It’s hard to untangle Hole’s Live Through This from the events surrounding its release. The album was released on April 12, 1994, a mere four days after the discovery of Kurt Cobain’s body at his East Seattle home; the death of Hole bassist Kristen Pfaff from a drug overdose two months later served as a morbid postlude. And with the rise in conspiracy theories surrounding Cobain’s death (and, let’s face it, Courtney Love’s behavior in recent years), the band remains as controversial as ever.
Now music journalist Jessica Hopper has set out to reclaim Hole from the “Kurt truthers” in her new oral history of Live Through This. The band’s history is as full of drugs and drama as you would expect, but one thing is made very clear: Whether you think its frontwoman is a rock goddess or a murderous nutjob, Hole was a musical force to be reckoned with. Rip up your babydoll dress, smear your red lipstick, and check it out over at Spin.