My Top 10 Favorite Hole Songs in Honor of Courtney Love’s 52nd Birthday

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.

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Hole, during the “Live Through This” era. RIP, Kristen Pfaff.

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.

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Courtney Love

#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.

Returning to Blogging (and a show!)

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Hey everyone — I’m back! After an amazing summer (see above), I’m busier than ever — teaching eight students, writing more articles than ever (including several for LearnVest on personal finance), and (finally!) playing a couple of rock shows. 

My friend Heidi helped me redesign my website a bit, and it is much more ‘rockin’ than it was before. 

And, I’m eating for two. 🙂 So, yes, busy. I’m going to try to commit to three things: 

1.) Blogging once a week here

2.) Writing a daily gratitude list

3.) trying my best not to get overwhelmed by the overwhelmingness of it all. 

So I’m watching “The Voice,” and I can’t help but feel really badly for CeeLo Green. Christina Aguilera is getting all the good artists, and he is hardly getting any. It’s a shame, too, because he’s so talented. Should I try out for “The Voice?” I’m technically over the hill, age-wise. And my voice is good, but it isn’t drop-dead amazing. Then again, neither is Liz Phair’s or Courtney Love’s… 

And speaking of Courtney Love, I’m working on a post I’ll tentatively call “Why I feel sorry for Courtney Love.” I haven’t had much time to work on it, so here’s the short version: tI was this huge Hole fan and Courtney worshipper in the 1990s, but now that I’m a 30-something mom, I find her a little inconsiderate. And a little too needy. She is so ungrateful for a half-full audience at a mid-size club. Yet I would kill to play for that kind of audience.

I guess it’s all relative. I often throw myself a little pity party for all the things I don’t have (parents who live up the street, an amazing relationship with certain relatives, money to just go out and buy a Les Paul, etc.), but there are moms in Bangalore pr Beijing who would do anything to be sitting here with me in my super cozy living room, blogging about not having a Les Paul. 

It’s important to remember these things, to be humble and grateful.