Nirvana's Minnesota-made album 'In Utero' gets expanded 20th anniversary reissue


The bonus tracks and liner notes should cast more light on the 1993 sessions at Cannon Fall's Pachyderm Studio.

Kurt Cobain and Nirvana returned to Minnesota to peform at St. Paul's Roy Wilkins Auditorium on Dec. 10, 1993, 10 months after recording "In Utero" in nearby Cannon Falls.

Probably the best-known Minnesota-made album besides “Purple Rain” (and maybe “Blood on the Tracks”), Nirvana’s “In Utero” is about to get a big 20th anniversary reissue treatment that could cast a new spotlight on the Pachyderm Studio recording sessions. The original 12-song collection has been remastered and will be repackaged on Sept. 24 with bonus tracks, a 1993 concert recording and more extras. It will be available in a wide variety of formats, including a three-CD/one-DVD “Super Deluxe” set, a three-LP vinyl edition on down to the standard one-CD package.

Among the bonus tracks are a trove of cuts left over from the sessions at Pachyderm, which is set on a woodsy six-acre lot in Cannon Falls, about 45 minutes south of the Twin Cities in farm country (and currently still sidelined as a studio). Chicago-reared producer Steve Albini had previously worked at Pachyderm with PJ Harvey on her “Rid of Me” album and reportedly suggested it to the band. In a 2002 interview, bassist Krist Novoselic also said the remote location was picked because “it seemed good for Kurt’s health.”

Per the newly released track listing, the entire first disc in the expanded set is comprised of Pachyderm-made cuts. They include “Marigold,” which is touted as drummer and future Foo Fighters bandleader Dave Grohl’s first time singing on a studio recording. Other bonus tracks, including “I Hate Myself and Want to Die” and the one with the initials “M.V.,” have been bootlegged over the years. Here’s the full listing for the all-Pachyderm disc.

Disc 1 (remastered album, B-sides, bonus tracks):
1 Serve the Servants (Albini mix/original release)
2 Scentless Apprentice (Albini mix/original release)
3 Heart-Shaped Box (Litt mix/original release)
4 Rape Me (Albini mix/original release)
5 Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle (Albini mix/original release)
6 Dumb (Albini mix/original release)
7 Very Ape (Albini mix/original release)
8 Milk It (Albini mix/original release)
9 Pennyroyal Tea (Albini mix/original release)
10 Radio Friendly Unit Shifter (Albini mix/original release)
11 tourette's (Albini mix/original release)
12 All Apologies (Litt mix/original release)
13 Gallons Of Rubbing Alcohol Flow Through The Strip (ex-U.S. bonus track)
14 Marigold (B-side; "Heart Shaped Box)
15 Moist Vagina" (B-side; "All Apologies")
16 Sappy (from No Alternative comp)
17 I Hate Myself And Want To Die (from "The Beavis and Butt-head Experience")
18 Pennyroyal Tea (Litt mix)
19 Heart-Shaped Box (Albini mix/unreleased)
20 All Apologies (Albini mix/unreleased)

The other discs (detailed here) will feature the 2013 remastered version of the album with pre-Pachyderm demos, plus the concert disc from Seattle’s Pier 48, which was broadcast for MTV’s “Live & Loud.”

[Photo: Joey McCleister, Star Tribune file]