Celebrity Skin is Hole's third studio album, released worldwide on September 8th, 1998 by Geffen Records and released in the United States the next day by DGC Records. It was the band's last album before they dissolved in 2002 after a period of inactivity. Celebrity Skin is Hole's most commercially successful record, receiving positive reviews from critics, selling 1,400,000 copies in the US alone and is platinum certified in Australia, Canada and the USA.
The Celebrity Skin Era was a tumultuous time for the band, with drummer Patty Schemel being replaced with session drummer Deen Castronova at the suggestion of Record Producer Michael Beinhorn, causing her to quit the band and drop out of the tour. Celebrity Skin is the only album featuring bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur, who replaced previous bassist Kristen Pfaff (who tragically died in 1994).
Celebrity Skin is notable for being Lighter and Softer than Hole's previous albums, Live Through This and Pretty on the Inside, and features contributions from musicians outside the band, primarily Billy Corgan from The Smashing Pumpkins, who co-wrote five songs on the album.
- Celebrity Skin (2:42)
- Awful (3:16)
- Hit So Hard (4:00)
- Malibu (3:50)
- Reasons to Be Beautiful (5:19)
- Dying (3:44)
- Use Once And Destroy (5:04)
- Northern Star (4:58)
- Boys On The Radio (5:09)
- Heaven Tonight (3:31)
- Playing Your Song (3:21)
- Petals (5:29)
- Album Title Drop: Celebrity Skin, the name of the album and the first track.
- Call-Back: 'Celebrity Skin' features a Call-Back to 'Asking for It', from the previous album Live Through This.Asking for It: Every time that I sell myself to you, I feel a little bit cheaper than I used to.
Celebrity Skin: You want a part of me? Well I'm not selling cheap.
- The chorus of 'Petals'note was also taken from the first verse of 'Asking For It'note .
- Central Theme: California
- Genre Shift: Celebrity Skin is more pop than Hole's previous output.
- Grief Song: 'Malibu' and 'Reasons to Be Beautiful', about the death of Courtney Love's husband Kurt Cobain.
- Lighter and Softer: Than the Grunge Live Through This and the Noise Rock Pretty on the Inside.
- One-Word Title: 'Awful', 'Malibu', 'Dying', 'Petals'.
- Scenic Route: 'Drag', the B-side from the 'Malibu' single describes one.
- Shout-Out: Plenty of these throughout the album.
- The line '"Oh look at my face. My name is Might-Have-Been" in 'Celebrity Skin' references Dante Gabriel Rossetti's A Superscription.
- "I'm glad I came here with your pound of flesh" from the same song is a reference to The Merchant of Venice.
- "Swing low, sweet cherry", the opening lines of 'Awful' are a Shout-Out to American spiritual song 'Swing low, Sweet Chariot'.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Samantha started out the promotional cycle with red hair, just in case they could convince Patty to come back to the band before anyone noticed that they had a new drummer.
- Urban Legend: There's a persistant one that Billy Corgan wrote the entire album, although in reality he only collaborated on five songs.