Celebrity Skin is the third studio album by American alternative rock band Hole.Billy Corgan co-wrote the arrangements for five of the songs and played bass on three. As a member of Hole, former Smashing Pumpkins bassist Melissa Auf der Maur performs on the album as well.
The original plan was to have Corgan as executive producer, who was a second choice after Brian Eno, however, Corgan did not initially participate in, or contribute to the recording process.
According to Courtney Love, her vision for the album was to "deconstruct the California Sound" in the L.A. tradition of bands like The Doors, The Beach Boys and The Byrds, but she was struggling with the composition of the record and felt like she was "in a rut". After sending early recordings of the songs to Billy Corgan, Corgan joined the band in the studio for a total of twelve days. Love compared Corgan's presence in the studio to "a math teacher who wouldn't give you the answers but was making you solve the problems yourself", and stated that he had her study key changes as well as melodies and phrasing from songs by Frank Sinatra and The Beatles:
What [Billy's] great at for me— what he did for me has nothing to do with Eric and Melissa. It has to do with me. I was in a rut, I could not even get out of bed. I didn't want to make this record, I didn't want do anything. I was dull, my blade was not sharp, and he's probably one of the only people on the planet that can challenge me. My craft was at this place and Eric and Melissa and Patty couldn't help me; they all have brilliance and craft, but because I'm in a band within a family context with them, they weren't outsiders enough to really just help me.
Of the album's twelve tracks, Corgan shares instrumental songwriting credits on five.
↑Love, Courtney (1997). "Courtney Love à Rock Express". Rock Express (Interview). Interviewed by Laurence Romance. Neuilly-sur-Seine. We're gonna make a record in April, Billy Corgan's gonna be executive producer. We went through everyone, we went to Brian Eno and he said we don't have to be rock anymore.