‘Geelong‘s favourite sons (and daughter) do it again, with five tracks of pure alterno magic… this is a guaranteed indie hit and one of the archetypal Australian releases of the year.’OTS – Nov 1994
‘…marvellous, scuzzed out, surreal ramalama…’Murray Engleheart – Drum Media 1994
‘It’s clear that Magic Dirt take their lessons from a combination of the punk of new indie mixed with the roots of older alternative rock…What rises up is hard, heavy, contagious rock ‘n’ roll – a new breed.’Tracey Grimson, OTS – Jan 1995
“It ‘sounds’ like something sweet, like The Bangles…as covered by an air conditioner and a cement mixer…Amoxycillin… a four-minute song…followed by 10 minutes of feedback. Play that on the radio, creeps!” – Nazz, Rip It Up – Dec 1995
“…the kind of feedback-laced gutter pop to knock the loneliness out of your head…”D.D. Forte – Dec 1994
Remote Control Records in partnership with Emergency Music are proud to announce the reissue of Life Was Better by Magic Dirt will be released on Friday 17 January.Life Was Better was originally released in November 1994 on CD and has long been out of print. This will be the very first time Life Was Better will be available on vinyl and to stream on DSPs. Catch Magic Dirt support Cold Chisel nationally across Australia in January/February 2020. Full tour details below.
This reissue follows the reissue of their debut EP Signs Of Satanic Youth which Pitchfork gave a 7.2 earlier this year.
After the release of Signs Of Satanic Youth in 1993 and a heady succession of touring with the likes of Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, Beck and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Magic Dirt weathered the hysteria of the next big thing tag by breaking up and getting back together four times. After regrouping for good and hiring help in the way of management and an agent, Magic Dirt swiftly reconvened in the middle of 1994 to record their big breakthrough EP, Life Was Better.
Debuting at No. 1 on the Australian alternative music chart and staying on that chart for a whopping 75 weeks, Life Was Better sold 20,000 copies, received four ARIA nominations in 1995, topped nearly every radio, alternative press and record store chart in the land, garnered the band a national spot on the Big Day Out, supports with Hole, Silverchair and Dinosaur Jr in 1995, and landed them a major record deal with Warner Music US.
The album cover and the overall aesthetic of Life Was Better was heavily influenced by Aussie cult movie, ‘Puberty Blues’, which the band were obsessed with so much so that after the EP release they headlined the now infamous Wanda Beach gig in Cronulla (a NSW coastal location featured in ‘Puberty Blues’). Dean said at the time, “…We didn’t book any security, there was no stage and we only had a vocal PA…It was meant to be for maybe 80 to 200 kids. We only did it because we wanted to make a poster that said, ‘Return To Puberty Blues with Magic Dirt’.” (SMH, Sep 2005)
Aaron Curnow, from Spunk Records, who promoted the show says, “…I have so many crazy memories from that night. The fact that we sold 200 tickets to the show and 1500 people showing up did make it quite memorable. I remember people were so desperate to get in that they were climbing in the windows…one guy skated off a table in the kitchen and split his head open in front of me… also David Fricke (senior editor of Rolling Stone, US) was there. A few years later he voted the show in his top 10 shows of all time in a Rolling Stone article. I think it came in at #4. Patti Smith at Max’s Kansas City might’ve been #1 so to make it in there was incredible!”
MAGIC DIRT PERSONNEL
Adalita – vocals, guitar
Dean Turner – bass
Daniel Herring – guitar
Adam Robertson – drums
Recorded by Lindsay Gravina at Birdland Studios assisted by Michael Alonso. Remastered by Lindsay Gravina at Birdland Studios.