American alternative rock group Hole, originally founded in 1989 by lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and songwriter Courtney Love and lead guitarist and songwriter Eric Erlandson, first became known in the underground circuit with the debut album “Pretty on the Inside” (1991), which spawned the No. 1 U.K. hit single “Teenage Whore.” Three years later, the band entered the mainstream with the critically acclaimed platinum release “Life Through This,” which was also a No. 13 hit in the U.K. The album produced four Modern Rock Track hit singles, including “Doll Parts” (#4) and “Miss World” (#13). “Life Through This” has been widely regarded as Hole's best output and one of the greatest albums of the 1990s. Hole gained even more commercial victory with the Grammy nominated album “Celebrity Skin” (1998), their first Top 10 hit on the Billboard 200 and also their fastest album to achieve platinum certification. It generated the Modern Rock Track No. 1 hit with the titled single, which also brought Hole Grammy nominations for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, and an additional Grammy nominated single titled “Malibu.”
After 13 years, Hole dissolved in 2002 and the two founding members worked on their own separate projects. Love reformed the group in 2009 with lead guitarist Micko Larkin. Since then, Hole went on tour and released the studio album “Nobody's Daughter” in April 2010. The debut single “Skinny Little Bitch” made the top 20 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks, the group's first hit on the chart since 1999's “Awful.”
Childhood and Family:
Formerly playing for the early versions of Faith No More and Babes in Toyland, among other bands, Courtney Love (born on July 9, 1964, in San Francisco, California) formed her own band and placed an advertisement in the punk rock fanzine “Flipside” for fellow aspiring musicians to collaborate with her. Shortly thereafter, she got an answer from guitarist and songwriter Eric Erlandson (born on January 9, 1963, in Los Angeles, California) and they officially founded Hole in August 1989 in Los Angeles. Love and Erlandson would become the only two constant members before the group disbanded in 2002.
In 2009, Love reformed Hole by recruiting ex-Larrikin Love guitarist Micko Larkin (born on October 13, 1986 in Hammersmith, London) as the replacement for Erlandson. Bassist Shawn Dailey and drummer Stu Fisher later joined the group.
Hole went to their first rehearsal in Fortress Studios in Hollywood with original bassist Lisa Roberts, who joined Love and Erlandson shortly after the band was founded in 1989. The group then recruited drummer Caroline Rue and a third guitarist, Mike Geisbrecht. Following three months of rehearsal, Hole made their first professional performance at a small club in Los Angeles in September 1989. They went on to play another three shows later that same year. Geisbrecht left the group in 1989 and was replaced by Errol Stewart. Stewart, however, left Hole within a few weeks. Before long, Roberts followed in the footsteps of Stewart and left in early 1990.
After recruiting bassist Jill Emery in 1991, Hole toured often while preparing their studio material. The band launched their first single, “Retard Girl,” in April 1990. The sophomore single “Dicknail” was released in March 1991 on Sub Pop label. Both singles were co-written by Love and Erlandson. The group's first full length album, “Pretty on the Inside,” followed on September 17, 1991. It was produced by Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and Gumball guitarist and vocalist Don Fleming and became the group only release on Caroline Records. At the time of its release, the album earned positive reviews and was named Album of the Year by “Village Voice” magazine. “Pretty on the Inside” was an underground hit, especially in the U.K., where it peaked at No. 59. The album yielded one single with the song “Teenage Whore,” which entered the U.K. Indie Chart at No. 1. No promo video was made for the single, but the group did create a music video for the third track “Garbage Man,” even tough the song was not released as a single. In support of the album, Hole toured extensively throughout North America and Europe in 1991. Some of the musicians who performed with the group during the tour were Seattle grunge band Mudhoney, Daisy Chainsaw, Therapy, and The Smashing Pumpkins. After the tour was completed, Caroline Rue and Jill Emery quit the group in 1992.
The album's success, coupled with the highly reported relationship between Love and her husband Curt Cobain of the band Nirvana, eventually landed Hole a record contract with major label Geffen Records. Hole recorded the second studio album and their first major label record “Life Through This” with bassist Kristen Pfaff, who stayed with the group from 1993 until her death in June 1994 of an apparent heroin overdose, and drummer Patty Schemel. Prior to the album's release, the group released the fourth single “Beautiful Song,” which is about Cobain's love of wearing dresses, in April 1993 on the European label City Slang. Co-written by Love, Erlandson and Schemel, the song peaked at No. 54 on the U.K. Singles chart.
“Life Through This” was released on April 12, 1994, just four days after Cobain was found dead in the couple's home. The album won strong critical acclaim and was also a commercial success. It debuted at No. 52 on the Billboard 200 and rose to No. 13 in the U.K. and Australia. The album went gold in December that year and went on to achieve platinum status in June the following year. It has sold two million units worldwide.
Released in April 1994, the lead single “Miss World,” co-written by Love and Erlandson, rose to No. 13 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and No. 64 in the U.K. A music video was made to promote the single, with Sophie Muller directing. The second single, “Doll Parts” (1994), which was written by Love, went to No. 4 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, No. 58 on the Billboard Hot 100 and made the Top 20 in the U.K. (#16). The song earned a 1995 MTV Music Video nomination for Best Alternative Video. The album produced two more Billboard Modern Rock Tracks hits with “Violet” (#29) and “Softer, Softest” (#32), with “Violet” also hitting the U.K. Singles chart at No. 17.
Hole began their first tour as headliners after the release of “Live Through This” on September 1, 1994, at the Phoenix Theatre in Toronto, and dedicated it to their late bassist Kristen Pfaff. The group recruited Melissa Auf der Maur as Pfaff's replacement and toured extensively throughout 1994 and 1995.
Hole launched an EP titled “Ask for It” on September 8, 1995. It charted at No. 172 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold about 160,000 copies. They then covered Fleetwood Mac's single “Gold Dust Woman” and released it as their ninth single in 1996. The song was also featured on the soundtrack of the motion picture “The Crow: City of Angels” (1996), a sequel to the 1994 cult film “The Crow.” Hole's version of the song went to No. 31 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks. On August 26, 1997, the band released a second EP called “The First Season,” featuring the full recording of the band's first ever studio session in March 1990. Later that same year, on October 28, 1997, the band released a compilation album titled “My Body, the Hand Grenade” on City Slang. Drummer Patty Schemel left the group in 1997.
Hole eventually released the third studio album, “Celebrity Skin,” on September 8, 1998 Produced by Michael Beinhorn and Erlandson, the album garnered primarily positive reviews and was another commercial success for the group. It entered the Billboard 200 at No. 9 and became the group's first record to make the top 10. It went platinum on December 21, 1998. The album also charted in the U.K. at No. 11 and in Canada and New Zealand at No. 3 and 15, respectively. It was nominated for a 1999 Grammy for Best Rock Album.
The debut titled single “Celebrity Skin,” which was co-written by Love, Erlandson and Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins, was released on September 1, 1998, and went on to be the most commercially successful single for the group. It rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and No.4 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks and became their first single since “Doll Parts” to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 (#85). “Celebrity Skin” was nominated for Grammys in the categories of Best Rock Song and Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
The second single “Malibu,” released in November 1998, rose to No. 3 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks, No. 16 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks and No. 81 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also went to No. 22 in the U.K. and No. 38 on the RIANZ Top 40 in New Zealand. It was nominated for a 2000 Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. The music video for “Malibu,” which was directed by Paul Hunter, received a 1999 MTV Video Music nomination for Best Cinematography in a Video. The third single from “Celebrity Skin,” “Awful” (1999), peaked at No. 13 on the U.S. Modern Rock Tracks and No. 42 in the U.K.
After the release of the album, Hole hired Samantha Maloney as their touring drummer in 1998 and she would remain with the group until 2000. They toured extensively in 1999 to promote the album and performed at various festivals. A few months after the group had their show at Vancouver's Thunderbird Stadium in July 1999, bassist Melissa Auf der Maur left the group and then became a touring bassist for the Smashing Pumpkins.
In March 2000, the remaining members Love and Erlandson released the single “Be a Man,” another song co-written and including bass work by Corgan, for the soundtrack of the Oliver Stone film “Any Given Sunday” (1999). It would become the group's last single before they broke up.
After Hole disbanded in 2002, Love and Erlandson went on to work separately. Love released her solo album in 2004 called “America's Sweetheart,” while Erlandson continued on as a session musician and producer. He also formed the group PRIICCEE with Vincent Gallo.
In June 2009, Love proclaimed Hole would be reunited with guitarist Micko Larkin, formerly of Larrikin Love, replacing Eric Erlandson on lead guitar. Erlandson and former bassist Melissa Auf der Maur, however, confirmed during the following months that there was to be no reunion. Despite the denial, Hole's reunion proceeded and Love later recruited Shawn Dailey and English musician Stu Fisher as Hole's drummer and bassist, respectively.
The fourth studio album, “Nobody's Daughter,” was released on April 23, 2010. The lead single “Skinny Little Bitch,” co-written by Love and Larkin, rose to No. 19 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks and No. 29 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks. It was followed by the digital download singles “Pacific Coast Highway,” co-written by Love and Corgan, and “Letter To God” in 2010.