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on 5 August 2017
After the disappointment that was the 20th anniversary of Nevermind (Poor 'loudness war' mastering being a big complaint of many) It is a relief and a delight to report that the 20th anniversary edition of In Utero is great. I would personally award In Utero 4 stars out of 5 if reviewing it based on it's music alone. This 5 star rating is awarded for reasons specific to this edition.

The reasons being:
1. Great remastering. Volume levels are very similar to the original release from 1993, but the improvements in equipment used to master albums since then has managed to reveal a little more detail from the analogue master recordings of these songs. The mastering of this album and its bonus tracks was done at Abbey Road by Steve Rooke, who was involved in the (almost) universally praised 2009 Beatles remasters. It makes Bob Ludwig's remastering of Nevermind look like the work of an amature, a shame; considering Ludwig is a famed mastering engineer responsible for many fantastic sounding albums.

2. All the B-sides to the singles from In Utero and a couple of tracks used on compilation albums from the same era. Some may bemoan the fact these b-sides are 2013 remixes, but they are subtle remixes that don't differ much from their original incarnations. Nice to have all these songs in one place. Furthermore: the original mixes of Heart Shaped Box and All Apologies are included, these songs were given a remix by Scott Litt on the original album as they were earmarked as singles, Geffen records found the original mixes a little 'abrasive' sounding for potential radio play.

3. An alternative mix done by In Utero producer Steve Allbini, with input and approval from Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl by all accounts. An interesting version that to my mind neither improves upon or worsens the original release; its simply a great sounding companion piece. Pre album demos of songs are also included. Demos are of limited interest to me personally, but their inclusion isn't unwelcome.

Many so called 'Deluxe Editions' of famous albums feature only Demos and/or live recordings as bonus content. Some also have questionable sound quality. The remastering and extras here show a concerted effort in creating a value for money re-release, which is only £6.99 at the time of writing. Consider that In Utero on CD would have been in the £12-15 in 1993.

4. Nice looking packaging and graphics, slightly understated and classy. Brief but faintly amusing liner notes from comedian Bob 'Bobcat' Goldthwaite (Most of us Brits only know him as the crazy crimiminal turned cop character from the 'Police Academy' films😁). Proper disc trays on this set too, not tight 'disc scratching' inserts.

In conclusion: A deluxe edition worth purchasing. A single disc edition featuring only the original album remastered and a Super Deluxe edition with a whole host if goodies is also available. This 2cd set however is currently the best value for all but the devout completest.
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on 3 September 2017
My favourite Nirvana album
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on 26 September 2013
A great collection!! Slipped disc 1 in, remastered version of the original release, very good, sounds all good, impressed so far, decent collection of b-sides and non album tracks on this disc too, including Albini's original versions of HSB and AA, so far so good.
Now disc 2, a brand new mix of the album done by Steve Albini himself, let me tell you, it is AMAZING!!!! After owning this for 1 day, I have listened to this mix multiple times and it has become the definitive version of In Utero for me, things are different on this mix, alternative guitar solo's, alternative lead guitars, the mix itself is raw and edgy but thicker with more body, it has its feet planted in the DC Alternative Music Scene, one problem I always had with In Utero was that it didn't seem know if it was either alternative or mainstream while trying to be both, this mix sorts that out 100%, it's personality has been defined as Alternative Punk and its a glorious thing to listen too.

Now, I didn't give a full 5 stars for one reason, the extra tracks from disc 1 and 2 should be swapped, then it would be perfect.

The Steve Albini 2013 mix is In Utero as it always should have been.
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on 14 January 2014
Bought for our son and he thinks it's great, being a fan. Fully met his requirements in total , first class.
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on 4 March 2017
Love Nirvana, great album.
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on 30 December 2013
Excellent 3LP 180 gram set, direct metal remastered at Abbey Road Studios and pressed by Pallas. Sound quality is superb throughout. My only criticism regards the packaging - the cover/sleeve could have been a couple of millimeters larger because the records are quite tight getting them in and out.
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on 10 February 2010
This is the final Release of Nirvana and what a mighty fine ending to a awesome band. The songs on this album have more grunge to them and have a more heavy sounding than Nevermind. And has some top tracks which are addictive and enjoyable to listen to as well has some hard and loud Drums,Awesome Bass, And Kurt Riffs make another successful album with very Good Vocals and Lyrics.

Heart-Shape Box
Rape Me
Very Ape
Milk It
Frances Farmer will have are revenge on Seattle.

Is this album better than Nevermind well yes and no. Nevermind has some of Nirvana's best work on it but is very irritating that when Nirvana comes up in a conversation people just think of Nevermind and not the fine works of In Utero. This album is more interesting to listen to that Nevrmind or Bleach or Insecticide and this is a stand out album.
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on 1 August 2009
Following on from the massive success of 'Nevermind', Nirvana arguably set out to create something that would be less easily digested - a sort of 'protest' against their new-found popularity. What you get here is a less polished, less radio-friendly effort (clearly the intention with ironic song titles like 'Radio-Friendly Unit Shifter'), but the album is nevertheless stunning. 'Heart-Shaped Box' and 'All Apologies' are desperately sad songs with hauntingly beautiful melodies, whilst tracks like 'Tourettes' and 'Scentless Apprentice' offer nothing but unbridled fury - thundering drums, frantic riffs and blood-curdling vocals.

Although many speculate about the circumstances surrounding Cobain's death, it is difficult to believe when listening to this album that Cobain was not a man nearing his end; a man whose inner demons were getting the better of him. The greatest tradegy was that such incredible songs had to be the product of one man's pain and anguish.

An album to be listened to with a heavy heart, but certainly not one to be missed.
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on 6 October 2013
This 2 CD deluxe version has all the B-Sides and a few rarities on disc 1 and a remix version on disc 2 with some demos (mostly instrumental) of the songs that ended up on the album.
The sound on the remastered CD is amazing, nothing like the distorted mess that was produced a few years ago on the Nevermind remaster. This is how ALL remasters SHOULD be done.
The remixed version is also amazing with more clarity and instrumentation now heard that was buried in the mix of the original.
Overall this is an excellent package and a worthy tribute to Kurt.
In Utero is a powerful musical statement that should be admired for what it is.
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on 26 September 2013
20 years already? Christ, I feel old.
Like many of my generation, Nirvana were more than just a rock n' roll band. Nevermind, and the band that made it, were the gateway into a whole world of underground music and art that people like me still are still burrowing into two decades later. At the time, In Utero was met with a degree of bafflement, and to some extent derision from the press and the legions of fans the band had accumulated in the preceding two years. The band, and particularly Kurt, had made it clear that they were deeply uncomfortable with the level of fame thrust upon them and this was their attempt to wrest back control from the big machine. Ironically, Kurt's pop instincts were never sharper than on this record; look beyond the raw production, the feral performances and the layers of feedback and you'll find a record with better songs and vastly more emotional weight than it's more famous predecessor. If Kurt had lived, they probably would never have made another record - I mean, where can you go from here?
This record is the best representation of Nirvana's "classic" line up. Dave Grohl, who on Nevermind was actually playing the parts written by former drummer Chad Channing, here shows us what he's made of - driving the songs forward with his Led-Zep-goes-hardcore beats that seem to spur the band on to another level of hugeness. Plenty had happened in Cobain's life in the preceding two years, and he had no shortage of things to write about - marriage, his family, drugs, childbirth, selling out, sociopathic perfumers... It's a testament to how good Nirvana were as a band that despite the dark subject matter and hair-raising performances that what resulted was a record that stands up against any other album from any other decade.
As regards the record itself, I don't have the remastered version, however, I'm going by the assumption that the fabled Albini mix contained here is the same as the one accidentally issued on vinyl a few years back. For those unfamiliar with the back story, In Utero was recorded, mixed and mastered by Steve Albini. At the last minute, the band or the record company (depending on who you believe) chose to have three songs (Heart-Shaped Box, Pennyroyal Tea and All Aplologies) remixed by R.E.M. producer Scott Litt to make them more radio-friendly. Additionally, the whole record was remastered and slightly compressed to make it sound less raw.
Around the mid-2000s, Universal reissued the album on vinyl. For some reason, the mastering engineer cut the record from the Albini tapes instead of the cleaned-up Litt tapes. The differences are subtle, but noticble. For a start, vocals are mixed much lower, and not double-tracked. The bass is thicker and heavier, the drums have more presence and the stereo image is wider. The overall sound of the record is frankly monumental.
Nevermind might be the record on a million "best ever" magazine lists and a million T-shirts, but In Utero stands as the record that cemented Nirvana's place among the greats.
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