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Released: Sept. 21, 1993

Rating: 4.373 (average of 14 ratings)

Genre: rock > grunge

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Serve the Servants
  2. Scentless Apprentice
  3. Heart Shaped Box
  4. Rape Me
  5. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle
  6. Dumb
  7. Very Ape
  8. Milk It
  9. Pennyroyal Tea
  10. Radio Friendly Unit Shifter
  11. Tourette’s
  12. All Apologies

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 5.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated 0.1
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 10.5


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 1 1
peak on U.K. album chart 1 1

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Heart Shaped Box (9/11/93) #5 UK, #4 AR, #1 MR
  • All Apologies (12/4/93) #45a US, #32 UK, #4 AR, #1 MR


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. Rated best album of the year by DMDB. One of Blender’s 100 Greatest American Albums Q Magazine’s Top 100 Albums Spin Magazine’s 100 Greatest Albums

In Utero
“Hyped as intentionally uncommercial,” BL In Utero was Nirvana’s “conscious attempt to shed their audience” STE as singer/songwriter Kurt “Cobain tried to keep indie cred by mocking his Rasio Friendly Unit Shifter status.” BL However, Cobain “wasn’t able to turn off the hook-writing part of his brain. So instead of mere bile, fans still heard hits.” BL It should be noted, though, that “the record had lost its momentum when Cobain died in the spring of 1994.” STE

“Nirvana probably hired Steve Albini to produce In Utero with the hopes of creating their own Surfer Rosa, or at least shoring up their indie cred after becoming a pop phenomenon with a glossy punk record,” STE but he “later branded the band sellouts for remixing the album.” BL

“Even though the band tempered some of Albini’s extreme tactics in a remix, the record remains a deliberately alienating experience, front-loaded with many of its strongest songs, then descending into a series of brief, dissonant squalls before concluding with All Apologies, which only gets sadder with each passing year.” STE

In Utero, of course, turned out to be their last record, and it’s hard not to hear it as Kurt Cobain’s suicide note, since Albini’s stark, uncompromising sound provides the perfect setting for Cobain’s bleak, even nihilistic, lyrics.” STE “Cobain’s songwriting is typically haunting, and its best moments rank among his finest work, but the over-amped dynamicism of the recording seems like a way to camouflage his dispiritedness – as does the fact that he consigned such great songs as ‘Verse Chorus Verse’ and ‘I Hate Myself and Want to Die’ to compilations, when they would have fit, even illuminated the themes of In Utero.” STE

“Even without those songs, In Utero remains a shattering listen, whether it’s viewed as Cobain’s farewell letter or self-styled audience alienation. Few other records are as willfully difficult as this.” STE

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Link(s):

Previous Album: Nevermind (1991) Next Album: MTV Unplugged in New York (1993)

Heart Shaped Box

All Apologies (Unplugged)

Dumb (live)

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Last updated March 27, 2011.