30 years ago today, on December 14th, 1987, Dinosaur Jr. released their timeless second album, You’re Living All Over Me.
The album was originally released on SST Records when the band were still known as just Dinosaur, and the initial pressing of the album omits Jr. from the band name. After a lawsuit forced the band to change their name, SST recalled all units and had the album repressed with the extended name. Some copies of the record had already been circulated, making those in existence incredibly collectable, and still changes hands to this day for over £125.
The album arguably has some of Dinosaur Jr.’s best work, and expanded on their 1985 debut. It was the transitional point of the band moving from the harder edge punk sound of their formative days, into the charming hooks that would follow. It is an important part in Dinosaur Jr.’s history, and is rightfully revered among the alternative rock scene.
Before Nirvana blew up the airwaves with Nevermind in 1991, J Mascis was the unassuming poster boy slacker rock. While Kurt Cobain would voice a generations angst and frustration, J Mascis was the shoulders shrugged, ‘whatever, man’ attitude that resonated with the college-aged youth of America. Perhaps it was a little stoner-chic, but the songs that Mascis was writing were way ahead of their time; It was Husker Du and The Lemonheads turned up to 11.
Little Fury Things remains a staple of the bands setlists to this day, is the quintessential Dinosaur Jr track. It was the perfect example of Mascis’ method of trying to play the guitar as hard as he played drums in his pre-dino outfit, Deep Wound. It was a nice dichotomy against the lovelorn narrative, which played a part in many of the tracks on You’re Living All Over Me. Even the romantic bewilderment of In a Jar is met with the trio’s searing cacophony, as Mascis pines, “I just want to know what you’re nice to me for.”
Revisiting You’re Living All Over Me three decades later it still puts a smile on your face and warmth in your heart. It’s the kind of album you relate to a time in your life, and you never forget where you were the first time you heard it.
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