Happy Monday! This week’s Sound and Vision is Hole’s 1994 album Live Through This, a masterful synthesis of grunge, punk, and pop, cementing them among the 1990’s most important artists. The album refined Hole’s earlier instrumentals and lyricism, featuring lead singer Courtney Love’s powerful reflections on motherhood, violence, elitism, and vanity, as well as more streamlined melodies than previous releases. Tragically, 1994 would see the death of Hole’s bassist Kristen Pfaff, as well as the death of Love’s husband and Nirvana-frontman Kurt Cobain. 

Juxtapoz Sound and Vision is a weekly segment on our platform dedicated to exploring one piece of substantial album artwork every Sunday. Album artwork is one of the primary ways that musicians and visual artists are able to collaborate, and many iconic album covers are simultaneously iconic pieces of pop art. It’s also an excuse for us to share some of our favorite albums and the visual component behind what makes an album groundbreaking and fun.

Hole: Live Through This
Cover photography by Ellen von Unwerth, featuring Leilani Bishop

HoleLiveThroughThisJUX

Happy Monday! This week’s Sound and Vision is Hole’s 1994 album Live Through This, a masterful synthesis of grunge, punk, and pop, cementing them among the 1990’s most important artists. The album refined Hole’s earlier instrumentals and lyricism, featuring lead singer Courtney Love’s powerful reflections on motherhood, violence, elitism, and vanity, as well as more streamlined melodies than previous releases. Tragically, 1994 would see the death of Hole’s bassist Kristen Pfaff, as well as the death of Love’s husband and Nirvana-frontman Kurt Cobain. 

The album’s cover captures more about the motifs and themes of the album. The subject of the photograph is model Leilani Bishop, shot by German photographer and director Ellen von Unwerth. Love elaborated on the cover in an interview, saying “(we) wanted to capture the look on a woman's face as she's being crowned... this sort of ecstatic, blue eyeliner running, kind of 'I am, I am—I won! I have hemorrhoid cream under my eyes and adhesive tape on my ass, and I had to scratch and claw and fuck my way up, but I won Miss Congeniality!'" Unwerth would go on to work with many other female pop-icons, including Rihanna, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, and Janet Jackson.