Sunday Music: The Remixing Of Nirvana’s In Utero

How To Be Authentic Even When It All Gets BIG

Sunday Music: The Remixing Of Nirvana’s In Utero

Albini did the record. 

All the punk street cred right down to the 6-days of recording and 5-days to mix. 

All the punk street-cred of using the extra time when something wasn’t working to make prank phone calls and goof off.  

But the label didn’t think it was all good and it got ugly for a minute there. 

So you want to reconnect with your roots and be big rock stars and small rockers at the same time. 

Big comes with big egos, big opinions, and big expectations. 

Scott Litt, R.E.M.’s guy got the call to remix the potential singles. He reworked “Heart Shaped Box,” and helped get the cello parts in on “All Apologies.” Big breaks sometimes require little broken-off bits so people can prove they tried. 

The rest of the album was all Albini. He didn’t take it well. The remixing. 

And it’s an extra kind of funny that Litt did the few extra mixes because Albini previously said Nirvana sounded like, “R.E.M. with a fuzz box.”

But nothing big happens by itself. 

In Utero will be a cornerstone of Albini’s legacy. 

And it’s all a lesson in how to be an authentic part of a bigger project. 

Without Albini’s sound, it wouldn’t be the album it was. The band might not have even finished it. Cobain certainly barely made it past the album. 

But without Litt’s remixes, or the label pressure, or the media hype - then what? 

Popularity is hard. There are so many cooks in the kitchen. All you can do is work you are proud of. 

Albini was proud of his, and so he voiced it when they changed it.  

NIrvana was too - and since it was their art, that’s kind of all that really should matter in the first place. 

Which is the thing Albini cared about most of all. The art. There’s a shortage of people willing to fight for that belief, it’s important to remember these stories.