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Creation Records - Profile

  by Tony Gaughan

published: 24 / 12 / 2015

Creation Records - Profile


Tony Gaughan finds essential new five CD box set 'Creation Artefact: The Dawn Of Creation Records 1983-85', which focuses on the early years of the seminal label

'Creation Artefact: The Dawn Of Creation Records 1983-85' is a five CD box set that appears with a beautiful and comprehensively informative book and catalogues the rise of Creation Records. Label boss and owner Alan McGee admits it was an avenue for putting out his "mates" records initially and that they made it up as they went along. Undoubtedly though many of the artists became huge, proving Alan and his band mate and producer Joe Foster ("Slaughter Joe") had a fair old ear for a tune and knew a great thing when they heard it. Strangely enough though, there is due to licensing issues nothing by Slaughter Joe. Yes, of course, it is notably shambolic and erratic in a few places, the Loft's 'Lonely Street' being one of them,but to remaster and polish this would really have been a travesty and I am thankful for its openness and honesty. Discs 1 and 2 ('The Singles and B-Sides') basically cover all of the early singles and B-sides (Remember them?). The Legend kicks things off with '73 in 83'. Other bands on this include Biff Bang Pow!, which featured both McGee and Foster, with 'Fifty Years of Fun' and 'Then When I Scream', and some lo-fi gorgeousness from the Pastels, the X Men and the Jasmine Minks. My favourites from the first discs are from Pete Astor's the Loft. On 'Why Does the Rain' you'd swear the guitar was being strummed right there in front of you The understated vocals on 'Like' and bonus track 'Winter' are without any polish and just beautiful. It is like digging out one of your old dusty cassette demos from thirty years ago. The Jesus and Mary Chain deservedly open the second disc and year of Creation's existence with the killer 'Upside Down' and 'Vegetable Man'. It also features the Bodines, the young Primal Scream with 'All Fall Down' and 'It Happens' and the Loft once more with the classic 'Lonely Street'. There are also contributions from the Moodists, and it closes with Pete Astor's next band the Weather Prophets' single 'The Worm in My Brain' in what McGee classes as the seminal period of the iconic label's history. Disc 3 ('Rarities and Album Tracks') not only features more from the Jasmine Minks and Biff Bang Pow! but also early rare Jesus and Mary Chain demos ('Upside Down' and the superb 'Just Like Honey') and a collection of live tracks from the club night which started it all, McGee's Living Room in London's Tottenham Court Road, which at least in part funded the early releases. These include previously unreleased tracks from the Membranes, the Mekons, Alternative TV with 'Lonely Lenny' and it closes with three live tracks from the Television Personalities including 'A Picture of Dorian Gray'. Disc 4 ('Demos') opens with the Jasmine Minks' 'All Fall Down'. It raids the Creation vaults to bring you the chance to put yourself in the shoes of McGee and to hear the tapes as they likely did in the day which shaped the label, which signed no less than sixty acts. Disc 5 ('BBC Sessions') includes the X-Men, the Loft, the Moodists, Meat Whiplash'and the Bodines. The Loft's 'Janice Long Session' of 1984 features the superb 'Lonely Street' and finishes with some more unreleased bonus live tracks from the Loft, concluding aptly with 'Up The Hill and Down the Slope'. For its sheer rawness and brilliance 'Creation Artefact: The Dawn Of Creation Records 1983-85' is a must own. It is an integral part of music history and my choice album and box set of the year.

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