Essential Albums

Artist Playlists

About Hole

Led by the incandescent Courtney Love, Hole were one of the bands that helped make the ’90s alt-rock landscape a place where women could assert themselves through heavy riffs and snarled lyrics. Formed in Los Angeles in 1989 by Love and guitarist Eric Erlandson, Hole took early inspiration from abstract no wave and gnarly rock ’n’ roll. Their first album, 1991’s Pretty On the Inside, was coproduced by Kim Gordon of New York indie standard-bearers Sonic Youth, and its chaotic guitars were countered by Love’s guttural wail. Almost immediately, Hole began getting interest from alt-rock-interested major labels, while Love’s romance with Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain raised her celebrity profile. Live Through This, Hole’s major-label debut, came out in April 1994, one week after Cobain’s death; its blend of fury and melodicism made the frantic “Violet” and the weary “Miss World” and “Doll Parts” radio hits; that year was further punctuated by tragedy in June, when bassist Kristen Pfaff passed away. She was replaced by Melissa Auf der Maur, and the group spent the rest of 1994 and 1995 touring the world. A year later, the band’s Ric Ocasek-produced cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” pointed toward a further glamming-up of their sound, and 1998’s Celebrity Skin, which featured tracks like the New Wave-inspired title track and the pensive “Awful,” cemented that shift. Hole broke up in 2002, with Love releasing a solo album in 2004; six years later, she released the pop-leaning Nobody’s Daughter under the Hole name, but with an all-new lineup. Love was one of the alt-rock boom’s biggest stars, transcending music with her efforts in fashion and film; that starpower is matched by the fury of Hole’s best songs, which remain anthems for disaffected women around the world.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada