❝How did you all get together?❞
"My generation’s apathy. I’m disgusted with it. I’m disgusted with my own apathy too, for being spineless and not always standing up against racism, sexism and all those other -isms the counterculture has been whining about for years." - Kurt Cobain talking about the meaning behind ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’
Dean’s Character Quirks
Freddie Mercury’s vocal range, ladies and gentlemen.
We are not worthy
The truth is there is something reactionary about much of the criticism of her. There’s sexism, even misogyny, in many of the put-downs. She cops a lot as a woman that wouldn’t be thrown at a man. It’s as if she has somehow been made to pay for breaking the rules of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, even though no rules existed until she came along with her stringy blonde hair and big mouth. (…)
Like a lot of grunge music, her songs were rooted in feelings of damage. Psychological scars were on defiant display. But Courtney Love, done up in ragged baby doll dresses and Mary Janes, her make-up heavy and smeared, gave a distinctly female expression to grunge’s (usually male) damage narrative. No other grunge artist could have come out with albums like Pretty On The Inside (Hole’s thrilling, abrasive debut) and Live Through This (the loud and lush follow-up, and Hole’s finest moment).
Live Through This is an album about sexual double standards and exploitation. About sorrow and survival. About chasing beauty while feeling ugly. Love hurls the rage around throughout, but she is also darkly humorous, and self-aware enough to take aim at the woman in the mirror (”I fake it so real I am beyond fake,” she deadpans on Doll Parts).
In a voice that is by turns angry and heartbroken, Love sings about feeling used and discarded (Violet), domestic violence (Jennifer’s Body), parental neglect (Softer, Softest), sexual politics (Asking For It) and about the sickness and distortions of beauty myths (Miss World). And when, halfway through the album, Love cries over and over again, ”Someday you will ache like I ache”, the line seems to capture the listless motivation of every sad teenager who has ever turned to rock music for solace and a way through.
It is a shame that Live Through This, though a successful album, isn’t more widely acclaimed. The tragic circumstances of the album’s release had the twin effect of giving it huge exposure and yet somehow overshadowing just how good it was. All that has swirled around Love in the years since - the conspiracy theories, the tabloid stories, the drama, the outrage, the sexism - has made it even harder to hear the album for what it is: a glorious and scorching piece of feminist rock’n’roll. (…)
What Courtney Love did do was live wild. She took drugs and trusted others could look after themselves. She flirted with self-destruction. She got into fights. She burned with ambition. She flaunted her sexuality and was upfront with her desire. What she did, in other words, was behave like male rock stars always have. (x)