On this day in 1994, Hole released their second studio album, Live Through This. The record was released four days after frontwoman Courtney Love’s husband, Kurt Cobain, was found dead in their garage from a gunshot wound to the head.
The record received high praise and landed 1994’s Best Album of the Year on Rolling Stone Magazine‘s Critics chart and was included in Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, as well as being on the top 100 charts in seven different countries.
The album was recorded in October 1993 at Triclops Studios in Marietta, Georgia, with producers Paul Q. Kolderie and Sean Slade. According to drummer Patty Schemel, there were copious amounts of crystal meth in the studio and many songs, including ‘Miss World’ were recorded while high on the drug. Kurt Cobain joined his wife in the studio, providing backing vocals on two tracks: ‘Asking For It’ and ‘Softer, Softest’, although his voice is virtually unheard. Today, you can hear tracks online that were previously unreleased of Cobain in the studio with Love, confused over what to sing, though he rambles lyrics off the top of his head (with Love’s constant insistence). The band finished recording on October 31.
Live Through This was the complete opposite of Hole’s first record, Pretty On The Inside, which is a lovely mess of heavy distortion, altered tuning and screaming, though many critics find it to be un-listenable. For the new record, Love wanted to sound more “pop”, so the original drummer and bassist left Hole, not interested in the new concept and they were replaced by favored drummer Patty Schemel and bassist Kristen Pfaff.
Songs were written in standard tuning using basic chords, power chords, and arpeggios. The album ranged from heavy guitar and raw vocals in songs such as ‘Plump’, ‘I Think That I Would Die’ and ‘Rock Star’, to gentle ballads like ‘Softer, Softest’ and ‘Doll Parts’, giving the band a more radio-friendly sound.
‘I Think That I Would Die’ was written with Babes In Toyland frontwoman, and off-and-on again friend, Kat Bjelland. The song ‘Rock Star’ was improperly titled, the actual song name being ‘Olympia’; but the mistake wasn’t noticed until the artwork had already been printed.
The album’s title, Live Through This, is taken from a monolog by Vivian Leigh in the classic film Gone with the Wind, with the phrasing also appearing in the lyrics for the track ‘Asking For It’.