Posted in music on September 26, 2013

by Doug Moore

In Utero

As you've no doubt heard (several times over), Nirvana's seminal In Utero turned 20 roughly two weeks ago. Geffen Records released an über-deluxe edition of the album on Tuesday -- 3 CDs, a DVD, and a lengthy booklet that together contain just about every version of the In Utero set that you could possibly want. If you ever listened to With the Lights Out and thought, "Man, this could be more comprehensive," then this is your jam.

The 20th-anniversary In Utero contains, among its extras, the letter that In Utero producer/all-around scabrous bastard Steve Albini wrote to Nirvana during his courtship of the project. Someone has helpfully uploaded the whole thing. It's a great read; Albini is both a colorful character and a crisp writer. The letter offers a revealing look into his (highly influential) attitudes as a producer, plus some quotable one-liners. Some favorites:

"Remixing is for talentless pussies who don't know how to tune a drum or point a microphone."

"I would be a little concerned about having you at my house for the duration of the whole would be a fine place to mix the record though, and you can't beat the vittles."

"If a record takes more than a week to make, someone's fucking up."

Read the whole thing here. The über-deluxe In Utero 20th anniversary pack is available on Amazon for the low, low price of $130. I predict that it will be the Christmas gift of choice among 30-something professionals.

While on the subject of In Utero, Deer Tick, in their Deervana guise, played the album in full at Brooklyn Bowl a couple weeks back on the album's release anniversary. NYC Taper was there and you can stream a song and download the whole set over his weay.

In other news, Kurt Cobain's childhood home is on the market for $500,000, though the list price is reportedly less than $70,000. His mother and sister, who currently own it, would like it to become a museum. If you have that kind of dough burning a hole in your pocket, you can take a look inside before you buy without schlepping all the way out to Aberdeen, WA.

If that's not enough, there's some previously-unreleased rehearsal footage of "Very Ape" and "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" floating around the web; you can stream it below.

And for more reading, various surviving Nirvana band members (specifically Pat Smear and Dave Grohl) have given interviews on the subject of the album.

Check out those live videos below. What are we missing?




Comments (33)

Kurt Cobain's musicianship really "blows me away" on this album lol. Too soon??

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 12:13 PM

Kurt Cobain must be thrilled that this album has been re-released, repackaged, remastered, and resold.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 12:47 PM

Easily the best Nirvana studio album. Albini behind the board was the magic they needed.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 12:49 PM

I bet you Steve-O wishes he'd taken a "point or a point and a half." Something tells me he'd sleep just fine.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 12:51 PM

In Utero = 8.4

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 12:54 PM

oh wow...a box of cds at an absurd price.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 1:00 PM

Nirvana still sucked. Great influences, hopelessly boring music.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 1:18 PM

albini is such a clown.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 1:20 PM

1:18 likes Steely Dan.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 1:28 PM

1:18 like leo sayer

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 1:44 PM


Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 1:54 PM

Except for the fact that half the tracks were remixed by Scott litt because albini can't record for shit?  

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 1:58 PM

Nirvana is for 20 year old idiots who have no concept of music.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 2:15 PM


Three were remixed, only two of which were on the album.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 2:32 PM

The bass and vocals were remixed for the entire album.
Three songs were remixed in their entirety by Litt.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 2:39 PM


Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 2:41 PM

2:39 -- the bass and vocals were remastered, only two tracks were remixed.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 3:06 PM

2:41, read page 338 in Azzerad's book.

The band decided against working with Wallace and chose to remix and augment the songs "Heart-Shaped Box" and "All Apologies" with Litt at Seattle's Bad Animals Studio in May 1993. Futhermore, a remix of "Pennyroyal Tea" by Scott Litt (at Bad Animals on November 22, 1993) appears on the censored Wal-Mart and Kmart versions of In Utero; this remix is also available on the band's 2002 best-of compilation, Nirvana, and is, incidentally, the same mix that appeared on the single. The rest of the album was left unaltered aside from a remastering which sharpened the bass guitar sound and increased the volume of the vocals by approximately three decibels.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 3:06 PM

Pssh whatever. Unless these demo recordings are wildly different from the final album, couldn't really care less. Maybe some live jams so we can hear the craziness as the songs were evolving? Are they remixing it too? Don't see why it needs this treatment, the raw, carnal energy was enough.

Posted by prm | September 26, 2013 3:18 PM

for 130.00 i want some vinyl, not some cds that will be remastered again in five years...

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 3:38 PM

still sounds good.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 4:52 PM

Nirvana's music and live shows were, to a certain level, way more honest than a lot of big "rock" acts these days.

Posted by Anonymous | September 26, 2013 5:18 PM

Nirvana is the most overrated band who formed after 1979.

Total right place at the right time band, and Blood Sugar Sex Magik, an album which came out the same day as Nevermind (9/24/91) was better than Nevermind.

Posted by D | September 26, 2013 10:52 PM

wow, so many experts and negative people here.
Brush your teeth and go to bed.
Wake up with a nice personality tomorrow ok?

Posted by Anonymous | September 27, 2013 12:52 AM

Shut up all of you with your opinions. Fuck you nirvana is rock!

Posted by Paul Twat | September 27, 2013 1:42 AM

Siamese Dream is also better than In Utero.

Posted by D | September 27, 2013 12:50 PM

^ no. No it isn't.

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2013 3:58 AM

Best album if the 1990's (OK, Pinkerton, Homogenic and Twice Removed were pretty good, too)!!!

Posted by Judith | October 17, 2013 11:16 AM

That's awesome. I found a hilarious and awkward interview of Steve Albini. Check it out:

Posted by Mark Fitzgibbins | October 23, 2013 1:08 PM

This record did not sell well until Cobain passed. I still think Albini does wonders for bass and drum tones. Amazing sound! In Utero sounds very strong without coming off over-produced. I think it still holds up.

I really thought they hit their stride there.

re-mixing, re-whatever and charging the above price is absurd. Don't you have the record already?

cash grab?

Posted by Jeff | October 23, 2013 1:41 PM

From trusted source wikipedia

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.[2]

Posted by Anonymous | October 23, 2013 2:22 PM

It's funny how so many young kids think that they are special for liking this music and not whatever their peers like. Who the hell cares what other people listen to? Listen to your music and let them listen to their music for crying out loud. Whining about JB, 1D, etc isn't going to make them go away. Like what I said, just ignore them and focus on the music that you like. It's cool that you like bands like this, but stop acting like a pretentious hipster just because you don't like pop music.

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