In Bloom
In Bloom's single cover
Genre Alternative rock, Grunge, Rock
Released November 30, 1992
Album Nevermind
Recorded May 1991 at Sound City Studios, Van Nuys, California
Length 4:15
Label DGC
Producer Butch Vig
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"In Bloom" is a song by the American grunge band Nirvana. Written by frontman Kurt Cobain, the song addresses people outside of the underground music community who did not understand the band's message.

Nirvana made its first music video for an early version of "In Bloom" in 1990; however the song did not appear on a commercial release until the release of the group's second album, Nevermind, in 1991. "In Bloom" became the fourth and final single from the album in late 1992. It was accompanied by a new music video which parodied musical performances of 1960s variety shows

Backround And Recording

Nirvana first played the song the night before it was demoed. Bassist Krist Novoselic recalled that it "originally sounded like a Bad Brains song. Then Kurt turned it into a pop song". Cobain went home and reworked the song, playing the revised version of it over the phone to Novoselic. The band recorded "In Bloom" with producer Butch Vig at Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin during April 1990. The material recorded at Smart Studios was intended for the group's second album for the independent record label Sub Pop. The song originally had a bridge section that Vig removed. Novoselic said that after the band recorded the song, Vig cut out the bridge from the 16-track master tape with a razor blade and threw it in the garbage. The songs from these sessions were placed on a demo tape that circulated amongst the music industry, generating interest in the group among major record labels.

After signing to DGC Records, Nirvana began recording its second album Nevermind in May 1991. "In Bloom" was one of the first songs the band recorded during the album sessions at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California; Vig thought it would be good to start recording a song previously recorded at Smart Studios. The arrangements for "In Bloom" and the other songs previously recorded with Vig in 1990 were largely unchanged; the recently hired drummer Dave Grohl stayed mostly with what his predecessor Chad Channing had recorded, but added more power and precision to the recording. Cobain sang progressively "harder" during the recording of the song, which made it difficult for Vig to balance the volume levels between the verses and choruses. Vig recalled that he had to change the input level "on the fly" and hoped that Cobain would not "change the phrasing or do something different" while recording.

Cobain chose not to overdub a harmony vocal part during the Smart Studios sessions, possibly due to time constraints. During the Nevermind sessions, Vig had Grohl sing harmonies on the song. Grohl had difficulty hitting the proper notes, but ultimately was able to sing what Vig wanted. Vig often had to trick Cobain, who was averse to performing multiple takes, into recording additional takes for overdubs on the record. The producer convinced Cobain to double-track his vocals on "In Bloom" by telling him, "John Lennon did it." After doubling Cobain's vocals, Vig decided he might as well double Grohl's and had the drummer record an additional track of backing harmonies.

Music Video

Nirvana first made a music video for "In Bloom" in 1990 for the Sub Pop Video Network Program VHS compilation (1991). The recording of the song featured in the video is the version recorded during the Smart Studios sessions. The Sub Pop video features the band walking around various parts of lower Manhattan including the South Street Seaport, the Lower East Side, and Wall Street. While filming the video, Novoselic shaved his head as penance for a bad performance the band gave in New York City. This caused discontinuity in the final cut; shots of the band feature the bassist with and without hair throughout the video. This video was later compiled on the Nirvana box set With The Lights Out (2004).


Nirvana - In Bloom-0

The second video, created to accompany the 1992 single release, was directed by Kevin Kerslake, who had previously directed the band's videos for "Come As You Are" and "Lithium". Cobain's original concept for the video told the story of a young girl born into a Ku Klux Klan who one day realizes how evil they are. His concept was too ambitious, so Cobain instead decided to parody musical performances by bands on early 1960s variety shows, such as The Ed Sullivan Show. The humorous tone of the video was a result of Cobain being "so tired for the last year of people taking us so seriously . . . I wanted to fuck off and show them that we have a humorous side to us". Kerslake filmed the video on old Kinescope cameras, and the band improvised its performance. The video begins with an unnamed variety show host (played by Doug Llewelyn, former host of The People's Court) introducing Nirvana to an in-studio crowd of screaming teenagers; their non-stop screaming is heard throughout the duration of the song. The band members, whom the host refers to as "thoroughly all right and decent fellas", perform dressed in Beach Boys-style outfits; Cobain wears glasses that blurred his vision, while Novoselic cut his hair short and liked it so much he kept it that way afterwards. As the video progresses, the band destroys the set and its instruments.

Three different edits of the Kerslake video were made. Cobain intended to replace the first version of the video after a period with a new take featuring the band wearing dresses instead of suits.MTV's alternative rock show 120 Minutes insisted on premiering the video, but Cobain felt the program would not properly convey the humor of the "pop idol" version. Instead, a new edit was produced which contained shots of the band in both suits and dresses. The original edit of the video never aired. This video won the award for Best Alternative Video at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards, and topped the music video category in the 1992 Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics' poll.


  • This song is one of the songs that feature separate instrument tracks like Vocals, Guitar, Bass, and Drums all separted. The same goes for Smells Like Teen Spirit.



Nirvana - In Bloom (Vocal Only)


Nirvana - In Bloom (Guitar Only)


Nirvana - In Bloom (Bass Guitar Only)


Nirvana - In Bloom (Drums Only)

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