Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blast from the Past: Fossils

Artist:  Dinosaur Jr. (Official, Facebook, MySpace, Last.fm, AllMusic, Wikipedia)

Fossils is a collection of singles released by Dinosaur Jr. during their years on SST Records.  It was also my first introduction to the band.  The collection is made up of the “Little Fury Things,” “Freak Scene,” and “Just Like Heaven” singles and includes some of the best tracks that this band produced during those years.   

I first picked up Fossils on cassette sometime in 1992 or so and instantly fell in love with it.  The two songs that immediately jumped out at me were “Freak Scene” and Dinosaur Jr.’s amazing cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.”  I remember playing this for my girlfriend (now my wife) and her not really digging it.  Then months later we heard “Start Choppin’” (which incidentally is probably my favorite Dinosaur Jr. song of all time) on the radio and she commented that she really like the song.  I was amazed and thrilled to hear that she finally like Dinosaur Jr.  The thing with this band is you have to like the sound of J Mascis’ voice, otherwise you’ll never be able to appreciate his brilliant guitar playing and the stellar bass work of Lou Barlow and drumming of Murphy, or the fact that these are some great songs. 

For those who have never heard Dinosaur Jr., their sound is a mix of classic rock and punk that at times is equal parts Black Sabbath and Black Flag.  They are one of the original bands that pioneered the sound that became known as grunge (along with Sonic Youth and Husker Du) and were a huge influence on Nirvana.  Sadly Fossils is out of print but these songs are pretty much all available on the reissues of You’re Living All Over Me and Bug.  That having been said, if you can find a copy of Fossils and it isn't too expensive, it is worth picking up, if for nothing else because the cover is so freaking awesome!

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