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Hole was a Grammy nominated, alternative rock/grunge band that formed in Los Angeles in 1989 and disbanded in 2002. The band was fronted by Courtney Love, and co-founded by Love, Eric Erlandson (lead guitar) and Lisa Roberts (bassist and Love's neighbor who dropped the project very early on). The band 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. Emery and Rue left in 1992, 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 an apparent 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 Hard Rock Bands Hole was number 77.

Overview:
Hole has released three official albums, Pretty on the Inside, Live Through This and Celebrity Skin. Each of these albums reflect a distinctive sound and approach. The first release is often described as a raw, punk influenced record. Experimenting with alternate tunings, the guitar parts are chaotic and distorted. Most themes (musically and lyrically) seem to be inspired by the title of the record: harsh, brutal and violent on the outside, but melodic underneath. The second release showcased a more power pop approach, still infused with a raw punk rock edge. The lyrics and guitar parts are less abstract but increasingly powerful in their simplicity. The third release can be seen as a full embrace of power pop. The theme of architecture is present throughout, the attempt to build something from nothing and create a lasting monument. Erlandson's guitar style has been innovative and complex and the lyrics of Love have been multi-layered and sophisticated throughout. Hole have been credited for bridging punk to pop, making the connection between various styles and approaches to reveal the way in which they do not exist independent of one another. Having challenged the underground/indie aesthetic and having put forth the notion that pop music can be complex and sophisticated, Hole has been heralded by some as having made a significant contribution to the canon of rock.

History:

Early years and Live Through This era:
After releasing singles on Sympathy for the Record Industry and Sub Pop, Hole released their first full-length album Pretty on the Inside on Caroline Records, which received praise from underground critics. Hole toured North America and Europe extensively in support of the record.
As a result of the album's success and the furious press coverage around Courtney Love and her husband Kurt Cobain, Hole was signed to Geffen Records with an eight album contract. Then, in 1993, Hole entered the studio to record their major label debut. The result was the album Live Through This, which included the hit singles "Doll Parts," "Violet," and "Miss World."
Almost immediately before the album's release, the final song, "Rock Star", was deleted from the album and replaced by the outtake "Olympia". It was widely believed at the time that this was because its lyrics, which included the lines "How would you like to be Nirvana? / So much fun to be Nirvana / Barrel of laughs to be Nirvana / I'd rather die", appeared inappropriate in the wake of Cobain's suicide. However, it was later revealed that the band and the Geffen label had already deemed the track unfitting of a major label debut for Hole, as the song had a very "non-artistic" character which fit poorly with the rest of the album. After the decision to remove "Rock Star" was made, the album artwork and various other inserts had already been printed, and since "Olympia" was put in its place, "Olympia" is called "Rock Star" on the artwork.
Live Through This was released in April 1994, one week after the death of Love's husband, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. Two months later Hole bassist Kristen Pfaff died of an apparent overdose. On September 1, 1994, Hole played their first headlining show since the album's release and dedicated it to Kristen. The band, with Melissa Auf der Maur now on bass, toured extensively throughout 1994 and 1995. One of the highlights during these years of touring was the band's appearance on MTV Unplugged on Valentine's Day 1995.

My Body, the Hand Grenade:
Three years after the release and success of Live Through This, Hole released an album of early singles, mid-period b-sides and more recent live tracks. Featured on the cover, under the title My Body, the Hand Grenade, was one of Courtney Love's babydoll dresses, sealed for posterity in a museum behind glass. The inside art showed a brutally demolished car on the CD itself, opposite the booklet's backside where an image of Anne Boleyn had been positioned to appear headless. The record starts with the first tracks Hole ever cut, contained an unreleased demo from the Live Through This sessions, and ended with live recordings, including Hole's Valentine's Day 1995 MTV Unplugged performance.
One outtake from the Live Through This recording sessions which was included on this release was the song "Old Age". The history and writer of this song was the subject of controversy among Courtney Love detractors who believed Kurt Cobain had written Hole's second album, an allegation for which no evidence has ever surfaced. It was eventually learned "Old Age" had been written by Kurt Cobain for the Nevermind sessions in 1990 or 1991, then given to Hole where its lyrics were rewritten by Love. Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic confirmed that "Old Age" was indeed "a Nirvana song," in an interview with UK music newspaper Melody Maker in 1997. The unfinished Nirvana version was released on the Nirvana box-set With The Lights Out and on the compilation album Sliver: The Best of the Box.
Another song on "My Body the Hand Grenade" collection is "20 Years in the Dakota," which touches on many themes, including Yoko Ono's struggles in life as John Lennon's wife. The title of this song refers to the apartment building outside which Lennon was killed. Courtney Love has herself been frequently compared to Yoko Ono, due to the perception that Ono drew Lennon away from The Beatles and that Love drew Cobain away from Nirvana.

The New Orleans sessions:
There were multiple attempts to record Hole's third album. One such attempt was in New Orleans. Interviews with Erlandson have confirmed the authenticity of this session, but no demos have surfaced from these sessions, but it is believed that one result of these sessions was an extremely early version of "Awful". Erlandson has denied a rumor that this album had been completed only to have the masters stolen on an airplane.

Celebrity Skin era and breakup:
Hole's third album had a completely new sound for the band. Featuring a more "pop" sound, the album was a critical success with strong sales and successful singles. Erlandson told Rolling Stone "I still think a lot of Celebrity Skin is my Johnny Thunders influence coming up -- which Courtney just fucking hates."[1] The group at the time consisted of Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson, Patty Schemel and Melissa Auf Der Maur, although in interviews Love later said Schemel's drumming was replaced by a session musician.
When journalists asked the subtext to the record, Love refused to offer up explanations for the lyrics, as in her 1998 SPIN magazine interview: "I won't talk about it because it's none of your business...because you will never know." Years later in 2005, she spoke of Celebrity Skin to journalist Phoebe O'Reilly, saying "I did not want to make the widow record. I still haven't made the widow record."
Perhaps in reaction to public speculation that Kurt Cobain had written the band's second album, Celebrity Skin's liner notes listed explicitly every musician's contribution to the record, specifying authorship for every song. Love wrote every lyric, while Erlandson, assistant-producing alongside Michael Beinhorn, had a hand in every song. Co-songwriters on the album included bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur, drummer Patty Schemel, Jordon Zadorozny of Blinker the Star, Charlotte Caffey of The Go Go's, each contributing a bit to one or two songs, but perhaps the third most notable contributor was Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins. The songwriter stopped by, according to Love, to help with phrasing, to deconstruct the songs on the piano, and in the end was given songwriting co-credit on five of the record's twelve tracks.
Despite the open-handedness of the album's liner notes, some controversy still hit the press regarding the album's authorship. Reviewers of the record frequently referred explicitly to Corgan's contributions (unlike the endless records of other bands who receive outside input during songwriting). Then, some time after the album's release, Corgan appeared on Howard Stern, talking about how he wrote the main riff in the album's titular lead single and complaining of the poor sales for his own band's latest record. "He's crazy...he thinks I stole his mojo." Courtney told SPIN in an interview that year. Privately, their dispute was only temporary: Corgan and Love still maintain friendly and professional relations, working together on Love's forthcoming, second solo album. Corgan also played bass on one track from the Celebrity Skin sessions, a song called "Be A Man", which did not make the record, but ended up appearing on the Any Given Sunday soundtrack in 1999, and was Hole's last proper single/video.
Love and Erlandson officially disbanded Hole via a message posted at the band's website in 2002. After the split, the four musicians each took on projects of their own. Auf der Maur joined The Smashing Pumpkins and later recorded and toured a solo album titled Auf Der Maur; Erlandson continued to work as a producer and session musician; Maloney toured with Mtley Cre, Scarling., and the Eagles of Death Metal and is currently a member of Peaches (along with Courtney's America's Sweetheart tour guitarist); and Love began a solo career, releasing America's Sweetheart in 2004, and is currently writing and recording her 2nd solo album with first solo album collaborator Linda Perry. in January of 2007, a documentary of this is being shown on VH1.
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