Live Through This turns 20.
Four days. Live Through This was released four days after Kurt Cobain’s body was found. What was to be Hole’s second album turned into Courtney Love’s eulogy of sorts to her dead husband. With lyrics (some claim were co-written by Kurt himself) and songs poured over and analyzed by the media and distraught fans, Live Through This is a bizarre, almost mythic release of thrashing riot-girl-punk-grunge that’s now two decades old. “Violet”, “Plump”, “Doll Parts”, there’s a gonzo-americana quality to these songs, traveling over long highways, maybe road-tested in the shittiest dive-bars, some building on nothing but lazily strummed acoustic guitars and Courtney’s pained, emotive yelps and pleas. Building, sloppily into walls of electric riffs and Love’s screams, thanks mostly in part to Paul Kolderie and Sean Slade’s compressed loud-soft-loud production gimmicks. There’s a cheapness, a thin, almost anemic (but highly melodic) quality to these songs about motherhood, bulimia, love and, of course, death. It feels like an album created by a band led by a woman who has lost everything, including her soul-mate…despite being written and recorded while Kurt was still very much alive. A collection of prescient thoughts from someone who knew the worst was right around the corner? who knows. Though it’s hard to imagine Hole and Courtney topping Live Through This' emotional and musical highs, what remains is an alternative classic that triumphs regardless of it's dark and storied birth.
"someday you will ache, like I ache…"