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In 1993, Dinosaur Jr. articulate like a bandage again. After some calendar turnover, the accumulation was putting the leash aback into ability trio.
In contempo years, Dinosaur Jr. had accursed bassist Lou Barlow and active a accord with Sire Records. The band’s major-label debut, 1991’s Green Mind, was, essentially, a abandoned almanac for frontman J Mascis – who, in accession to his accepted role as singer-songwriter-guitarist, handled all bass duties and best of the drums.
But with new bassist Mike Johnson in Dinosaur Jr., Mascis was agog to acknowledgment to the old means of accomplishing things by authoritative an anthology that played on the circuitous coaction of a three-piece band. Sonically, the anthology that would be appear as Where You Been was as autonomous as this accumulation got, featuring atomic arena by Mascis, Johnson and bagman Emmett “Murph” Murphy.
“It’s the aboriginal time we’ve acquainted like a bandage for maybe six years, or something,” Mascis told MTV’s 120 Minutes in 1993. “[Johnson] adds a lot, aloof accepting addition that I can get forth with musically and personally. It aloof makes the almanac bigger accepting all the bodies there accidental something, rather than the aftermost one.”
But Where You Been didn’t aloof await on the band’s characteristic mix of angular vocals, acid blueprint and melodies active beneath after-effects of distortion. Dinosaur Jr.’s fifth flat disc additionally added to the trio’s sonic palette, with Mascis arena timpani (the accomplishments barrage on “What Else Is New”) and angelus (which brighten opener “Out There”) as able-bodied as amalgam the talents of a cord quartet on assorted tracks.
The sounds may accept become prettier, but the lyrics generally centered on the animal anguish of relationships. On the angry carol “Not the Same,” Mascis employs his Neil Young-like beef to call a fraying partnership. With a blow and a nod to acceptance, he sleepwalks through the algid tune, singing, “As I airing with you, it chills me so / To apprehend you say it is appear to this / And that it is okay.”
“J’s absorbed by the altered levels of advice that go on aural relationships, whether they be claimed or business or whatever,” Murph told Spin in 1993. “He’s like an addict. He loves to see that coaction amid people.”
If Mascis seemed to be an clashing eyewitness in his lyrics, that angle was alone added by the music media. After the absolution of Where You Been on Feb. 9, 1993, the singer-guitarist displayed his abridgement of absorption in discussing his music in annual interviews and appeared airy aback he showed up on MTV’s alt-rock-geared programming. That didn’t stop the channel’s 120 Minutes or Another Nation from arena Dinosaur Jr. videos, including the one for advance distinct “Start Choppin’” and the albino blow for the follow-up, “Out There.”
That alone aided the band’s popularity. “Start Choppin’” became the band’s better “hit” (No. 3 on Billboard’s Modern Bedrock blueprint and No. 20 in the U.K.) in their absolute catalog, while “Out There” became an another radio alternative and concluded up on the soundtrack to Wayne’s Apple 2 after in 1993. Where You Been angry into Dinosaur Jr.’s best accepted anthology to date, affairs in balance of 200,000 copies and ascent to No. 50 on the U.S. blueprint and No. 10 in Britain. In the alt-rock world, there was a faculty that this bandage would be the abutting one to backfire in popularity.
“We’re aloof authoritative annal and, I mean, every one awash added than the aftermost one,” Mascis said at the time. “Whatever happens, we’ll accord with it then.”
Yet, with a crumbling appetence for annoying bedrock and a about-face in the band’s calendar (Murph larboard in 1993), Dinosaur Jr. never absolutely became bedrock superstars, instead award a average arena with a advantageous afterward and affluence of acclaim from critics and their adolescent musicians. After Where You Been, Mascis would acknowledgment to recording the majority of the band’s annal himself. The bandage after reinvigorated their ability leash activating aback Mascis, Barlow and Murph reunited to accomplish new albums, starting with 2007’s Beyond.
Where You Been remained a criterion for fans, who accept sometimes declared it as a arrangement for Dinosaur Jr.’s complete on their added contempo releases. Looking back, Murph considers the anthology his favorite.
“On every record, there’s songs I like,” he told The Skinny in 2009. “Out of the annal I played on, I anticipate of Where You Been very fondly.”
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