Anniversary: ‘Dinosaur,’ the Debut Record by Dinosaur jr. Turns 35

Dinosaur, the first record by Dinosaur jr. is 35! In 1985, when guitarist and vocalist J. Mascis, bassist and vocalist Lou Barlow, and drummer Murph released Dinosaur on Homestead Records, it was self-titled. They changed their band name after getting sued a couple albums later.

Dinosaur jr. from Western Massachusetts formed out of the wreckage of Deep Wound featuring Barlow and Mascis. They played shows in 1984 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Eventually, the trio recorded Dinosaur out near the Berkshire Mountains, down the Mass Pike from Boston in Northhampton.

Their noisy, lo-fi sound was inventive and orbit-shifting years before grunge. Dinosaur jr. had more in common with The Cure and Sonic Youth, a kind of college-radio-versus-original-skate-rock sound that would grow as the band tumbled toward the 1990s. They took Mtv’s 120 Minutes and put it in a blender.

By passing manic, eternally ripping, guitar shred and solo-esc playing through a cocktail of effects pedals at Mascis’ feet, Dinosaur was born into the world. From a home recording with Barlow and Murph to his trademark triple stack wall of Marshall amps 35 years later, Dinosaur is an unmistakable Dinosaur jr. classic.

Learn more about the band here. 

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