by Hole

Album: Celebrity Skin (1998)
Charted: 22 81
Play Video


  • Malibu is ritzy beach city in California near Los Angeles. Hole frontwoman Courtney Love lived there for a time, but in a trailer with her first boyfriend, Jeff, when she was 16. That's what inspired the song, along with her relationship with Kurt Cobain.

    "It's an empathy song: Come to me, I'll save you," she said in the December 2006 issue of Blender magazine. "I wanted the boy in the song to drive away from Hollywood and the drugs. When I was pregnant, Kurt and I always had this thing about getting out of the basement apartment we lived in with dealers next door and going to live in Malibu. It's a very healing place."
  • By the time "Malibu" was released in 1998, Courtney Love had become a successful actress and had moved to Beverly Hills, where she integrated into the celebrity culture she once railed against. She even hung out with Madonna.

    It was quite a makeover, and it reflected in her music, which became more melodic and accessible. "Malibu" is a true pop song, a far cry from earlier Hole tracks like "Miss World" and "Softer, Softest."

    Still, the darkness was there. While "Malibu" paints a pretty picture of the city, she rails against Hollywood culture in "Celebrity Skin," the lead single and title track from the album.
  • Billy Corgan is a songwriter on "Malibu" along with Courtney Love and Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson. Corgan and Love have a long history, going back to 1991 when she dated him before taking up with Kurt Cobain. When Hole hit a creative block while working on the Celebrity Skin album, she called on Corgan, who song-doctored some tracks to get them to the finish line. He has writing credits on five of the songs.
  • Released as the second single (following the title track) from Hole's third album, Celebrity Skin, "Malibu" was the last chart hit for Hole. Their breakthrough album, Live Through This, was released in 1994 just a week after Kurt Cobain died. Celebrity Skin didn't show up until 1998, but it also went Platinum. Hole fell apart soon after, abandoning a tour with Marilyn Manson in 1999. Courtney Love put out a Hole album called Nobody's Daughter in 2010, but it was with a new lineup of the band.
  • Courtney Love is a big fan of Stevie Nicks, and said she would have loved to give this song to Stevie. With Hole, Love covered the Fleetwood Mac song "Gold Dust Woman" in 1996.
  • Paul Hunter, whose work includes "Honey" by Mariah Carey and "Fly Away" by Lenny Kravitz, directed the video, which was shot in Malibu. Scenes of beautiful beaches and tidy houses are offset by images of burning palm trees and lifeguards carrying plastic dolls.
  • Considering how well the word sings, it's surprising that this is the first Hot 100 hit with "Malibu" in the title. In 2010, Miley Cyrus had a hit with her "Malibu."

Comments: 8

  • Erasistratos from EuropeAt the end of the song there is some fading singing at the background.
    Did anyone get what's about?
  • Janet from MarylandThe song was a collaboration of Billy Corgan, Courtney Love and Eric Erlandson. The lyrics were solely written by Love while she, Corgan and Erlandson wrote the music. Love had envisioned Stevie Nicks performing the song. Instead, it was recorded by Hole and added to Celebrity Skin.
  • Redsquirrel from New York Billy Corgan, Of smashing pumpkins wrote this song for Stevie Nicks and then Courtney took it look it up
  • Tony from San DiegoI believe this is an underrated rock classic. Seriously.
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnAfter this song was released, I became a fan of Hole. This song is beautiful, nothing bubble gum about it.
  • Diane from Kamloops, BcMalibu was written about Kurt Cobain's stay at a rehabilitation clinic in Malibu, California, before he died and how Courtney wishes for him "Come on be alive again, Dont lay down and die"
  • Alexandria from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emiratesbubble gum pop?
    if you want that,listen to awful....very pop-ish
  • Tom from Hell, CaThis is one of the only Hole songs I can stomach, and it's probably the most sacchrine laced song. Obvious, bubble gum pop wannabee yet I enjoy it.
see more comments

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