Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
They were formed as Dinosaur in 1983 in Amherst, Massachusetts by J Mascis (guitar and vocals) and his high school classmate Lou Barlow (bass guitar), following the break-up of their hardcore punk band, Deep Wound. Shortly afterwards, Murph (Emmett Patrick Murphy, drums) joined them. They changed their name following the release of their debut, Dinosaur (1985), when another band called Dinosaur, featuring ex-members of Country Joe and the Fish and Jefferson Airplane, sued them.
In 1987, they signed to SST Records and with them they released what is often considered their best album, You're Living All Over Me (1987), as well as Bug (1988). They never had much commercial success, but gained something of a cult following and became known for their very loud concerts. They were championed by Sonic Youth, who helped them get signed to SST. Dinosaur's songs were melodic, fairly simply structured and covered in guitar noise. These first albums were a major influence on the up and coming band Nirvana, and were equally on par with Dinosaur Jr.'s contempories the Pixies.
Tensions ran high between Mascis and Barlow, and in 1989 Barlow was kicked out of the band, continuing to work with his own band Sebadoh. Dinosaur Jr. subsequently became little more than a pseudonym for Mascis. He switched labels to Blanco y Negro , Green Mind (1991) being his first release there. Through the 90s, Mascis sometimes explored quieter and more tranquil shores than Dinosaur Jr. had in the 1980s. On the 1993 release, Where You Been, the opening track (Out There) had an accompanying video and was aired on MTV for a short time, as the show 120 Minutes was still popular as a late-night 'Alternative' video show.
Mascis continues to release albums under his new band J Mascis and the Fog .
- Dinosaur (1985, Homestead; reissued 2005, Merge)
- You're Living All Over Me (1987, SST; reissued 2005, Merge)
- Bug (1988, SST; reissued 2005, Merge)
- Just Like Heaven (EP) (1989, SST)
- Fossils (1991, SST)
- Green Mind (1991, Blanco y Negro)
- Whatever's Cool With Me (1991, Blanco y Negro)
- Where You Been (1993, Blanco y Negro)
- Jayloumurph (live) (1993)
- Without a Sound (1994, Blanco y Negro)
- Hand It Over (1997, Blanco y Negro)
- In Session (1998, Strange Fruit)
- The BBC Sessions (live) (2000, Varese)
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