Miles and miles of perfect skin: Best of Courtney Love + Hole

It’s been twenty years since Courtney Love’s aesthetic fate was tied to Kurt Cobain’s, yet every few months I tangle with outliers on social media who still recite as if it were the Nicene Creed the conviction that Cobain wrote her songs. If Love never topped Live Through This and Celebrity Skin — the latter released four years after her husband’s death — blame her disastrous private life. How would you respond to your spouse’s suicide — a spouse who was the most famous rock and roller in 1994? But every time “Awful” and “Jennifer’s Body” come up on my phone I remember her scabrous, witty vocals, chemistry with guitarist Eric Erlandson, and superb lyrics. I don’t often compliment bands for lyrics. Love’s were exceptionally clear-headed: dissections of stardom worthy of idol Stevie Nicks, ruminations on being a mother when your emotional health is still at an adolescent level.

1. Rock Star
2. Playing That Song
3. Softer, Softest
4. Gutless
5. Credit in the Straight World
6. Awful
7. Heaven Tonight
8. Asking For It
9. Jennifer’s Body
10. But Julian I’m a Little Older Than You
11. Celebrity Skin
12. Pacific Coast Highway
13. Malibu
14. Mono
15. Teenage Whore
16, Miss World
17. Reasons to Be Beautiful
19. Doll Parts
20. Dying

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