Hole was an American alternative rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California in 1989 by singer and guitarist Courtney Love and lead guitarist Eric Erlandson. The band had a revolving line-up of bassists and drummers, their most prolific being drummer Patty Schemel, and bassists Kristen Pfaff (d. 1994) and Melissa Auf der Maur.
Influenced by Los Angeles’ punk rock scene, the band garnered critical acclaim for their frenetic debut album, Pretty on the Inside (1991), produced by Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth. After signing with DGC Records, the band sought to refine their sound on their second album, Live Through This (1994), which featured less aggressive melodies and more restrained lyrical content. The album was widely acclaimed and reached platinum status within a year of its release. Their third album, Celebrity Skin (1998), which garnered them four Grammy nominations, marked a notable departure from their earlier punk influences, boasting a more commercially viable, "mature" sound.
In 2002 the group disbanded to pursue other projects. Eight years later in 2010, Hole was reformed by Love with new members, despite Erlandson’s claim that the reformation breached a mutual contract he had with Love. The reformed band released the album Nobody’s Daughter (2010), which had originally been conceived as Love’s second solo album. In 2013, Love retired the Hole name, releasing new material and touring as a solo artist.
Hole has been noted for being one of the most commercially successful female-fronted rock bands of all time, selling over three million records in the United States alone and having a far-reaching influence on contemporary female artists. Music and feminist scholars have also recognized the band as the most high-profile musical group of the 1990s to discuss feminist issues in their songs, due to Love’s aggressive and violent lyrical content, which often addressed themes of body image, abuse, and sexual exploitation.