Guide to Better Living

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Guide to Better Living
Studio album by Grinspoon
Released 16 September 1997 (1997-09-16)
Recorded February 1997, Rocking Horse Studios, Byron Bay
Genre Alternative metal, post-grunge
Length 46:12
Label Grudge/Universal Music Australia
Producer Phillip McKellar
Grinspoon chronology
Licker Bottle Cozy
(1996)
Guide to Better Living
(1997)
Pushing Buttons
(1998)
Singles from Guide to Better Living
  1. "Just Ace"
    Released: 1997
  2. "Pedestrian"
    Released: 14 July 1997
  3. "DC×3"
    Released: 11 August 1997
  4. "Repeat"
    Released: October 1997
  5. "Don't Go Away"
    Released: 1 June 1998

Guide to Better Living is the debut studio album by Australian alternative metal and post-grunge band Grinspoon. It was released on 16 September 1997 on the Grudge Records label (an imprint of Universal Music Australia) and was produced by Phil McKellar. The album reached number 11 on the ARIA Albums Chart and spent 36 weeks on the national charts. At the 1998 ARIA Music Awards, Grinspoon received a nomination in the category 'Breakthrough Artist – Album' for Guide to Better Living. The album achieved a platinum certification from ARIA. It generated five singles, "Just Ace", "Pedestrian", "DC×3", "Repeat", and "Don't Go Away"; with "Just Ace" and "DC×3" both reaching the top 50 on the ARIA Singles Chart. On 9 March 1999 a trimmed and reordered version of the album was issued for the North American market.[1]

Background[edit]

Guide to Better Living is the debut studio album by Australian alternative metal and post-grunge band Grinspoon. In 1995 the group formed in Lismore, New South Wales and are fronted by Phil Jamieson on vocals and guitar with Pat Davern on guitar, Joe Hansen on bass guitar and Kristian Hopes on drums.[2][3] The group's second extended play, Licker Bottle Cozy, was recorded in June 1996 with Phil McKellar as producer.[2][3]

In February 1997 the band recorded their debut album, with McKellar again, at Rockinghorse Studios in Byron Bay and mixed at Studio 301 in Sydney in April. The band considered the title, Sell Your Parents, but eventually decided on Guide to Better Living, after a 1960s catalogue of Sunbeam white goods.[2][3] It had a slightly heavier sound than their earlier work. On 16 September 1997 they released the work on Grudge Records – an imprint of Universal Music Australia.[2][3][4] It peaked at number 11 on the ARIA Albums Charts and by year's end it was certified platinum with shipment of over 70,000 units in Australia.[5][6] At the ARIA Music Awards of 1998, Grinspoon received a nomination in the category 'Breakthrough Artist – Album' for Guide to Better Living.[7] It represents the sound and variety of their early career with heavier songs like "Pressure Tested 1984" open the album, whilst in the middle are more classic rock songs like "Repeat" and "Don't Go Away" and then towards the end the ballad "Bad Funk Stripe."

In Australia a limited edition was issued with a bonus CD featuring the single version of "Just Ace", five live songs—illustrating the band's sense of humour and ability to play live—and a hidden track, the acoustic "Protest". The live tracks were recorded at Grudgefest in Sydney on Saturday 27 September 1997. The United States branch of Universal Records signed the band by late 1998 and released an altered version of Guide to Better Living on 9 March 1999. The cover was also modified with the band's name and album title written in a different style. The album sold over 12,000 copies in the US on the back of extensive touring by the band in North America[8] with bands such as Creed, Lit, Godsmack and Anthrax.[2] The group's second album, Easy followed in November 1999.[9][10]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
WHAMMO (positive)[11]

According to the Worldwide Home of Australasian Music and More Online (WHAMMO), "[a]fter being discovered by Triple J and then signed by Grudge records, this was the album that hammered it home - Grinspoon were destined to be the most rock and roll party down aviator-shades-wearing Oz rock band of the late '90s".[11]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Joe Hansen and Phil Jamieson,[12] except where indicated. 

Australian version
No. Title Length
1. "Pressure Tested 1984"   2:46
2. "Boundary"   2:33
3. "DC×3" (Jamieson, Pat Davern) 2:55
4. "Sickfest" (Jamieson, Davern) 3:12
5. "Railrider" (Jamieson, Hansen) 4:08
6. "Scalped" (Jamieson) 2:36
7. "Pedestrian"   2:16
8. "Just Ace" (Jamieson) 1:48
9. "Post Enebriated Anxiety" (Jamieson, Davern) 2:38
10. "Repeat" (Jamieson) 3:18
11. "NBT"   2:25
12. "Don't Go Away" (Jamieson, Davern, Hansen) 2:56
13. "Balding Matters"   2:34
14. "Bad Funk Stripe" (Jamieson) 4:43
15. "Champion"   2:42
16. "Truk" (Jamieson, Davern) 2:42
Total length:
46:12

All songs written and composed by Phil Jamieson,[13] except where indicated. 

Bonus disc
No. Title Length
1. "Just Ace (single version)"   1:48
2. "Grudgefest Intro (live)"   0:34
3. "More Than You Are (live)"   2:55
4. "Freezer (live)"   2:04
5. "Post Enebriated Anxiety (live)" (Jamieson, Pat Davern) 3:09
6. "NBT (live)" (Jamieson, Joe Hansen) 2:50
7. "Just Ace (live)"   2:01
8. "Protest (hidden track)"   1:22
Total length:
16:43

All songs written and composed by Joe Hansen and Phil Jamieson,[14] except where indicated. 

American version
No. Title Length
1. "Post Enebriated Anxiety" (Jamieson, Pat Davern) 2:38
2. "Black Friday" (Jameison, Davern) 2:29
3. "DC×3" (Jamieson, Davern) 2:55
4. "More Than You Are (live)" (Jamieson) 2:57
5. "Railrider"   4:08
6. "Pressure Tested"   2:46
7. "Repeat" (Jamieson) 3:18
8. "Champion"   2:42
9. "Pedestrian"   2:16
10. "NBT" (live) 2:22
11. "Bad Funk Stripe" (Jamieson) 4:43
12. "Scalped" (Jamieson) 2:36
13. "Boundary"   2:33
14. "Truk" (Jamieson, Davern) 2:42
15. "Sickfest" (Jamieson, Davern) 3:12
Total length:
44:17

Personnel[edit]

Grinspoon members
Additional musicians
  • Ted Reiger – keyboards
Production details
  • Producer – Phillip McKellar, Grinspoon, Ulrich Wild
  • Engineer – Phillip McKellar, Ulrich Wild
    • Assistant engineer – Greg Courtney, Flip Osman, Chris Riband
  • Mastering – Ron Baker, Tom Baker
  • Mixing – Phillip McKellar, Ulrich Wild
    • Mixing assistant – Flip Osman, Chris Riband
  • Studio – Rocking Horse Studios
Art works
  • Photography – Paul Blackmore, Sophie Howarth, Stephen Stickler

Releases[edit]

Format Country Label Catalogue No. Release Date
CD AUS Grudge/Universal UMD73086
(A limited edition CD was also released which included an 8-track bonus CD)
16 September 1997
UMD73109 20 July 1998
US Universal UD-53250 9 March 1999

Chart performance and certifications[edit]

Album
Year Peak chart positions Certifications
AUS[5]
1997 11 AUS: Platinum[6]
Singles
Year Single Peak chart positions
AUS[5] Hottest 100
1997 "Just Ace" 25 18
"Pedestrian"
"DC×3" 50 34
"Repeat" 63
1998 "Don't Go Away" 79
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Guide to Better Living – Grinspoon". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Nimmervoll, Ed. "Grinspoon". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd (Ed Nimmervoll). Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Holmgren, Magnus. "Grinspoon". Australian Rock Database. Passagen (Magnus Holmgren). Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Eliezer, Christie (6 March 1999). "Universal Australia restructures in response to changing face of retail". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). p. 103. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Hung, Steffen. "Grinspoon – Guide to Better Living". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 1997 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "Winners By Year - 25th ARIA Awards 2011 – Winners by Year – 1998". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Duffy, Thom; Eliezer, Christie (16 October 1999). "Australia: Southern Exposure". Billbosrd (Prometheus Global Media). p. 67. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Grinspoon reviews, music, news". Sputnikmusic (Jeremy Ferwerda). Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Katey. "Feature: Katey's Aussie Bands 101 - Lesson 2 – Classic Aussie Rock: Grinspoon". The Bullet Reviews. Imre. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Grinspoon – Guide to Better Living". Worldwide Home of Australasian Music and More Online (WHAMMO). Archived from the original on 29 July 2004. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "'Pressure Tested 1984' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 23 March 2012.  Note: To search for other titles click on Search again and enter track name.
  13. ^ "'Just Ace' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 23 March 2012.  Note: To search for other titles click on Search again and enter track name.
  14. ^ "'Railrider' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 23 March 2012.  Note: To search for other titles click on Search again and enter track name.