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through this medium

Live Through This

Live Through This is the second album by the alternative rock band Hole. It was voted as the best album of the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll. It also garnered the number 19 spot on Spin magazine's 100 best albums since 1985. It was released on April 12, 1994, just four days after the discovery of Kurt Cobain's body, Courtney's late husband, singer/songwriter of the band Nirvana (see 1994 in music).

History

When released on April 12, 1994, Live Through This debuted on the charts at number 56, never hitting the top forty in the U.S. In December 1994, the record went gold, having sold a total of 500,000 copies, going platinum six months later for having sold 1 million copies. To date, the album has achieved worldwide double platinum status.

The album was noted for being more accessible and melodic than the band's previous album, Pretty on the Inside. According to BMI's website, most of the songs credited officially to Hole were written just by Courtney Love and Eric Erlandson. "Doll Parts" was officially written only by Love and "I Think That I Would Die" was written by Erlandson, Love and Kat Bjelland. "Credit in the Straight World" is a Young Marble Giants cover.

Bassist Kristen Pfaff had decided to take a break from the band at the time of Cobain's suicide. In June 1994, she was found dead by boyfriend and bandmate Eric Erlandson from a heroin overdose. Two months after Kristen's death, Hole began an extensive tour, with Melissa Auf der Maur replacing her on bass.

There have been unsubstantiated rumors regarding Cobain's involvement in this record, from alleged instrumental and songwriting contributions, to claims that he effectively wrote the entire album. What is known is that Cobain sang background vocals for at least a few tracks; he can be heard in the bridge of the released version of "Asking For It", though his vocals are low in the mix. An alternate mix has surfaced which more prominently features his singing. He can also be heard towards the end of "Softer, Softest."

A year earlier, a b-side track for Beautiful Son, "Old Age", was credited as being written by Hole, but had a more complex origin: the song had been recorded a year before by Cobain's band Nirvana, but its lyrics were almost entirely different. Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson later clarified that the song had been given to Hole to re-write and record. An excerpt of "Old Age" is featured before the track "Credit in the Straight World" on the album.

A song entitled "Rock Star", which parodied the band The Lemonheads, was originally slated to close the album, but fearing legal action, the band and label chose to replace it with the track "Olympia". As the artwork had already been printed, however, the original song title remained.

Four singles were released from the album and three promotional videos were shot, for "Miss World" (still with Kristen Pfaff), "Doll Parts" (with L7's bassist Jennifer Finch replacing her) and "Violet" (already with Melissa Auf der Maur).

Everett True titled a book after the album, which details the rise and fall of the early grunge bands of the Nineties. It was also given a spot in TIME magazine's All-TIME 100 Albums list.

Triva

  • Included in Rolling Stone's Essential Recordings of the 90's
  • Ranked #2 in the Village Voice's 1993 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
  • Ranked #6 in Spin Magazine's 90 Greatest Albums of the '90s.
  • Voted Best Album in Rolling Stone's 1995 Critic's Poll.
  • Included on Jon Pareles' (New York Times) list of the Top 10 Albums Of '94
  • Ranked #1 in Spin's list of the `20 Best Albums Of '94'
  • Ranked #1 in the Village Voice's 1994 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll
  • Ranked #12 in NME's list of the Top 50 Albums Of 1994.

Track listing

All songs credited as Hole unless noted otherwise.

  1. "Violet" – 3:24
  2. "Miss World" – 3:00
  3. "Plump" – 2:34
  4. "Asking For It" – 3:29
  5. "Jennifer's Body" – 3:41
  6. "Doll Parts" – 3:31
  7. "Credit in the Straight World" (Stuart Moxham) – 3:11
  8. "Softer, Softest" – 3:27
  9. "She Walks on Me" – 3:23
  10. "I Think That I Would Die" (Hole, Kat Bjelland) – 3:36
  11. "Gutless" – 2:15
  12. "Rock Star" – 2:42
    • This song was originally titled "Olympia" (in reference to Olympia, Washington), but was changed to "Rock Star". This is because originally, a song named "Rock Star" was removed from the final tracklist and was replaced with "Olympia", but the artwork had been printed already, thus to avoid confusion "Olympia"'s name was changed to "Rock Star". The original "Rock Star" can be found on Jabberjaw Compilation: Good to the Last Drop or various bootlegs.

Samples

Personnel

Production

Trivia

  • The back of the album features a picture of Courtney Love in her youth in Marcola, Oregon.
  • The album is dedicated in memory of Courtney's best friend Joe Cole.
  • Spin ranked the album the 19th Best Album since 1985 in an anniversary edition, and 6th best album of the 90s.
  • Mariah Carey has stated that she listened to Live Through This often during the recording of her 1995 album Daydream.

Charts

Album

Year Chart Position
1994 The Billboard 200 52

Singles

Year Single Chart Position
1994 "Miss World" Modern Rock Tracks 13
1994 "Doll Parts" Modern Rock Tracks 4
1994 "Doll Parts" The Billboard Hot 100 58
1995 "Violet" Modern Rock Tracks 29
1995 "Softer, Softest" Modern Rock Tracks 32
1995 "Asking for It" Modern Rock Tracks 36

References

Notes

  • Weisbard, Eric; Craig Marks (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books.

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