Dinosaur Jr. Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness
Although they tasted fame as part of the alternative revolution of the early '90s, Dinosaur Jr.'s influence has extended from their time both before and after their Buzz Bin days. We've ranked all of their albums in order of awesomeness below.
By now, the band's founding lineup—the decorated, albeit initially short-lived, lineup of J Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Emmett "Murph" Murphy—has existed in their middle-aged afterlife for more than twice as long as it did in their original iteration, when they were fresh-faced punks finding their footing in the '80s indie scene.
Spawning from Deep Wound, a hardcore band featuring Mascis and Barlow, Dinosaur Jr. formed when the two recruited Murph, a drummer from a rivaling punk band, to push the boundaries of their creative appetites that were too limited in the confines of hardcore punk music. The result was a brand of disheveled indie rock that borrowed the chaotic urgency of punk, mingled it with the inflamed dexterity of metal and nurtured the self-conscious sensitivities of the stuff found left of the dial. This musical id was captured fully realized on 1987's reputation-sealing You're Living All Over Me.
But by the time the band had attracted major label attention, Mascis had already fired Lou Barlow from the band—ending a professional relationship fraught by creative disagreements and personal differences. Murph followed suit not long after, spurning Mascis for the Lemonheads shortly following Dinosaur Jr.'s commercial breakthrough, Where You Been. J Mascis carried on until he grew wary after Hand It Over went under-promoted. In the following years, the only connection between ex-bandmates existed in the form of ill-will, often spilling out into the music press.
Then, 2005 happened. And, to the surprise of many, the band announced a reunion tour, with an appearance on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson marking their first performance together as a trio in nearly two decades. 2007 brought the enthusiastically received comeback album, Beyond, and the ensuing years have seen a stream of musical output and cycle of touring that suggests the band's heyday was not the period that birthed their early works, but the present day.
An overview that traces Dinosaur Jr.'s lifeworks from their inception to their present pursuits would show that today's Dinosaur Jr. stands up strongly against the guarded treasures of the band's former life—which is demonstrated by our list of Dinosaur Jr. Albums Ranked In Order of Awesomeness. Read on...