TITLE: In Utero
YEAR RELEASED: 1993
CHART ACTION: #1 US, #1 UK
SINGLES: Heart Shaped Box (#5 US Mainstream, #1 US Modern Rock, #5 UK), All Apologies (#4 US Mainstream, #1 US Modern Rock, #32 UK), Pennyroyal Tea (#4 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Rape Me, Dumb
LINEUP: Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The follow-up to Nevermind is less radio-friendly, more aggressive, controversial, and sadly, the final studio album for Nirvana.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Just reading about all of the controversies and issues surrounding In Utero makes you wonder if being an artist that becomes massively popular is worth it.
To wit: the record company didn’t want them to record with Steve Albini – didn’t like the results and said it so much the band finally caved and had the first two singles remixed for radio, and frankly they don’t sound much different. Meanwhile, the song “Rape Me” got them banned at Wal-Mart so they changed it to “Waif Me” (whatever the fuck that means, pardon my French), the cover was controversial, and the newbie fans were confuzzled by the aggressive music of the deep cuts.
If this album were the follow-up to Bleach, everyone would love it and acclaim it a big step forward. Alas, it was not, so the album get lost in the Nirvana myth and story.
It’s a great album. It’s got pop-punk songs, noise-punk songs, and the lyrics definitely are from a man on the edge. And if you’re ever pissed at someone, crank up the loud, radio-unfriendly cuts and give them a what for.
NOTES & MINUTAE: This album was recorded in a studio in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. I’ve been through there a few times and I had no idea there was a studio there. You really can’t get in trouble in Cannon Falls.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. A super-deluxe, as is standard, with the standard different mixes, outtakes, etc. You do get the Albini mixes for the singles, though.
GRADE: A. I forgot who great of an album this really is until I re-listened to it. It’s not polished or shiny but it’s damn good.