yourself a favour and visit the hole website where you can have a listen for yourself... Back to my opening question. Girls with guitars - can it work? Yes, but sadly role models are few and far between. Sadly, Courtney has chosen to parade in Versace rather than develop her music. As a result, the music world is a quieter but more testosterone infested place. Shame.
I love this album, I wouldn't say i'm a big hole fan but i really do like this the lyrics are brilliant and courtney's screaming vocals at her best, i haven't heard anything like this i'm normally into nin and Marilyn Manson and usually only like really heavy stuff, and i wouldn't say this is heavy but it does have it's moments and i never really liked courtney love until now i always thought she was just trying to outdo Kurt and beat him sort of thing and that she was trying far too hard to be a "rock star" but this album really changed my opinion of her after hearing her lyrics and the REAL emotion she puts into the vocals it is one of my favorite albums ever and i am now waiting for celebrity skin to arrive and i hope that will deliver the same... we shall see!
Before Courtney Love become the newest Hollywood darling and had made a mainstream pop/rock album she and Hole made some good punk/rock music. I think that this is the bands best ever album. It is packed with excellent songs like the amazing Doll Parts and Miss World. The music here is angry yet sensitive and it gives you a lot of enthusiasm whilst also touching you. Coutrney has got a good voice and I think this album demonstrates this more aptly than the bands others. Anyone into rock or alternative music will love this.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Miss World
4 Asking For It
5 Jennifer's Body
6 Doll Parts
7 Credit In The Straight World
8 Softer, Softest
9 She Walks On Me
10 I Think That I Would Die
12 Rock Sta