Dinosaur Jr. - Zombie Worm: Best Of (2006)


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, DinosaurThe Dinosaurs, featuring ex-members of Country Joe and the Fish and Jefferson Airplane, sued them. (They still used the name Dinosaur on their albums at least as late as 1987. Some copies of You're Living All Over Me still lack the "Jr") (1985), when another band called

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 on par with Dinosaur Jr.'s contemporaries 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 1990s, 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.

In 2004, Mascis regained the master rights to the first three Dinosaur Jr albums from SST, and arranged for their reissue on the Merge label in early 2005. The reissues coincided with the announcement that the original lineup of Mascis, Barlow and Murph was reuniting for a summer tour.

2006 will see the continuation of the Dinosaur Jr reunion tour, as well as the band's first DVD release and a new album. The new album will be Lou Barlow's first recording with the band since 1989.

Dinosaur Jr's career is chronicled in Our Band Could Be Your Life, a book about several important American underground rock groups during the 1980s, and are one of the curators of this year's All Tomorrow's Parties festival in May.


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