Hole: 1989 - 2002

It was on this day in 1992 that Kurt Cobain married Coutney Love in Waikiki, Hawaii. The press reported that the couple were expecting a baby on the 10th of September that year, and for a few months after their wedding, the couple were the king and queen of the new rock world. However, all that was soon to come crashing down in a messy spiral of hardcore drugs, alcohol and parental custody charges. We all know the rest..

It was three years prior to the couple's wedding that Courtney Love founded her band, Hole; one of the noisiest, most abrasive alternative bands to perform in the early '90s. Formed in L.A. in 1989, Love recruited band members through newspaper ads, including guitarist Eric Erlandson, before eventually drafting in bassist Jill Emery and drummer Caroline Rue into the band. Love had already played in the bands, Babes in Toyland and Faith No More, and through contacts, Hole recorded their first album with producer Kim Gordon, the bassist for Sonic Youth.

Pretty On The Inside, Hole's violent and un-yielding debut record, was released in 1991 via Caroline Records and was met with many positive reviews, particularly here in Britain. But who could have predicted that Hole would still be releasing records nineteen years later? Especially with the constant friction of Love's personal life and notorious public image continuously overshadowing Hole's music.

Listen to the title track, Pretty On The Inside, below:

Halfway through 1993, Love reassembled Hole's line-up with Erlandson, adding bassist Kristen M. Pfaff and drummer Patty Schemel and were set to release their first major-label album, the more pop-oriented Live Through This, on DGC Records in April of 1994. Again, the critics were overwhelmingly positive, slating it as one of the best records that year. However, Hole were to go through many earth-shattering changes just four days after the album's release; Kurt Cobain's body was discovered in the couple's Seattle home and two months later, Kristen M. Pfaff was found dead of a heroin overdose. Despite obvious and understandable trama and distress, Hole began touring again just eight weeks later, with bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur taking Pfaff's place. Some solace for the band was received when Doll Parts was released as a single late in 1994, climbing into the Top 60 by the beginning of 1995 and the album later became their commercial breakthrough, reaching platinum status the following year.

By the time Celebrity Skin was released in September 1998, Hole had completed their first substantial tour in two years, but on the tour's completion, Auf Der Maur had left to join the Smashing Pumpkins and Samantha Maloney (who had filled the vacant drummer's slot during the tour) had also left to be the stand-in drummer for Motley Crue. Hole's future was looking decidedly uncertain.

Celebrity Skin was also made platinum, but was a big departure from the angry, tortured souls of Hole's previous two albums. Some angst still remained, but was hidden under "shiny guitars and hazy melodies". Some said that the album was a brave move for a band that was renowned for grunge and darkness, and that it didn't quite work, but it's definitely my favourite album of theirs. The core qualities of Hole still exist but are toned down with bigger hooks but, yes, admittedly more commercial.

Reasons To Be Beautiful:

Northern Star:

In early 2012, Love began promoting the album, Nobody's Daughter, which despite the demise of Hole back in 2002, was promoted as a Hole album. Love was performing shows in Europe and the U.S., including gigs at the South by Southwest Festival in the lead-up to the record's release.

Nobody's Daughter was described as "a rich and emotionally searing album", where "almost every song is strong". By swapping guitar armies and clobbering hooks for muddled midtempo ballads, Courtney placed more weight on her lyrics than ever before. The single, Skinny Little Bitch was possibly the most popular.

Putting aside the turmoil and media attention that Courtney Love has had in the past, and will continue to get, I think Hole have been one of the most influential bands of the last few decades, especially for women in music, and I'm still seeing those influences today.