In Utero

~ Release group by Nirvana


In Utero is the third and final studio album by the American rock band Nirvana, released on September 21, 1993, by DGC Records. Nirvana intended the record to diverge significantly from the polished production of its previous album, Nevermind (1991). To capture a more abrasive and natural sound, the group hired engineer Steve Albini to record In Utero during a two-week period in February 1993 at Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. The music was recorded quickly with few studio embellishments, and the song lyrics and album packaging incorporated medical imagery that conveyed frontman Kurt Cobain's outlook on his publicized personal life and his band's newfound fame.

Soon after recording was completed, rumors circulated in the press that DGC might not release the album in its original state, as the record label felt that the result was not commercially viable. Although Nirvana publicly denied the statements, the group was not fully satisfied with the sound Albini had captured. Albini declined to alter the album further, and ultimately the band hired R.E.M. producer Scott Litt to make minor changes to the album's sound and remix the singles "Heart-Shaped Box" and "All Apologies".

Upon release, In Utero entered the Billboard 200 chart at number one and received critical acclaim as a drastic departure from Nevermind. The record has been certified five times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and has sold 15 million copies worldwide.

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Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
In Utero CD 13 Geffen Records GED 24536 720642453629
In Utero CD 12 BMG Direct Marketing, Inc., Geffen Records D190124, DGCD-24607 720642460726
In Utero CD 12 Sub Pop Records, The David Geffen Company DGCD-24607 720642460726
In Utero (clean version) CD 12 DGC Records DGCD-24705 720642470527
In Utero 12" Vinyl 12 Geffen Records GEF-24607
In Utero CD 13 Geffen Records MVCG-126 4988067012944
In Utero CD 12 Geffen Records, Sub Pop Records 424 536-2, GED 24536 720642453629
In Utero CD 12 Geffen Records, Sub Pop Records GEFD-24536 720642453629
In Utero CD 12 DGC Records *CDGCD 24607 77749757864902
In Utero 12" Vinyl 12 Geffen Records GEF 24536 720642453612
In Utero Vinyl 12 Geffen Records GEF 24536 720642453612
In Utero CD 12 Geffen Records 424536-2 720642453629
In Utero CD 12 Geffen Records MMTCD 2186 6001210284734
In Utero CD 12 DGC Records DGCD-24607 020831467124
In Utero CD 12 DGC Records, Columbia House (direct-mailing distributor of club editions of releases) *DGCD 24607 0208314671259
In Utero CD 12 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDCD 690 015775169029
In Utero 12" Vinyl 12 Universal Records (1996-2005 American pop label - "RECORDS" must be a part of the logo!) 424 536-1 0720642453612
In Utero (limited edition) SHM-CD 12 Geffen Records UICY-91225 4988005537638
In Utero (Back to Black) 12" Vinyl 12 Geffen Records 0720642453612 720642453612
In Utero Vinyl 12 Original Recordings Group ORG 033 892001002332
In Utero (limited edition) SHM-CD 12 DGC Records UICY-75127 4988005677051
In Utero (20th Anniversary Edition) 3×12" Vinyl 6 + 6 + 8 DGC Records, Universal Music Group International (not for release label use! manages UMG's offices in most countries outside of North America) 0602537483464 602537483464
In Utero (20th anniversary edition) 2×CD 20 + 23 DGC Records 0602537539222 602537539222
In Utero (20th anniversary edition) 2×CD 20 + 23 DGC Records B001903902 602537502974
In Utero (20th anniversary super deluxe edition) 3×CD + DVD 20 + 23 + 17 + 29 DGC Records, Geffen Records 00602537462445 602537462445
In Utero 2×CD 20 + 23 DGC Records B0019039-02 602537502974
In Utero (20th anniversary Target exclusive) CD 20 DGC Records B0019191-02 602537530007
In Utero (20th anniversary super deluxe) 3×Digital Media 20 + 23 + 17 Geffen Records [none]
In Utero (20th anniversary edition super deluxe boxset) 3×CD + DVD 20 + 23 + 17 + 29 Universal Music (plain logo: "Universal Music") UICY-75875 4988005787668
In Utero (2013 mix) 2×12" Vinyl 6 + 6 DGC Records B0018959-01 602537483471
In Utero CD 12 Geffen Records 0602537502950 602537502950
In Utero 12" Vinyl 12 EMI (EMI Records, since 1972), Geffen Records GEF 24536 P
In Utero 12" Vinyl 11 Santa Records (Russian pirate label) AA 0004 [none]


associated singles/EPs: All Apologies / Rape Me
Heart‐Shaped Box
Pennyroyal Tea
cover of: Milkin' It by Various Artists
covers: 2013-09-13: Deervana: Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY, USA by Deer Tick
In Utero, In Tribute, In Entirety by Various Artists
live performances: 2013-09-13: Deervana: Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY, USA by Deer Tick
part of: Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 2012 edition (number: 435)
Allmusic: [info]
Discogs: [info]
Wikidata: Q222001 [info]
Wikipedia: en: In Utero (album) [info]
other databases: [info] [info] [info]
reviews: [info] [info]

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In Utero was released September 1993, the follow-up to the phenomenally successful Nevermind from 1991. This was Nirvana getting back to their rawer roots. It was as if once Cobain had achieved the success he would never publicly admit he craved, Nirvana could shed all pretence and be themselves once again.

They dispensed with Butch Vig's smooth, chart-topping touch, in exchange for indie-veteran Steve Albini's workman-like punk and indie anti-hero kudos.

It seems odd that a record something so unexpectedly successful could spawn something that so apparently attempts to be the opposite, but such was the staggering level of expectation post-Nevermind that Nirvana brilliantly seek to upset and confound absolutely everyone.

This is Kurt letting us under his drug addled, membrane-thin skin, into the recesses of his fragile mind, to play air-drums and head-bang with his demons, of which there are many.

It's a diary of the damage wrought by having an extraordinary dream come true but not coping well with the consequences. Cobain is tapping the listener into the competing urges behind the obsessive, manically-depressive, contradictory, bleak, vulnerable and lonely voices in his head.

In Utero noisily hops between feedback-drenched, searing barrages of emotion to complex and catchy, credible and clever pop-punk dissertations; underneath the sharper edges Nirvana's talent for melody and memorable songwriting are still alive and kicking.

Albini's production revels in the fact that the instruments aren't so much being played as being kicked around while having their necks wrung, he also captures a more charming, human aspect to Cobain's vocals and the painful persistence and desperation of his trademark screams.

It's powerful, personal, psychological, physiological, scatological, paranoid, frenzied and exhausting, beautifully frank and funny and poetic and infectious and disarming and saddening and upsetting and willfully uncomfortable. And great.