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Music / Live Through This

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"Someday, you will ache like I ache..."

Live Through This is the second album from Hole, released just four days after Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994. It was also their only album with bassist Kristen Pfaff, before she too died of a heroin overdose just two months later.

Persistent urban legends claim that Cobain, Love's late husband, ghostwrote most of the material. Despite this baseless rumor, Live Through This is widely acclaimed and produced hit songs like "Violet", "Miss World", "Asking For It", "Rock Star", "Softer, Softest", and "Doll Parts".


Side One

  1. "Violet" (3:24)
  2. "Miss World" (3:00)
  3. "Plump" (2:34)
  4. "Asking For It" (3:29)
  5. "Jennifer's Body" (3:42)
  6. "Doll Parts" (3:31)

Side Two

  1. "Credit in the Straight World" (3:11)
  2. "Softer, Softest" (3:28)
  3. "She Walks on Me" (3:24)
  4. "I Think That I Would Die" (3:36)
  5. "Gutless" (2:15)
  6. "Rock Star" (2:42) note 

I've listed tropes, I'll die in it.

  • Album Title Drop: "Asking For It"
    If you live through this with me, I swear that I would die for you.
  • Alliterative Title: "Softer, Softest".
  • Arc Words: The word "milk" appears in several of the lyrics.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: "I Think That I Would Die" is a pretty slow and melancholy song, which just makes the vitriol when she screams all the more powerful.
  • Beauty Contest: Alluded to on the album cover and in the tracks "Miss World".
  • Break Up Song: "Violet", reputedly about her breakup with Billy Corgan.
  • Careful with That Axe: "Violet", "Plump", "I Think That I Would Die", and "Rock Star" have Courtney Love screaming her lungs out.
  • Cover Version: "Credit in the Straight World" was originally by Young Marble Giants.
  • Creator Cameo: The little girl on the back cover is Courtney herself at a young age.
  • Creepy Doll: The dolls in the music video of "Doll Parts".
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The music video of "Doll Parts".
  • Face on the Cover: The model Leilani Bishop holding a bouquet, shown in close-up. Courtney is on the back cover, in a candid childhood photo.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: "Rock Star" (Olympia) seemingly ends, but Courtney is heard saying: "No, we're not done yet", and then the song continues for a minute more.
  • Functional Addict: Kristen and Patty did most of this album under the influence of either heroin or meth depending on what their dealers had that day, but Kristen was still playing well enough that every bass track was done in a single take with no overdubs, to the bewilderment of the producers.
  • Last Note Nightmare / Last Note Hilarity: "Rock Star" goes on a long, atonal jam for about thirty seconds before Courtney softly says "Goodbye."
  • Lighter and Softer: The album is more melodic and poppy than Hole's previous output.
    • One song is named "Softer Softest".
  • Non-Indicative Name: "Rock Star" is actually titled "Olympia", but the title was misprinted.
  • One-Woman Song: "Miss World" and "Jennifer's Body".
  • One-Word Title: "Violet", "Plump", "Gutless".
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: "Asking For It" delivers this message.
    Was she asking for it?
    Was she asking nice?
    If she was asking for it
    Did she ask you twice?
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: "Violet" is said to have been about her relationship with Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins. "I Think That I Would Die" is about the custody battle between Love and Cobain over their daughter in 1992. "Miss World" and "Plump" also deal with motherhood. "Asking For It" was inspired by a 1991 concert incident where Love was assaulted and had her clothes ripped off while crowdsurfing, leaving her entirely naked.
  • Retirony: Kristen was planning to leave Seattle and go back to her old band because Minnesota didn't have many heroin dealers. The friends who found her dead had come to pick her up, and her U-Haul trailer was loaded in the driveway.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Live through this" and "Asking for it" are derived from a quote from Gone with the Wind and "kill me pills" refers to poet Anne Sexton's who called her drug overdose by barbiturates and pentobarbital this. The refrain in "Plump" in which Love sings, "I'm eating you. I'm overfed" also bears similarity to a line from Sexton's poem "The Ballad of the Lonely Masturbator", which reads: "They are eating each other. They are overfed."
    • Liv Tyler dances to "Rock Star" in Stealing Beauty.
    • The song "Doll Parts" is also played in Juno.
    • Also, if you listen closely to "Doll Parts", and are familiar with Anne Sexton's work, you can detect hints of "Self in 1958"; in particular, the dual representations of a woman's body as that of a doll.
  • Suddenly Shouting: "Violet" and the aforementioned Atomic F-Bomb in "I Think That I Would Die".
  • Urban Legend: To this day rumors circulate that Cobain had written the songs, not Love. This has been denied by everyone who worked on the album. The only proven case of him doing any uncredited ghost-writing was the "Violet" B-Side "Old Age", which was later revealed to be a reworking of an unfinished Nirvana demo.