In Utero is the third and final studio album by American rock band Nirvana, released on September 21, 1993, by DGC Records. Nirvana intended for the record to diverge significantly from the polished, refined production of its previous album, Nevermind (1991). Early in 1992, Cobain said that In Utero would showcase "both of the extremes" of its sound, saying "it'll be more raw with some songs and more candy pop on some of the others. It won't be as one-dimensional [as Nevermind]".
To capture a more abrasive and natural sound, Nirvana hired engineer Steve Albini to record In Utero during a two-week period in February 1993 at Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. The music was quickly recorded within that time with few studio embellishments. The lyrics and album packaging largely incorporated medical imagery that conveyed frontman Kurt Cobain's outlook on his publicized personal life and his band's newfound fame.
Soon after recording was completed, rumors circulated in the press that DGC might not release In Utero in its original state, as the record label felt that the result was not commercially viable. Although Nirvana publicly denied the statements, the band agreed to remix parts of the album. When Albini declined to alter the album further, the band hired R.E.M. producer Scott Litt to make minor changes to its sound and remix the singles "Heart-Shaped Box" and "All Apologies".
Upon release, In Utero reached number one on both the US Billboard 200 and UK Albums Chart. It received critical acclaim as a drastic departure from Nevermind and has been described by several publications as one of the greatest albums of all time. "Heart-Shaped Box" and "All Apologies" both reached number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. The album has been certified 5× platinum by the RIAA and has sold 15 million copies worldwide.