Throughout the 1980s, Los Angeles was musically known primarily for the metal bands that would rule the charts throughout the decade. But the city had an indie rock scene, and one of its notable groups emerged from that, and the band is Hole.
Formed in 1989 by Courtney Love via advertisement in Recycler magazine, Hole first recorded for the indie labels Sympathy for the Recorded Industry and Sub Pop in 1990. That year, they released their debut single “Retard Girl”. A year later, and by this time developing a cult following, they signed to Caroline Records for their debut album, the raw and intense Pretty on the Inside. With that album, Hole would be noted for songs that touched on body issues, sexual exploitation, and alienation.
The band brought their raw punk sound to a more radio-friendly rock format with their second album Live Through This. Despite never reaching the top forty, they album sold over a million copies, and was heavily acclaimed by critics, many of which deemed the album as one of the best to come out of the 1990s. Four years later, Hole released Celebrity Skin, their most successful album to date, and their first and only top ten album in the U.S. After disbanding in 2002, they would reform eight years later for another album Nobody’s Daughter.
Despite the polarizing reputation of the band (particulary with Courtney Love), Hole has remained one of the most critically acclaimed bands of all time, and whose songs touched on various overwhelming circumstances in a way not confronted by many other artists. Through the years that have ranked in various “best-of” lists including VH-1’s 100 Greatest Hard Rock Artists in 2000, where they ranked at #77, and Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of all time, where Live Through This ranked at #460.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Hole, eligible in 2015.