25 Years Ago: Nirvana Releases Their Final Album "In Utero"

September 21, 2018

On September 21st, 1993, Nirvana came out with their band's final testament In Utero amidst all of the chaos.

In 1990, Nirvana was just three guys in Seattle that jammed out their debut album Bleach off of the local record label Sub Pop. Three years later, they are on top of their world, travelling the globe after their 1991 album Nevermind dethroned the King of Pop from the album charts. Through their use of catchy pop song structure, punk energy, metal grit, and classic rock-like readiness for radio, the grunge gods' lives went from 0 to 100 overnight.

Their sudden rise to fame and Cobain's unethusiastic attitude to being named the "voice of a generation" had became the message etched into In Utero.

Conflicted by the amount of fame and pressure placed upon them due to the massive success of Nevermind, Nirvana chose to stay true to their indie roots and refuse to be influenced by what they considered "mainstream pop" with In Utero. Following the same songwriting methods behind Nevermind, Cobain, Novoselic and Grohl combined their affinity for the pop hooks of the Beatles and punk rock spirit of the Ramones into a single album with the help of producer Steve Albini (Surfer Rosa by The Pixies, Pod by The Breeders).

Shooting up to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, Nirvana released their first single "Heart-Shaped Box," a dark love letter that contrasted with the vivid imagery of their music video.

The next single to make it off of the album was "All Apologies," a sentimental tune Cobain dedicated to his wife, Courtney Love and his daughter, Frances Bean.

Meanwhile, the other songs on the album like "Serve the Servants," "Scentless Apprentice," and "Very Ape" added more caustic flavor outside of their hit singles with a little help by new member, guitarist Pat Smear.

Of course, one of the biggest "f-you's" on the album is "Radio-Friendly Unit Shifter," in which Cobain takes aim at the music industry that both blessed him and cursed him with fame. Catchy and chaotic, Cobain repeatedly screeches "What is wrong with me?" while following up with "I love you for what I am not, I did not want what I have got.

Sadly, the album did not release all of the band's demons. During their In Utero tour, Cobain's depression and drug addiction worsened. After surviving an overdose in Rome and checking himself into rehab in Los Angeles, his releationship with his wife had taken a toll. Then after flying home to his native Seattle, Cobain was found dead after committing suicide on April 5th, 1994.