“Malibu” by Hole
Hole’s “Malibu” is a song in which the titular locality serves a symbolic purpose. And what it symbolizes is a place of healing.
More specifically, the vocalist is addressing a romantic interest. And by the looks of things, said interest has personal issues, such as being depressed. The addressee also apparently is dealing with a drug problem.
Courtney has stated that the lyrics were inspired by a couple of real-life relationships she was in, one with her teenage love and the other with Kurt Cobain himself. And as for the former, she and her lover actually lived in Malibu, in a trailer. That would apparently explain the presence of mobile homes in the music video).
And as for Cobain, well, let’s just say that by the time all is said and done, “Malibu” is also meant to serve as a symbolic antithesis to Hollywood.
In other words, Hollywood is a place where a wild guy, such as the addressee of this song, can easily get himself into trouble (such as drugs). But as envisioned and idealized by Love, Malibu is a scenic, peaceful, blessed place. Put simply, it is the perfect environment for the addressee to get his mind together.
Hole was a late 20th century band that was fronted by Courtney Love alongside guitarist Eric Erlandson. Courtney is a singer whose biggest claim to fame may actually be as the widow of music legend Kurt Cobain (1967-1994).
Hole’s heyday was around the turn of the century, when they dropped their bestselling album titled “Celebrity Skin”. This album garnered the band four Grammy nominations overall.
“Malibu” served as the second single from Hole’s “Celebrity Skin”. The track was officially released, via DGC Records, on 29 December 1998.
In the year 2000, it received a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The prize ultimately went to “Put Your Lights On” by Santana (ft. Everlast.)
The music video to this track also received a 1999 MTV VMA nomination for Best Cinematography. This award eventually went to “The Dope Show” by Marilyn Manson.
“Malibu” is noted as being one of Hole’s most successful outings. It appeared on four different Billboard lists and fared most impressively on the US Alternative Airplay chart, where it peaked at number three. Moreover, it was placed on a couple of ‘greatest songs’ lists compiled by Blender.
Courtney Love wrote this song with the aforementioned Eric Erlandson and Billy Corgan. The latter is best known for being a member of a different rock group, the Smashing Pumpkins. It has been reported that Love actually penned this piece with the intention of it being sung by Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac fame.
Malibu’s producer is Michael Beinhorn.
The direction of this track’s official clip was held down by Paul Hunter, who at the time was more involved in directing R&B and rap videos.