Category: Hole

Hole – Live Through This

ARTIST: Hole            Hole-album-livethroughthis

TITLE:  Live Through This

YEAR RELEASED: 1994

CHART ACTION: #52 US, #13 UK

SINGLES: Miss World (#13 US Alternative, #64 UK), Doll Parts (#58 US, #4 US Alternative #16 UK), Asking for It (#36 US Alternative), Violet (#29 US Alternative), Softer, Softest (#29 US Alternative)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Jennifer’s Body.

LINEUP: Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson, Kristen Pfaff, Patty Schemel

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Courtney Love somewhat sheds here punk rock leanings aspiring for the title of queen of alternative rock. It’s kind of successful, and kind of craven.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: There’s no doubt that some of the songs on Live Through This are brilliant and impressive. There’s also no doubt that some of the songs are cash-ins or designed for maximum sales and airplay.

The sound isn’t as intense as the first Hole album, and the songwriting (and consistency) has improved. Courtney Love still growled and howled when she needed to, but also pulls off a tender side as well.

Still, some of this rings a bit hollow. Maybe it’s me looking at this now, as opposed to 1994, but I definitely see some of these songs with a more cynical and jaundiced eye. The closing cut as well is an unfortunate slap at her years in Olympia, which now makes her seem careerist (then and now).

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The last cut, “Rock Star” is not the actual song “Rock Star”. It’s really a song called “Olympia” but it was substituted too late to change the packaging.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: B+: I like it, love some songs, and think some are unfortunate cash-ins on the fame train.

Hole – Pretty on the Inside

ARTIST: Hole 220px-Hole_-_Pretty_on_the_Inside
TITLE: Pretty on the Inside
YEAR RELEASED: 1991
CHART ACTION: #73 US, #59 UK
SINGLES: Teenage Whore (#1 UK Indie), Garbage Man (Video)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Babydoll and Pretty on the Inside were on indie-leaning playlists for a spell.
LINEUP: Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson, Jill Emery, Caroline Rue.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Loud, disjointed punk / art noise record that would have been a curio of the time if the leader of the group wasn’t Courtney Love.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Hole’s (probably more Love of course) predilection for copying and perhaps stealing sounds, styles and references started with this record. Play a song, and you can almost guess the influences.

There are some great moments, where the cacophony makes sense and Love’s vocals play right with the music. Some cuts seem like re-writes of other songs. Some feel like Love and Hole wanted to go back to NYC around 1980 or so and hang out with Lydia Lunch and James Chance in a squalid loft. The lyrics aren’t the most upbeat in the world – but in some way they’re Love’s most believable set of lyrics. A punk rock scenester for years, she no doubt either saw or experienced a lot of what was going on in the album.

The biggest influence is Sonic Youth, as the guitar stylings, tunings and song structure. They wouldn’t be the first band to overtly steal from their idols. Love would run far, far away from this kind of music in just a couple of years. (Mind you, this record was made before she was canoodling with Kurt Cobain.)

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Kim Gordon OF Sonic Youth was a co-producer with Don Fleming. Love was trying to impress her idol. Believe it or not, everyone thought Love was a control freak. No doy…..

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: B-: Some is just unlistenable, and the whole thing wears on you after a while. Half the cuts are great though. I exiled the two worst noise tracks that added nothing to the proceedings.