“Dumb” is a song by American rock band, Nirvana, written by vocalist and guitarist, Kurt Cobain. It is the sixth song on the band’s third and final studio album, In Utero, released in 1993.
“Dumb” was written by Cobain in the summer of 1990, after he had begun to embrace his pop music songwriting instincts. Cobain debuted the song on September 25, 1990, when he performed a solo acoustic version on the Boy Meets Girl show on KAOS (FM) in Olympia, Washington. The first live version featuring the full band was at the Off Ramp Café in Seattle, Washington on November 25, 1990.
A version of the song, already featuring finished lyrics, was recorded during Nirvana’s John Peel session for the BBC at Maida Vale Studios in London on September 3, 1991. The full session, which also featured two songs from the band’s then-latest release, Nevermind, was produced by Dale Griffin, and first broadcast on November 3, 1991. Three takes were recorded by Jack Endino on October 26, 1992, at Word of Mouth in Seattle, Washington, but all were instrumental, as were all the other songs recorded during this session, except for one take of “Rape Me”.
The final studio version was recorded by Steve Albini at Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, Minnesota in February, 1993, and was released on the band’s third and final studio album, In Utero. The song features Kera Schaley on cello, who also played on “All Apologies.” In a 1993 Rolling Stone interview, Cobain told David Fricke that he wished he had put more songs like these two on previous Nirvana albums, saying that Nirvana had so far “failed in showing the lighter, more dynamic side of our band.”