Pennyroyal Tea chromalins

chromalins / pre-production artwork / Geffen / GEFS7/CS-19220 / made in USA / 1994

All Nirvana artwork was initially designed in the USA [1,2]. It was no different for the various Pennyroyal Tea singles which would be manufactured in Europe and probably Australia, even though the single would not be released in USA, similar to In Bloom, Heart-Shaped Box, All Apologies, and the later About A Girl single. The chromalins for the 7" and cassette singles shown on this page were sent from USA to UK along with film for printing [1]. The same chromalins were probably also sent to Germany and other countries which would manufacture singles (only one chromalin for each format would be sent to each country [2]). Chromalins for the CD single should also exist, but one has not surfaced yet. Geffen UK employee Rob Fellows remembered the chromalin for the CD single as a digipak chromalin, but this must be incorrect as the printed sleeve which has been discovered is a slimline case sleeve.


Chromalins serve as proofs for the printers. They would compare the colors on the chromalins to the printed inserts. The films would have to be amended in each country to put in the proper catalog numbers, label information, and everything else which applied, as the original information included was as if it was an American release. Once this was done, new chromalins would have been made in UK and sent to the printers along with the amended film. These have not turned up yet. [1,2] Read Artwork for more information about chromalins and how artwork was handled.

According to the chromalins, the 7" and cassette singles would have Where Did You Sleep Last Night as the B-side. The 7" chromalin was printed on March 7th, 1994, not giving the European offices much time to prepare the release.

Catalog numbers

Nirvana was released on DGC in USA, and on Geffen in Europe and Australia. Much of the information on the chromalins refer to Geffen information. It seems the American designers tried to make it easier to amend for the Europeans by supplying Geffen information, not DGC, as they weren't releasing the single in USA anyway. There is a Geffen logo instead of the DGC logo, all catalog number prefixes are Geffen prefixes, and the referenced In Utero catalog number was only used on European and Australian releases of the album.

The catalog numbers on the chromalins are GEFS7-19220 for the 7" and GEFCS-19220 for the MC, and they both refer to the different In Utero formats as GEF/GEFC/GEFD-24536 (LP/MC/CD). In Utero was released as DGC/DGCC/DGCD-24607 in USA.

All those prefixes were used by Geffen in USA, but they would not apply to Nirvana there. They must have been included with Europe and Australia in mind, but they wrote the catalog numbers as Geffen would in USA. Australia and some European countries used those exact prefixes for singles and albums, but several European releases would used prefixes as GES instead of GEFS7, GEC instead of GEFCS and GEFC, and GED instead of GEFD. In Germany and UK, the information was properly amended to say GEF/GEC/GED-24536, as seen on the German single and the UK 7" sleeve and CD insert.

As mentioned, the In Utero catalog number, 24536, only appears on European and Australian releases. It is different to the US number because of the addition of the bonus track to the CD (though the vinyl and cassette editions did not have the song, they still changed the catalog number). The catalog number on the singles, 19220, seems to follow shortly after the two-track All Apologies singles, such as the Dutch 7", GES19203, and the French MC, GEC-19203. The number is international, it would be the same for any two-track single containing the same tracks in any country, for example a two-track mainland European 7" single manufactured in France, Germany, or most likely, Holland, would have had the full catalog number GES 19220, while a fictitious American single on DGC would have had the catalog number DGCS7-19220. (UK used an independent numbering system, where all Pennyroyal Tea items where numbered 71 regardless of which tracks which appeared.)

7" chromalin
1. 7" chromalin

7" chromalin, front part
2. 7" chromalin, front part

7" chromalin, back part
3. 7" chromalin, back part

7" chromalin, back details
4. 7" chromalin, back details

MC chromalin
5. MC chromalin

MC chromalin, front part
6. MC chromalin, front part

MC chromalin, back part
7. MC chromalin, back part

MC chromalin, back details
8. MC chromalin, back details