Monday, May 24, 2010

The HOLE Truth: A Comprehensive Collection Of B-sides, Outtakes & Other Rarities v1 (1985-1991)

A Comprehensive Collection Of B-sides, Outtakes & Other Rarities (v1) 1985-1991

Size: 165.61 MB (RAR File)
36 tracks, all encoded in the MP3 format (bitrate varies), then bundled into a RAR archive for download.


01 My Dream* (1:54)
02 Best Sunday Dress
Sugar Baby Doll/Pagan Babies Demo (2:22)
03 Girls Can Play Football Too* (1:15)
04 Cold Shoulders
Sugar Baby Doll/Pagan Babies Demo (2:32)

05  Kat Bjelland (:57)
06  Quiet Room Sugar Baby Doll/Pagan Babies Demo (1:52)
07 Bernadine Sugar Baby Doll/Pagan Babies Demo (2:54)

08 I Was Desperate* (:48)
09 Hole In Your Head
Live at Nightmoves, Huntington Beach 11/11/89 (2:53)
10 El Diablo Live at Nightmoves, Huntington Beach 11/11/89 (4:01)
11 In The Endless Night Of The Alaskan Winter* (:40)
12 Johnnie's In The Bathroom (2:18)
13 Filling A Hole* (:38)
14 Turpentine (4:00)
15 Phonebill Song (1:48)

16 Long Gone John* (:50)
17 Retard Girl (4:46)
18 Every Man
Live at Club Lingerie, Hollywood 10/10/90 (4:32)
19 The Void In All Of Us* (1:03)
20 Burn Black
(Jack Endino Mix) (4:57)
21 Dicknail (Jack Endino Mix) (3:38)
22 Teenage Whore (2:57)
23 Drown Soda (4:50)

24 On Hole in 1991* (:18)
25 Garbadge Man (Unreleased Alternate Mix) (3:04)
26 The Only Rape I Know
Live at La Cigale, Paris 11/26/91 (1:47)
27 Want It So Bad 
Live at Bierkeller, Bristol, England 8/19/91 (1:11)

28 Where Did You Sleep Last Night? Live at the Rose Club, Koln GER on 12/4/91 (1:53)
29 Chad Live at Doornroosje, Nijmegan HOL 11/24/91 (1:53)
30 I Am (early version of 'Doll Parts') Live at Tower Records, Cambridge, MA 11/6/91 (1:32)
31 Doll Parts (Peel Sessions) (2:21)
32 Violet
(Peel Sessions) (3:36)
33 Forming/Hot Chocolate Boy
(Peel Sessions) (1:32)

34 Do You Fake It? Live at The Rivoli's, Toronto 11/1/91 (1:39)
35 Drown Soda (Peel Sessions) (3:51)

*Non-musical segment/interlude.

Hate her or LOVE her, one can't deny the astronomic will power and determination of the former Courtney Michelle Harrison, especially in regards to her music career. Determined to be a "rock star" no matter what, her first attempt at fronting a band came at the tender age of 16 when she briefly fronted an early version of Faith No More. Although she had star potential (apparently getting the job by being willing to light her hair on fire on stage), Courtney's strong persona soon was at odds with the band's "democratic" nature and she was ousted after only a few months. While this was a disappointment for Love, it also freed her up to focus on what she had dreamed about ever since she saw the first Runaways single at The Crystal Ship record store in Portland, OR - to have a female band that was as big as the Beatles. (Love subsequently shoplifted that record.)

Back in Portland, Courtney heard about a cool, new girl in town that played guitar and had similar ambition - Kat Bjelland. Bjelland and Love hit it off immediately and together began to plot their ascension to the top. On a hunch that the next big music explosion would happen in San Francisco, Courtney and Kat headed south in search of fame and fortune, eventually settling into a large house on the corner of Fillmore & Oak. There, inspired by a recent performance of Frightwig, San Francisco's outrageous all-girl rock troupe, the two invited Courtney's friend from L.A., Jennifer Finch, up with the prospect of starting a similar project, initially dubbed Sugar Baby Doll. This phase of the band was extremely short-lived with Jennifer sticking around only long enough to record a four-track demo with Love & Bjelland, before returning to L.A. to join L7, a band she would be a part of for a decade to come. Love & Bjelland then found bassist Janis Tanaka and drummer Deirdre Schlatter to complete their musical line-up, and christened themselves the Pagan Babies. Seeing as the tracks were all Bjelland/Love compositions, the band frugally recycled the Sugar Baby Doll tracks for their own demo, creating some confusion for years to come as to who to attribute the songs to. While they had been recorded by the Love/Bjelland/Finch incarnation of Sugar Baby Doll, the only actual demo tapes produced from this time bore the name Pagan Babies, so I suppose it is up to each individual as to where they would like to alphabetically file them in their collection.

And the tracks themselves: "Best Sunday Dress", "Cold Shoulders", "Quiet Room" and "Bernadine". Apologies for the horrendous quality of these, I've tried some minor remastering on a few to make them sound slightly less god-awful. Less aggressive sounding than what would later come from both Bjelland and Love, these tracks borrow heavily from Love inspirations Echo & The Bunnymen as well as ethereal 4AD band the Cocteau Twins. "Best Sunday Dress" would be re-written and re-worked by Love and recorded as a Hole b-side in 1998, while Bjelland would eventually turn "Quiet Room" into an instrumental for her band Babes In Toyland. "Bernadine" apparently was the first song ever written entirely by Love herself and was about Bernadine Mann, a great mentor to Love and the mother of Jeffrey Brent Mann, a boyfriend of Love's from the mid-1980's. A recent Twitter post by Love herself about these tracks:

"Jeffrey Brent Mann! The only ex boyfriend who is living and who doesn't talk to me, he's the guy who blows shit up; if you ever see "Tropic Thunder" he's the demo guy on that (that's the guy "Malibu" is about mixed with Kurt).

He never believed i would make it, his mother Bernadene Mann (trainspotters, look for the sugar babylon/baby doll song named for her) is one of my great mentors and loves along with Hal Wilner, Bono, Stipe, Panos, Billy and a few others. Look for the song me, Kat Bjelland and band did called "Bernadene", it was the first song i ever wrote. "Cold Shoulders" was a sophomoric attempt at a Cocteau Twins vibe with lyrics you could hear, funny we deconstructed.

Me, Kat and Jennifer Finch, it's really scratchy, there's no master but we turned into rock monsters from trying to do a sophisticated version of an all girl band that could take on Cocteau Twins, Echo and the Bunnymen and Bauhaus to desontructing entirely. Kat and i entered into primal scream therapy as a living, but i could write a hell of a good R.E.M. song during "Pretty on the Inside". Why the hell did we do that? Do any of you know what i'm talking about? In Liverpool, Julian Cope called his band with Ian Mculloch "Crucial 3"; i always felt me, Finch and Kat were the "Crucial Three", we were sooo good man we could've taken over the world seriously. Listen to "Best Sunday Dress", it's lost, it's so decayed you can't even hear the song so i finished it twenty years later."
While the Love/Bjelland combo had promise, there was little discipline and after only two gigs, the band disintegrated in early 1986. Love focused on a new lifetime goal - that of becoming a movie star - and aggressively pursued the role of Nancy Spungen in Alex Cox's film Sid & Nancy. While she did not win that role, her charm and talent impressed the filmmaker enough that he cast her as Spungen's best friend in the film. While all of that was going on, Bjelland, who had grown weary of playing with drama queen Courtney, quickly got out of town, moving to Minneapolis to further her musical passions, eventually forming the hard rockin' femme group Babes In Toyland. Love didn't quite get the hint however and soon joined Bjelland in her new town, rehearsing with Babes on bass a few times before Bjelland again gave her the heave ho. Cut adrift again, Love returned to stripping, an occupation made more frustrating by the fact that she would often have to dance to her old band Faith No More, who had scored a top ten hit with their song "Epic". Still bitter about her dismissal from the increasingly popular Babes In Toyland and with her 25th birthday looming ahead, devoid of all the success she craved, Love had an epiphany: she would start her own band, her own way...and nothing would stop her from becoming a star.

While Bjelland may have been guilty of copying Love's smeared lipstick and babydoll dress look (a style Love had picked up from Australian pop star and Divinyls singer Christina Amphlett in the early 80's), it is apparent that Love's brief time in Babes In Toyland would be the primary inspiration for the raw primal sound of early Hole. With a blueprint in mind for her own version of Bjelland's brainchild, Courtney found guitarist Eric Erlandson through an ad in local punk 'zine Flipside. Along with Lisa Roberts on bass, drummer Caroline Rue and former G.G. Allin guitarist Mike Geisbrecht this first incarnation of Hole started gigging in the fall of 1989. The two tracks here, "Hole In Your Head" and "El Diablo" (titles actually unknown) are from the third show ever performed by the band. The addition of Lisa Roberts vocals and Geisbrecht's extra guitar certainly lend a unique flavor to these songs, never officially recorded by the band. Freewheeling, chaotic and sludgy as all hell, they certainly capture the exuberance of a band being born.

However, that initial incarnation of Hole didn't last long: soon Roberts was out (apparently the band only had room for one loudmouth) and a personality clash with Love forced Geisbrecht to flee the combo early on as well. Finding bassist Jill Emery really was the spark that made the early Hole sound gel, and due to problems with finding a suitable additional guitar player, Courtney focused more on her guitar playing and the band line-up finalized at four. Ever the promoter, Courtney stalked L.A. tastemaking DJ Rodney Bingenheimer and secured play on his Sunday night show "Rodney On The ROQ" and convinced Long Gone John, owner of hip indie label Sympathy For The Record Industry to release the first Hole single, "Retard Girl" b/w "Phonebill Song" and "Johnnie's In The Bathroom" in the spring of 1990. An outtake from this session, "Turpentine", is an excellent example of the early Hole sound, Erlandson's heavy guitar licks slowly grinding forward amid Love's stream of conscious lyrical wailing. Also included here is a live rendition of "Every Man" another early Hole song never recorded.

Initially, the band seemed like a joke to most, often referred to as the band with the 'Retard Girl' singer, but anyone who saw them live couldn't deny Love's dynamic and charismatic stage presence which was performance art at it's highest. Word of mouth grew and Love's own personal guerilla style promotion of the band paid off with Love securing a Sub Pop Singles Club deal with the hip Seattle label in early 1991. "Dicknail" b/w "Burn Black" (both included here in their original Jack Endino mixed form) was an enormous indie success positioning the band at the front of the 'no wave' college rock movement. Simultaneously, Love befriended British music journalist Everett True who raved about Hole's performance in an NME article in late 1990, sparking a huge amount of interest in the band overseas which culminated with the release of the Kim Gordon produced debut album Pretty On The Inside. Soon after, the first single, "Teenage Whore" (with it's simmering b-side "Drown Soda") went to number one on the U.K. Indie Singles Chart. In the U.K. at least, Hole's star had risen.

A successful tour of the U.K. and Europe followed, dominating most of the latter part of 1991 for the band. The shows were the stuff of legend - one never knew what Love might say or do, and oftentimes she would do free-form poetry on the spot to the band's tunings/jam sessions that flowed from her as if she was speaking in tongues. Two of these improvs are included here: "Want It So Bad" (sometimes also referred to as "Shinner") recorded live in Bristol, England in August of 1991 and "Do You Fake It?" taken from a show in Toronto later that year. These improvisational bits are important in understanding how the creative process of songwriting in the band worked, as sometimes they would yield a finished original song by tours end, other times Love would refine lyrical ideas used in them for later use. Other highlights of the 1991 tour included the unrecorded original "The Only Rape I Know" (here recorded in Paris 1991), as well as a haunting cover of Leadbelly's "In The Pines" here called "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?", later more famously covered by future husband Kurt Cobain and band Nirvana for their MTV Unplugged in late 1993. Strangely enough, Courtney vocals eerily mirror Cobain own unique howl on parts of this recording, enough so that I had to double check the source information just to make sure Cobain wasn't in attendance that night. The rarely performed "Chad" (also included here) was an early songwriting collaboration between Love and Smashing Pumpkins singer Billy Corgan, who she was dating around the time of the recording.

Capping off this overview of the early years of the band, we have the sessions recorded for the John Peel Show in November 1991: "Doll Parts", "Violet", "Drown Soda" and "Forming/Hot Chocolate Boy". The Peel Session version of "Doll Parts" is preceded by a skeletal version of the track simply called "I Am", which contains incomplete lyrics from Love for the song and offers another view into her creative process.

Kat Bjelland on the early years with Courtney:
NEXT: New bassist, new drummer and the road to "Live Through This"....


  1. Cool post, thanks! Wanna ask to re-up track #30, i can't unpack this. And 1 more question: have you large photo where Courtney like Snow Queen? Please E-mail me if you have:

  2. Hey there, great collection as usual. However, I can't extract a couple of the tracks. It seems as if there's an error with (I think) 18 and 23.

  3. This is an excellent post, could I also ask for a re-up of track 30 as it is corrupt when I unpack it. I love Hole and Courtney Love!!!!!

  4. I just have to say I love you for uploading these!

  5. Muchas gracias, or thanks so much.. really, it's very hard to get these kind of records. I love Kat Bjelland and i've heard only one song of her with Courtney

  6. I find Courtney a fairly terrifying and tragic character - but I won't deny the early Hole stuff was really, really good.

    If you like early Hole, you really should check out Live Skull - a band Courtney obviously heard once or twice!

    FYI: The track "Hole In Your Head" is Green River's "Swallow My Pride" with different lyrics.

    Shop & Compare!:

  7. I've been visiting the blog and this is the best video posted! I don't understand why, but this blog isn't bad enough, specially when you add the headlines with the text, according with this post the album was originally released on CD in 1994 by bootleg label Totonka Records. A "best of the boots" collection put together by fans, it offers a mix of studio demos and live recordings, as well as a portion of a radio interview. . 23jj

  8. I enjoyed following the whole entry, I always thought one of the main things to count when you write a blog is learning how to complement the ideas with images, that's exploiting at the maximum the possibilities of a ciber-space! Good work on this entry!


  10. Really appreciate all the effort that went into this, thank you!

  11. i love this
    ive never heard the demo version of bestsundaydress - so beautiful :)

    thank you for this

  12. Hello! Great blog. Is a re-uppossible of this??