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Remembering the time MTV got a bunch of unsuspecting college students to review Nirvana’s In Utero

Nirvana’s third and final record, In Utero, got a mixed report from students when MTV headed to a college campus in 1993



The release of Nirvana‘s third and final album In Utero was a big deal when it arrived in 1993, so much so that MTV went out into the field to hear what the general public thought of it. They headed to the campus of St. John’s University in New York armed with a stack of freshly-minted CDs, asking a random selection of students to take it home to listen to overnight and come back with thoughts the next day (pretty prejudiced just to assume students have got nothing better to do with their evening, eh?). 

Some of the reactions delivered the next day were excellent, here are some highlights:

“Very similar to the first album,” says Billy, who gets kudos for name-checking the first album but, then, as the interview goes on you realise he’s talking about Nevermind and, well, Billy, you’re going to have to hand that kudos right back, sonny. “Heart-Shaped Box will probably be on MTV,” continues Billy, showing off a good ear for the hits and a bad ear for Nirvana’s full discography.

Ron wasn’t happy with Kurt’s lyrical level: “A lot of the lyrics were just thrown in,” he complained. “I think if I was stoned when I listened to it I might have liked it better,” he concluded. “But I don’t do that anymore.”

“The fourth song – Rape Me – I was not too happy with that song, I found it offensive,” said Diane, who worked in the university’s library. Ron agreed, saying they were just looking for controversy with the song. Sean loved Rape Me though, as did Nicole.

The video concludes with Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl watching the students’ opinions, taking it mostly in good humour apart from Kurt (not for the first or last time) having to hammer home the point that Rape Me was intended as an anti-rape song.

Check out the full video below.