Hole remains one of the most revolutionary bands of the grunge era. There, I said it. Even if you aren’t a giant fan of the Hole, their music continues to be instantly recognisable as soon as the needle drops.
From hits like ‘Celebrity Skin‘, which encapsulated so much of the late 1990s and early 2000s rock, to deeper cuts like ‘Jennifers Body’, which shine in their own right, Hole have more than proven their musical talent. Even with Courtney Love’s questionable public image, it’s undeniable just how good they are as a band.
However, aside from their original music, Hole has put out a number of really great cover renditions over the years, some of which might come as a shock to you. As a band, they’ve taken on so many iconic acts, from Fleetwood Mac to their close-to-home Nirvana.
While it is a tricky task to choose just a few, here are five of Hole’s best covers.
The five best Hole covers:
5. ‘Play With Fire’ – Rolling Stones
This is a cover that the band has most commonly performed live, but the song fits especially well with the tonality of the group. The switches from slow bass to heavy choruses makes it sound like it could be a Hole song. It’s an interesting choice, and one that might be worth further exploration.
Even though there isn’t an official recording of this song out there, seeing the live videos can still be pretty great.
4. ‘The Void’ – The Raincoats
Originally by The Raincoats, Hole’s version of ‘The Void’ makes for a very appropriate B-side to ‘Doll Parts’, which is how it was released. From Courtney’s rasp to the echoes within the song, this song just works for them.
Even though it might not have been a super obvious choice, it definitely makes for a great listen.
3. ‘Clouds’ – Joni Mitchell
Speaking of unexpected choices, Joni Mitchell might seem like the last song Hole would think to cover, but they transform this track in a way that totally works for them. They entirely transform the song, bringing a heaviness and stripping it to two chords, but it’s simply unforgettable.
When comparing the two, it’s almost impossible to recognise them as the same song, but it’s one of those things that once you see it, you can’t un-see it.
2. ‘Gold Dust Woman’ – Fleetwood Mac
This is a favourite cover for many of Hole’s fans, and Fleetwood Mac supporters quite frankly. They definitely make the song their own, but there’s also something completely consistent in it. You can still hear Stevie Nicks somewhere in that grunge arrangement, and that’s what makes it so special.
This is one of those covers that adds to the original. You’re not meant to feel forced to choose one over the other, because it’s perfectly suitable to have a love for both—and that’s exactly what this does.
1. ‘You Know You’re Right’ – Nirvana
OK, this one is pretty controversial to some, but Hole’s cover of Nirvana’s heavy and tragic ‘You Know You’re Right’ hits super hard. As one commenter puts it, “Not amazing, but special to hear”. It sounds a lot like a mimic of the original, with some notable lyrical changes.
One of the primary reasons for the debate surrounding this cover is the same reason for so much of the Courtney/Kurt controversy that spawns everywhere: the conspiracy theorists. They tend to enjoy congregating in the comments section of anything related to the two of them. However, there is another reason why this song might be a bit chilling.
Essentially, Cobain wrote this song about wanting to leave Courtney, so hearing her perform it can be startling to say the least, but it makes for an emotional performance.