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Album of the week: Celebrity Skin – Hole

Pierre Waterschoot



Celebrity Skins

Celebrity Skins is the third studio album by American alternative rock band Hole, released on September 8, 1998 in the United States on DGC Records and internationally on Geffen Records. It was the last album released by the band before their disbandment in 2002. Hole intended the record to deviate significantly from their previous noise and grunge influenced sound as featured on Pretty on the Inside (1991) et Live Through This (1994). The band hired the producer Michael Beinhorn to record Celebrity Skin over a nine month period including sessions in Los Angeles, New York and London. It was the band's only studio release to feature bassist Melissa Auf der Maur. The thresher patty schemel played album demos, but was replaced by session drummer Dean Castronovo at the suggestion of producer Beinhorn. This issue created a rift between Schemel and the band, which led to her abandoning the tour and parting ways with the band, although she was given drum credit on the album.

Celebrity Skins

The band sought to use Los Angeles and the state of California as a unifying theme and began writing what they conceived of as a "California album" in 1997. Unlike previous Hole releases, Celebrity Skin's later songs featured instrumental contributions from several outside musicians, primarily Billy Corgan, who co-wrote the musical arrangements for five songs. The former teammate ofAuf der Maur, Jordon Zadorozny, as well as the guitarist of Go-Go, Charlotte Caffey, also contributed to the composition of a track. The singer Courtney Love, who wrote all the lyrics, named the album and its title track after a poem she had written that was influenced by " The Waste Land  "To T. S. Eliot . Water and drowning motifs are also prominent throughout the album.


Celebrity Skin is Hole's most commercially successful album. It peaked at number nine on the US Billboard 200, number four on the Australian Albums Chart and number 11 on the UK Albums Chart. To date, it has sold over 1,4 million copies in the United States alone, was certified double platinum in Australia by theAustralian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and platinum in Canada by Music Canada (MC) and in the United States by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It earned Hole a number one single on the chart Modern Rock Tracks with the title track, "Celebrity Skin". Critical reaction to the album was overwhelmingly positive, and it charted on several releases' year-end lists in 1998, including those of Time et The Village Voice . The album was named the 265th greatest album of all time by a 2013 poll by NME magazine and was featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Hole Celebrity Skin

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