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Nirvana Post Steve Albini’s Famous ‘In Utero’ Proposal Letter in Tribute to Late Producer

todayMay 9, 2024 2

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As tributes continue to roll in saluting late producer Steve Albini, Nirvana’s social media has shared the famous proposal that Albini made to produce the band’s In Utero album.The notoriously blunt producer died of a heart attack earlier this week at the age of 61. One of his calling cards as a producer was Nirvana’s In Utero album, in which he famously penned a four-page letter after the massive success of Nirvana’s Nevermind album where he pitched himself to produce the band’s next record, but “only if we do it right.”Albini agreed with some of the comments that Kurt Cobain had made about wanting to record the album quickly and with little interference. “I think the very best thing you could do at this point is exactly what you are talking about doing: bang a record out in a couple of days, with high quality but minimal ‘production’ and no interference from the front office bulletheads. If that is indeed what you want to do, I would love to be involved,” said the producer.He would later add in the proposal the blunt statement, “If a record takes more than a week to make, somebody’s fucking up.”The letter can be read in full in the social media post below:What Albini Said About His Nirvana ‘Proposal’Back in 2023, during the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Nirvana’s In Utero album, Steve Albini joined Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic on the Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast (viewed below).He recalled of his initial introduction to the group, “I wasn’t super familiar with Nirvana. I had heard the ubiquitous stuff that was played on the radio and all the clubs and like every gig you would go to before loading in the sound guy would put Nevermind on to crank and balance the P.A. So I had heard the album many times sort of second hand.”The producer also made note in his letter that he was not interested in taking “points” on the album, which would have yielded a bigger payday for him but hurt the band.He explained to O’Brien, “The way the record producers were compensated at that time in particular was a trick of accounting that shifted the costs away from the label and toward the band, made the band ultimately responsible for what the producer got paid. It didn’t come out of the general proceeds of the record,” explained Albini.READ MORE: Steve Albini Reveals Song Mishap That Made It to Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ Album”Literally every dollar I would get paid would be a dollar that Dave didn’t get or Krist didn’t get or Kurt didn’t get,” he continued. “I think that’s ethically untenable, and I’ll admit that I think less of people who opt to do things that way. On its face, it’s absurd. I work on a record for a few days and then for the rest of your fucking life, you have to keep paying me?!”Steve Albini Speaks With Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend PodcastSteve Albini’s CreditsIn addition to being a producer, Albini himself was a musician who earned some fame playing in the bands Big Black and Shellac.But he was primarily known for his production work, having produced Pixies’ critically hailed and influential Surfer Rosa album, as well as Nirvana’s In Utero. He also produced or worked as an audio engineer on albums from The Breeders, The Jesus Lizard, Urge Overkill, Failure, PJ Harvey, Jawbreaker, Superchunk, Bush, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, Chevelle, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, High on Fire, Cheap Trick, Scott Weiland, Neurosis, Foxy Shazam, Laura Jane Grace and Code Orange among others.Rockers We’ve Lost in 2024We say farewell to some amazingly talented performers and rock movers and shakers.Gallery Credit: Chad Childers, Loudwire

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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