Softer, Softest
by Hole

Album: Live Through This (1994)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • On the rare occasions when Hole frontwoman Courtney Love explains the meaning behind her songs, it's usually before a performance (her interviews are often larded with tabloid fodder). Before performing "Softer, Softest" on Hole's 1995 MTV Unplugged performance, she offered: "This song's about the girl who always smelled like pee in your class. She was me, not Tabitha."

    Love was referring to MTV reporter Tabitha Soren, whom she butted heads with from time to time. Soren was one of the first on the scene in Seattle on April 8, 1994 when news broke that Love's husband, Kurt Cobain, had been found dead at their home.
  • The lyric in this song is vague and disjointed, but seems to reflect Courtney Love's difficult upbringing. She was always on the move and spent a lot of time in reform school. As an adult, she still refused to conform and remained unapologetic. The song seems to evoke some people in her life that punished her over the years: "Burn the witch"... "Pee-girl gets the belt."
  • Love wrote this song with Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson. They were the only original members still with the group, and were the primary songwriters in the band. Erlandson was also the only male member.
  • This was the last single released from Live Through This, Hole's debut album on the major label DGC. The album had a tumultuous timeline. The first single, "Miss World," was released in March 1994 before the album was issued and shortly before the death of Kurt Cobain. The album appeared a week after Cobain's death, and in June, Hole lost their bass player, Kristen Pfaff, to a heroin overdose.

    Critics had their knives sharpened, but when Hole hit the road in August and DGC started promoting the album, most agreed that it was really good. Thanks in large part to the single "Doll Parts," it sold well over a million copies and established Love as a formidable songwriter and frontwoman.

    She was, however, quite unpredictable, and DGC knew it might be a while before they saw another album. They didn't release "Softer, Softest" as a single until late in 1995, and indeed, Hole didn't deliver another album until 1998.

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