"Use once and destroy..."

I was on one of those Interweb forums the other day when the topic turned to Hole. Eventually, as happens, someone posted a comment saying Kurt Cobain had written the Live Through This album.

I’ve heard this comment before and don’t believe it’s true, but nonetheless, I wondered why that rumor persists. I checked around the Web and came up with a couple of things I didn’t know before. First, Cobain sang background vocals for at least some of the tracks on Live Through This. For example, he can be heard in the bridge of the released version of “Asking For It," as well as towards the end of "Softer, Softest."

Second, a b-side track for Hole’s “Beautiful Son,” "Old Age,” which was credited as being written by the band, actually had a more complex origin: the song had been recorded a year before by Cobain, but with different lyrics. Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson later clarified that the song had been given to Hole to rewrite and record.

A Kurt Cobain tribute site adds, “Initially, there was no reason to believe [Old Age] was anything other than a Hole-penned song. However, in 1998, a recording of the song performed by Nirvana (with significantly different lyrics) surfaced in the Seattle newspaper The Stranger. In the article that accompanied the clip, Chris Novoselic confirmed the recording was made in 1991 and "Old Age" was a Nirvana song. This lead to more speculation about
Cobain's involvement in Hole's catalog. Nirvana had even attempted to record "Old Age" during the sessions for Nevermind, but it was left incomplete as Cobain had yet to finish the lyrics and the band had run out of studio time. (The incomplete recording, credited to Cobain, appeared on the 2004 compilation “With the Lights Out.”) As for Hole's version, Erlandson noted that he believed Cobain wrote the music for the song, but that Love had written the lyrics for their version.”

After reading all this, I ended where I began: I don’t think Kurt Cobain wrote the Hole album. At the time, Kurt and Courtney were together and doubtless influenced each other. But I still believe Courtney and Hole wrote their album.

Today, I’m offering up some stuff from “My Body, the Hand Grenade,” a collection of Hole B-sides and unreleased material. Included among the tracks is “Old Age.”

Turpentine.mp3 first recording ever
20 Years In the Dakota.mp3
Old Age.mp3 Live Through This outake
Season of the Witch.mp3 unreleased - from MTV’s Unplugged


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