Monday, May 5, 2014

live through this

Hole got what they wanted when they regrouped and hit the majors, revealing their softer side with the raw and righteous nirvana of this grunge pop classic.  After the tour for their debut album 'Pretty on the Inside', the band lost its rhythm section of drummer Caroline Rue and bassist Jill Emery.  Remaining members Courtney Love and Eric Erlandson recruited drummer Patty Schemel and began writing new material.  At the same time they secured a seven album deal with Geffen Records.  The trio recorded demos at Word of Mouth Recording in Seattle with producer Jack Endino as well as at BMG Ariola Ltda. in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with producer Craig Montgomery.  When they relocated to Los Angeles they brought bassist Kristen Pfaff (from Janitor Joe) into the fold and their new lineup was complete.  

The sessions for 'Live Through This' took place at Triclops Sound Studios in Marietta, Georgia with producers Paul Q. Kolderie and Sean Slade.  The album features Courtney Love on vocals and guitar;  Eric Erlandson on guitar;  Kristen Pfaff on bass, piano, and backing vocals;  and Patty Schemel on drums and percussion;  with backing vocals by Kletter and Kurt Cobain;  and additional mixing by Scott Litt and J Mascis.   

Love would reveal at the time: "I want this record to be shocking to the people who don't think we have a soft edge, and at the same time, [to know] that we haven't lost our very, very hard edge...There's a part of me that wants to have a grindcore band and another that wants to have a Raspberries-type pop band ... Aesthetically we've changed a lot...I came into this band with a history of writing jangly REM songs.  I had a real chip on my shoulder.  I said, 'Fuck it; I'm going to move to L.A. and be the Melvins.'  In Minneapolis, Kat had been giving me shit 'cause I didn't like the Butthole Surfers.  So I was like, 'You want hard? I'll show you hard.  The hardest!'  I think on some level I accomplished this; but the consequences were we didn't show any...this is a lame word...'craftsmanship'.  One of the things I have a problem about women is, to me it isn't enough to just stand up with my guitar and say 'I'm angry, and that's rare.  Give me a lot of attention!'  I like the 'girl thing'.  I work the 'girl thing'.  But if you can't write a song and go, if the guy in the Pixies or Kurt or Neil Young...whoever you admire...wrote this song, would it still be good?  If a guy wrote this song, would it still stand up?"

 'Live Through This'  did more than that. The music was so powerful that many accused her of stealing the songs from her recently departed husband (and worse).  Schemel says: "There is that myth that Kurt wrote a lot of our songs— it's not true. Eric [Erlandson] and Courtney wrote 'Live Through This'."   The album went to number fifty-two in the US; thirty-nine in Germany; twenty-nine in the Netherlands; twenty-two in Sweden; thirteen in Australia and the UK; and number eight in Belgium.   It was praised by critics and lauded as album of the year by several music publications.  It went multi-platinum and has sold over two million copies worldwide.  

Love drew criticism for her performances by simulating the suicide of her husband on stage.  She would explain:    "What do I do?  Do I ignore it, do I acknowledge it, is there a middle ground?  What can I do?  Do I sit here, play Betty Crocker, and pretend that I don't write music, and die?...It's more catharsis.  It's catharsis and there's not a thing I could or would take back because it was for me, not for them, and yet they get something out of it.  I'm not a clown; I would never dishonor my husband, and I don't think I have...The name of my band came from a conversation I had with my mother.  People always think it's obscene.  And I guess it has that on top of it.  As someone who always wanted to be a poet, there was no money in it.  I've always been looking for the quadruple entendre, you know, the barge, you know, what Shakespeare could do.  And my mother said to me 'Now Courtney, you know you can't walk around with a hole in yourself just because you had a bad childhood.'  And I remember thinking 'What a brilliant name, HOLE.'"


Miss World

Asking For It

'Live Through This' 
full album:

All songs written by Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson, except where noted.

1. "Violet" 3:24
2. "Miss World" 3:00
3. "Plump" 2:34
4. "Asking for It" 3:29
5. "Jennifer's Body" 3:42
6. "Doll Parts" Love 3:31
7. "Credit in the Straight World" Stuart Moxham 3:11
8. "Softer, Softest" 3:28
9. "She Walks on Me" 3:24
10. "I Think That I Would Die" Love, Erlandson, Kat Bjelland 3:36
11. "Gutless" 2:15
12. "Rock Star (Olympia)" 2:42

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