Dinosaur Jr. Biography
Formed out of the remnants of a Punk-based band called Deep Wound in the sleepy college town of Amherst, Massachusetts USA, Alternative-Rock pioneers Dinosaur Jr. began with J Mascis, born Joseph D. Mascis, on drums and Lou Barlow on bass; when J Mascis moved to guitar, jams started happening, based upon the buckets of new songs that Mascis was writing. Drawing from a wildly messed-up mix of influences from Venom to New Order to Neil Young, Dinosaur began to assemble their hair-raising first set of tunes in the fall of 1984. Realizing that life as a duo might be difficult, they quickly recruited a drummer named Murph, real name Emmett Patrick Murphy.
Released before the group was forced to change its name to Dinosaur Jr.
by an obscure psychedelic group, the band's debut, "Dinosaur",
was issued on the indie label Homestead, in 1985.
Touring with Sonic Youth and on their own, Dinosaur Jr. slowly built up a dedicated fan base and in 1987 they churned out their critically acclaimed sophomore album "You're Living All Over Me".
1988's "Bug" expanded on the strengths of its predecessor and established Dinosaur Jr. as a major band in the American underground, it contained the college radio hit "Freak Scene".
A year later the members went their separate ways. Mascis wanted to fire Barlow, so he continued on with Murph and hired a new bass player for a tour of Australia.
J Mascis released Dinosaur Jr.'s first major-label album, "Green Mind", in February 1991 on Sire Records; more of a solo project than a group effort, the disc slipped into The Billboard Top 200 chart backed by a Modern Rock top 30 hit, "The Wagon ".
It would be two years before the next album, "Where You Been", appeared. Recorded with a full band, Mike Johnson and Murph lay down the driving rhythm section playing bass guitar and drums respectively, while Mascis has tackled almost everything else, "Where You Been" rocketed into the top 50 of The Billboard 200 and Dinosaur Jr. with the release of "Start Choppin'" achieved its career-highest Modern Rock Tracks chart position, at #3.
Although the band's popularity continued to grow, J Mascis fired Murph before the recording of "Without A Sound" which came out in August 1994, it peaked at #44 in U.S. Top 200 chart led by the Modern Rock top 5 hit single "Feel The Pain".
The band's seventh album, "Hand It Over", was released in March 1997 and was hailed as a masterwork by critics, even though it only scraped the lower reaches of The Billboard 200 chart.
The end of the '90s saw the release of two Mascis solo albums: "Martin + Me" and "More Light". When J Mascis and Lou Barlow split in 1989, it seemed the band would never regroup, but Dinosaur Jr. regrouped in 2005 and toured.
Dinosaur Jr. then signed with Fat Possum Records who released in the spring 2007 the band's first album with its original line-up since the late '80s. The 11-track set titled "Beyond" debuted at #4 on the Top Independent Albums chart and also reached #69 on The Billboard 200. It included the single "Been There All The Time".
The trio unveiled their ninth studio album, "Farm", two years later on Jagjaguwar label. The disc peaked at #29 on The Billboard 200 trailed by the single/video "Over It".
In September 2012 Dinosaur Jr. put out "I Bet On Sky", the record, which contained the single "Watch The Corners", stopped just short of the top 50 of the official Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart.