by Marisa Torrieri Bloom
Most of you know I’ve been a HUGE fan of Courtney Love and Hole since May 1994, when I read a review of “Live Through This,” and decided to buy the then-newly-released CD. Two months later, I rocked out at my very first Hole show (at the now-transformed WUST Radio Music Hall in Washington, D.C.) and found my goddess: Courtney Love was EVERYTHING. To this day, Hole is still one of my top five favorite bands (though I’m not the smitten teen I once was, especially when Courtney starts shows late on a weeknight).
On July 9, Courtney Love turns 52 (wow!). While the controversial rock mama continues to make headlines, I decided to get nostalgic and reminisce about the good ol’ days of grunge, while I hold onto hope that the late 1994 lineup, which includes Patty Schmel, Eric Erlandson, and Melissa Auf der Maur, will return to the stage.
Until then, I offer this list of my top 10 favorite Hole songs of all time:
#10 “Doll Parts” (Live Through This): Who doesn’t want to be the girl with the most cake? And who doesn’t totally dig Courtney Love with just an acoustic guitar, all stripped down?
#9 “Miss World” (Live Through This): This song is a powerful “f#ck you” to the beauty pageant industry. At the time it was written, mainstream America still had a fascination with these kinds of competitions, so for legions of young teens like me, it became our anthem.
#8 “Celebrity Skin” (Celebrity Skin): From the moment she demanded “Oh, make me over” I was hooked on this title track to Hole’s “Live Through This” follow-up.
#7 “Sugar Coma”: Let’s not confuse “Sugar Coma” with “Boys on The Radio,” a re-purposed version of the original, and a much more watered-down track. The original was perfect.
#6 “Best Sunday Dress”: There’s something sweet on the surface of this single, with the chord progression, which gives the lyrics “Put on my best Sunday dress/walk straight into this mess of mine” a more powerful punch.
#5 “Teenage Whore” (Pretty on the Inside): “Pretty on The Inside” is Hole’s rawest album. It’s gritty punk goodness, and “Teenage Whore” tells it like it is.
#4 “My Beautiful Son”: I’m not sure what this song is about, but I think it’s about having a transgender son? The 1993 track has me singing along every time.
#3 “Pretty on the Inside” (Pretty on The Inside): I miss angry, super-grunge Courtney Love. I love the title track from this record because it comes on, unexpected.
#2 “Plump” (Live Through This): Because the guitar riffs and scream-singing is so awesome.
#1 “Violet” (Live Through This): I will always remember “Violet” as the song that got me hooked on Hole and grunge, with its proud, anthemic chorus, “go on, take everything, take everything!” I felt so many emotions hearing this song, and it still gets me giddy today!
— Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the founder of Rockmommy.