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Nirvana's In Utero (33 1/3) Paperback – 1 Nov 2006

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 111 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum (1 Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826417760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826417763
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 0.8 x 16.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 360,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Gillian G. Gaar is the author of She's a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock'n'Roll. She served as project consultant on the Nirvana box set With the Lights Out. She lives in Seattle.


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I loved Nirvana when I was in high school. Nevermind was the first album I bought with money I earned from my first after school job, washing dishes in a local restaurant (and then played repeatedly in the kitchen much to the chefs’ annoyance!). I enjoyed In Utero but preferred Nevermind though the older I got the more I appreciated the variety and ambition of In Utero until it became my favourite Nirvana album. So continuing my exploration of the excellent 33 ⅓ series I thought I’d check out Gillian G. Gaar’s book on the album - which disappointingly turned out to be the worst I’ve come across in the range so far.

Put simply, the recording of In Utero was remarkably unremarkable. The band recorded demos in Brazil, they hired Steve Albini to produce it, they put together the record with Kurt changing the song titles as they went - just standard stuff. Kurt took lyrics from his journals, he recorded a version of Rape Me with his daughter on his knee, squalling in the background. Albini’s mix of the album was panned by the record label who wanted a more polished sound. So far, so dull - I’d read all of this before in Charles R. Cross’s biography of Kurt, Heavier Than Heaven.

Part of the problem is Gaar’s writing style. She writes something like “Krist wanted to raise the bass levels” and then there’s a quote from Krist where he says the same thing. Then Gaar writes another statement, backed up by another mundane quote. The style is akin to a kid writing an essay where they’re told that each point has to be backed up by a quote so the end result is a literal bland jumble of straightforward sentences. It also doesn’t help that most of the detail here is about the band tinkering with the sound, re-recording versions of songs, and spending two weeks on the track listing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book, would bought it sooner but listened last review by mistake. Gives you great insight into the recordings off each songs and previous versions and dates of when was recorded. Theres also facts quotes from the band around the time of the recording. Has given me alot info on alternative recordings from album, which reckon can find on net. Including the unmastered Albini version which meant be slightly more raw.
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