- Creation Records
Creation Records Founded 1983, 2011 Founder Alan McGee, Dick Green, and Joe Foster Genre Alternative rock
Country of origin United Kingdom Location London, England Official Website Creation Records Website
Creation Records was a British independent record label headed by Alan McGee. Along with Dick Green and Joe Foster, McGee founded Creation in 1983. The label lasted until its demise in 1999. The name came from the 1960s band The Creation , whom McGee greatly admired. McGee, Green and Foster were also in the band Biff Bang Pow!, which was also the title of a The Creation song. The label was revived at one point in 2011 for the release of a compilation album, Upside Down, spanning songs from the label.
McGee formed Creation Records following the culmination of various projects including fanzine Communication Blur, his own rock outfit The Laughing Apple (with future Primal Scream guitarist and long time friend Andrew Innes) and his running of the venue The Communication Club. Initially, McGee wished to provide an outlet for like minded musicians and an opportunity for young bands to see their work on vinyl; primarily the label was in opposition to the "manufactured" synth pop of the era that bore little resemblance to the work of his favourite acts including Public Image Limited and The Sex Pistols.
McGee started the label by putting out the "'73 in '83" single by The Legend! after taking out a £1,000 bank loan. Around the same time he started a club called The Living Room in Tottenham Court Road, through which he met several people who would go on to record for Creation, including Peter Astor and Lawrence Hayward. Distributor Rough Trade soon began funding releases.
Creation was among the key labels in the mid-1980s Indie movement, with early artists such as The Jesus and Mary Chain and Primal Scream. The Jesus and Mary Chain went to record for Warner Brothers in 1985, yet McGee remained as their manager. With the profits he had made from the band, he was able to release singles by label acts such as Primal Scream, Felt, and The Weather Prophets.
McGee had enthusiasm and an uncanny ability to attract the weekly music media, and he was able to get a growing underground following. In their early days, he was able to project a notorious image of The Jesus And Mary Chain, which had often courted violence and loutish behaviour.
Following an unsuccessful attempt to run an offshoot label for Warner Brothers (Elevation Records), McGee regrouped Creation and immersed himself in the burgeoning dance and acid house scene starting in the late 1980s. Those scenes had influenced Creation mainstays such as Primal Scream and Ed Ball, as well as newer arrivals such as My Bloody Valentine.
While Creation Records' releases at this time tended to be critically acclaimed, they tended not to be major commercial hits. Creation had run up considerable debt that was only held off until he sold half the company to Sony Music in 1992. There were reports of McGee's escalating drug use, as well as numerous and conflicting reports of the label being nearly bankrupted after funding the two-year long recording of My Bloody Valentine's 1991 Loveless LP.
After selling to Sony, Creation had signed Oasis, whose Definitely Maybe LP became a huge critical and commercial success. The band went on to epitomize the cultural Britpop movement of the mid-90s. The success of Oasis was unprecedented for an act on an independent label. Their second album, (What's the Story) Morning Glory? became the biggest selling British album of the decade.
The revitalised Labour Party took note of McGee's accomplishments with Creation. They got McGee to spearhead a media campaign prior to the 1997 General Election in order to appeal to Britain's youth culture. He was largely responsible for changing government legislation in relation to musicians being able to go on the New Deal which gave musicians three years to develop and be funded by the government instead of having to take other jobs to survive.
Omnibus went on to make a documentary on McGee and Creation in 1998 for BBC One. Creation Records was awarded 'Independent Label of the Year' every year between 1995 and 1998 by Music Week, and McGee was awarded by the NME 'Godlike Genius' award in February 1995.
The dissolution of Creation Records in 1999 led to McGee forming Poptones. The label saw a return to the staunchly independent roots of Creation, and had most notably launched the career of The Hives in the UK.
In May 2007, McGee told The Independent newspaper that he was winding down Poptones for financial reasons.
Upside Down, a film on Creation Records premiered at the BFI in London on 23 and 24 October 2010. It was released on DVD in the UK on 9 May 2011. Additionally, a soundtrack album featuring 34 tracks which covered the entire carrer of Creation Records was released. This album was released on Creation Records, who were revived for the release of the album only.
During its existence Creation's roster featured some of the leading lights of the British alternative rock scene, including:
- My Bloody Valentine
- The Jesus and Mary Chain
- The Pastels
- Primal Scream
- The Loft
- Super Furry Animals
- Teenage Fanclub
- Saint Etienne
- The Boo Radleys
- Slaughter Joe
- The Zarjaz
- The Jasmine Minks
- 3 Colours Red
- Ultra Living
- BMX Bandits
- The Membranes
- The House of Love
- The Lilac Time
- The Weather Prophets
- The Telescopes
- 18 Wheeler
- The Jazz Butcher
- Teenage Filmstars
- Heavy Stereo
- ^ Eddie Philips Interview. "Creation Records,". The Creation Interview. http://www.creation-records.com/interviews/the-creation/.
- ^ Yates, Brendan "Out of the Void; The Primal Scream Story" (2003), p. 21
- ^ a b c Dee, Johnny (1988) "It's Different For Domeheads: Alan McGee recalls the most memeorable Creation creations", Underground, April 1988 - Issue 13, p. 28
- ^ Alan McGee: "Why I'm giving up my label" at The Independent
- ^ BFI London Film Festival website
- ^ Topping, Alexandra. Film to Immortalise Lords of Creation Records. "The Guardian, 8 January 2010"
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