The Nirvana Album That’s Too Painful For Dave Grohl to Hear

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Sometimes hearing your old songs is like looking through old photos.

While Dave Grohl has plenty of positive memories of Nirvana’s catalog, there’s one record that he doesn’t like to respin.

When asked about the band’s third album In Utero, Grohl thinks it’s uncomfortable to listen to now saying,

I hear the songs on the radio every once in a while, and I like the sonic difference of hearing ‘All Apologies’ or ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ come on in the middle of a bunch of compressed, Pro Tool-ed modern rock radio music because it stands out. But lyrically and conceptually, it’s not something that I like to revisit too often.”

In Utero is a much harsher listen compared to Nevermind, as Kurt Cobain lashes out at the corporate machine around him.

Although Grohl has trouble with its darkness, he understands why it sounds that abrasive saying,

“That record was a response to the success of Nevermind. We just pushed ourselves in the other direction, like, ‘Oh really, that’s what you like? Well, here’s what we’re going to f***ing do now!”

Despite its visceral sound, Grohl is both proud and uncomfortable with the final product saying,

“It captured a moment in time for the band, and it’s definitely an accurate representation of the time, which was dark. But it is a hard album for me to listen to from front to back. … It’s so real, and because it’s such an accurate representation of the band at the time, it brings back other memories; it kinda makes my skin crawl.”

At the time, Cobain seemed to agree with Grohl’s analysis saying,

“Steve Albini (In Utero’s producer) had a sound that we’ve been wanting for a long time. It sounds so natural and real. There’s just a real beautiful ambiance to it.”

Although this record is closer to Kurt’s vision for Nirvana, it hurts for Grohl to hear. 

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