HOLE have finished work on their new album and are currently deciding between three titles for it. The album is scheduled for a July 6 release by Geffen.
Possible titles are ‘Life Despite God’, ‘Reasons To Be Beautiful’ – also the name of one of the album’s tracks – and ‘Celebrity Skin’. The latter title, taken from a US porn magazine featuring photographs of Hollywood stars, is the current band favourite. Guitarist Eric Erlandson spent last week mixing the album at Olympic Studios in Barnes, west London, with Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, who has worked with the Spice Girls.
The album is described as “incredibly gothic” with many of the songs sounding like a cross between latter-day Echo & The Bunnymen and Blondie. Tracks include ‘Northern Star’, ‘Awful’, ‘Hit So Hard’, ‘Playing Your Song’, ‘Reasons To Be Beautiful’ and ‘Boys On The Radio’. Courtney Love says she thinks ‘Playing Your Song’ will be a Number One single. Insiders have said it is about the death of grunge. In it, Courtney sings: “They bought and sold it all/It’s gone/They’ve taken it/They’ve built a mall/And now they’re playing your song”.
Meanwhile, ‘Hit So Hard’ features the lyric: “He hit so hard I saw God”. The song is believed to be based on The Crystals’ ‘He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)’ which Hole regularly covered live. ‘Boys On The Radio’, meanwhile, has been played live under the title ‘Sugar Coma’. ‘Reasons To Be Beautiful’ is one of at least two songs on the album – the other being ‘Northern Star’, which features a guest appearance from Jordan Zadorozny from the Canadian band Blinker The Star – in which the lyrics relate to Los Angeles.
Courtney has said in the past that she wanted “a dark LA vibe” for the album. Commenting on ‘Northern Star’, Courtney said: “We wrote it in about half-an-hour. That’s called progress. It takes two years to get to the point where you can get a song out in half-an-hour.” Most of the lyrics for the album were written by Love in New Orleans during 1996 and 1997. Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan is listed as co-writer of seven songs. He has said he was brought in to “give shape to Courtney’s ideas”. Although Corgan began producing the record he subsequently took a backseat role as executive producer because of demands on his time.
Michael Beinhorn, who has produced albums by Soundgarden and Red Hot Chili Peppers, produced the album in Los Angeles and New York. Love and Erlandson began mixing and overseeing string arrangements in London three weeks ago. After the first week, Courtney returned to America to work on a film.