The album was named after a line uttered by frontman J Mascis while on tour with the band.
"Poledo" is unique from the rest of the album in that half of it is a lo-fi recording of Lou Barlow singing and playing ukulele, much like his own group Sebadoh, while the other half is a collection of sound collages and abstract noise pieces.
The album was originally issued when the band were still known as Dinosaur, before a lawsuit forced the name change to Dinosaur Jr. The album was recalled by SST a few months after release, and new copies were printed crediting the band as Dinosaur Jr. The band made a music video for the song "Little Fury Things" that was directed by Jim Spring and Jens Jurgensen.
The album is considered a classic of Indie and Alternative Rock. In 2005, it was ranked 31 in Spin's list of the 100 greatest albums from 1985 through to 2005 Pitchfork Media placed the album at number 40 in their list of "Top 100 Albums of the 1980s." Alternative Press ranked it number 5 on their list of 'Top 99 Albums of '85 to '95'.Beats per Minute ranked it number 17 on their list of 'The Top 100 Albums of the 1980s'.Acclaimed Music finds it to be the 539th most acclaimed album of all time. In 2011, the album was canonized as a classic in the history of rock music by the appearance of a book dedicated to it in Continuum's 33 1/3 series, written by Nick Attfield. The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
The album has also proved to be massively influential, especially on the-then nascent Shoegazing genre. Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine has named the album, among others, as an influence on their seminal You Made Me Realise EP(the two bands would eventually end up touring together). Several sources even recognize the album's influence on Nirvana and Pixies, especially in their use of quiet-loud changes first used on this album.