In Utero is the third and final studio album by the American grunge band Nirvana, released on September 21, 1993 by Geffen Records (DGC). The album's abrasive and aggressive sound was a departure from the polished production of the band's breakthrough, Nevermind, due in part to the selection of recording engineer Steve Albini. It became controversial for its sound production and the subject matters of its songs. The album's dark lyrical content included dysfunctional family, cancer, privacy, and abortion. In Utero's abrasive sound was, according to bassist Krist Novoselic, intended as a figurative "litmus test" for Nirvana's audience following the band's mainstream success.
"Heart-Shaped Box" was the first single released from the album, followed by "All Apologies/Rape Me", which was released as a double A-side single due to the explicit nature of the latter song. Both singles topped the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart in the United States. "Pennyroyal Tea" was intended to be released as the third single in April 1994, but was cancelled after the death of the band's frontman, Kurt Cobain.
While In Utero did not sell as well as Nevermind, it was a commercial and critical success. The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America by the end of 1993; it was most recently certified 5x platinum, and now ranks in the top 100 bestselling albums in the US. The album also topped Rolling Stone's year-end poll.