It should have been a great time for Courtney Love. It was 1994 and her second album with her alternative rock band, Hole, was doing well. But the album Live Through This was released in April, 1994, just days after Love’s husband, Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, was found dead in their Seattle home.
Much has been made of the timing of the album’s release. Love has said in interviews that Cobain was proud of the work she did on the album. But would Live Through This have been as successful if Cobain hadn’t died? Based on the music trends at the time, I would still say yes.
Live Through This is one of the best alternative rock albums of the 1990’s, in my opinion. It spawned the hit singles “Miss World” and “Doll Parts” and was more mainstream “grunge” than previous Hole records. And even though it didn’t peak the top 40 on the Billboard charts, Live Through This received numerous accolades from Rolling Stone, Spin magazine and the Village Voice, all deeming it one of the most important records of that year. Of course it didn’t hurt that Nirvana fans were trying to reconnect with Cobain after his death and some may have found solace in his wife’s timely album, which was reportedly heavily influenced by him, but the music still speaks for itself.
From start to finish, Live Through This features great songs and memorable rock riffs.
The album kicks off with “Violet”, a fast paced song with a great hook, which is one of the best songs on the album.
“Miss World”, the album’s first single, is the most mainstream of all the songs, but its gloomy lyrics can’t be disguised. Still, maybe in an attempt to balance things out, the song’s video is a tad tongue in cheek, featuring Love and a big powder puff, looking like the Prom Queen from hell by the end of it.
On a slower scale, the song “Doll Parts” is one of the most well-known songs from the album, and it was promoted by a music video that features a young Cobain look-alike. This song is as close to a ballad as you’re going to get from Hole.
The song “Asking For It” features Cobain on backup vocals, although you have to really listen closely to hear his voice.
And while Courtney Love can screech and wail like the best of the alternative rockers, for the most part she is restrained on this album, letting out a few fierce wails but also showing her softer side.
With great support from guitarist Eric Erlandson, bassist Kristen Pfaff (who died a few months after Live Through This was released), and drummer Patty Schemel, it’s still Love’s fierce voice that really shines through, despite an album rifled with odd lyrics.
On “Doll Parts” she sings “I want to be the girl with the most cake”. Indeed on this album, Courtney Love most definitely is.
Recommended Download: Violet
Or buy the whole album at:
Live Through This CD/Hole