Even before she injected 1990s alt-rock with the femme-fury it needed and became a bedroom-wall staple for multiple generations, Courtney Love had the origin myth of a real, if unconventional, star. Her rocky childhood with hippie parents left her abandoned and eventually in juvenile hall, where she discovered punk rock by way of Patti Smith and the Pretenders. She cruised around Dublin and Portland with poetry books; stripped in such far-off locales as Alaska and Guam; acted as a "punk rock extra" in the 1986 film Sid and Nancy. At 24, Love took out a Los Angeles newspaper ad seeking comrades influenced by Big Black, Sonic Youth, and Fleetwood Mac. Hole was born.
"I wanna affect culture in a very large way," she said in the early 90s. "If I fuckin' die without having written two, three, or four brilliant rock songs, fuckin' I don't know why I lived." (See: "Doll Parts", "Miss World", "Violet", "Pretty on the Inside".) Twenty volatile years of ambition, contradiction, and loss later, Hole's definitive 1994 record Live Through This is immortal.