Creation Records

Albums 021-030

Rating Key


CRE 021
Momus - The Poison Boyfriend
1) The Gatecrasher
2) Violets
3) Islington John
4) Three Wars
5) Flame Into Being
6) Situation Comedy Blues
7) Sex For The Disabled
8) Closer To You

Extra tracks on CD release
1) Murderers, The Hope Of Women
2) Eleven Executioners
3) What Will Death Be Like?
CD Cover
Having created the sore thumb of the early 4AD catalogue with the Happy Family, Nick Currie had released his debut album, Circus Maximus on the El label as Momus, a name taken from the Greek deity of mockery and faultfinding, and the patron of writers and poets. Though his debut album was darkly acoustic, Currie progresses on this release to writing quirky pop tunes to frame his narratives from the basement. The music, of course, is secondary to the tales he tells. At best, it adds impact to the story, but at worst as on 'Islington John' it only serves to drown out the words and with no lyric sheet available with the release, in typical Creation style, it can be difficult to keep up. As ever, Currie's tales are a celebration of the embarrassing and the hidden, and he comes across as a man obsessed with the intimate, the uncomfortable and the unthinkable; over observant and over analytical as he muses on life, sex and death. 'Three Wars' is the highlight, a masterful thesis on the nature of humanity which recoils from the thought, "imagine imagination dying", though accepting this is the lot of us all. 'Closer To You' is a smart take on a traditional love song, but after one has raised an eyebrow or two at the cleverness of the man, this is not an easy listen and can grate over time. If music can lift your soul, Momus would be looking at what was lying underneath.
CRE 022
Nikki Sudden & Rowland S Howard - Kiss You Kidnapped Charabanc
1) Rebel Grave
2) Sob Story
3) Snowplough
4) A Quick Thing
5) Feather Beds
6) Crossroads
7) Don't Explain
8) Better Blood
9) Debutante Blues

Extra tracks on CD release
1) Wedding Hotel
7) French Revolution Blues
10) Hello Wolf (Little Baby)
13) A Girl Without A Name
14) Wedding Hotel (The Moose)
CD Cover
When Swell Map met the legendary Birthday Party guitarist, the union was always going to be mesmerising. Following his departure from an impressive stint with Crime & The City Solution (along with Sudden's brother, Epic Soundtracks), Howard brought his considerable talents to bear on this release which at times echoes the sounds of the early Birthday Party with brutal rhythms, often carried by the bass, embellished with guitars used as bludgeons or tearing out razor riffs, and the sparse use of drums as attack instruments. Sudden throws into the mix his trademark pirate blues, though his delightful, wasted drawl is at times eclipsed by Howard's resonant, deathly drone. You get the best of both worlds on 'A Quick Thing' where Howard sings the blues, and on 'Crossroads' where Sudden croons over Howard's end-of-the-world orchestration. 'Sob Story' gives a taste of what Howard would later deliver with his new band, These Immortal Souls, while Sudden delivers a killer couplet on his own 'Debutante Blues': "Guess I fell asleep before all the rest / But I still woke up above ground". The song also carries his best vocal performance, whilst Howard does the same on his own track 'Better Blood'. A killer combination that moved the label into new ground that it was, sadly, unable, or reluctant, to pursue.
CRE 023
Heidi Berry - Firefly
1) Out Of My Hands
2) Firefly
3) Nobody Tells On You
4) Will It All Change
5) Houses Made Of Wood
6) Hasten The Buds To Bloom

Extra tracks on CD release
CRE 048
Below The Waves
CD Cover
Singer/songwriter Heidi Berry first came to the attention of the label's bosses when she was introduced as Weather Prophet Pete Astor's new girlfriend, and there was something in her modern folk music that obviously appealed as she was to sign for two of the nation's top independent labels in the next decade, releasing two albums for Creation and a further three for 4AD in the 1990s. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Berry's family moved to London in the early 1970s, her mother being a jazz singer with French-Canadian roots, and her father an actor. Her first release for the label was this six-track mini album that saw the light of day in 1987. Again Creation kept the costs down with another monochrome cover and no lyrics included. Featuring Felt's Martin Duffy on keyboards, the six tracks are pleasant enough, without being remarkable; Berry's voice pleasing but not bringing any shivers to the spine. 'Nobody Tells On You' is possibly the best moment with a nice guitar backing, but in general the six tracks are much of a muchness. With Creation's rivals releasing early tracks from Throwing Muses and Pixies, you could not escape the feeling that the label was slowly going down the wrong road with a series of releases from low profile singer/songwriters that consistently failed to set the nation alight – Phil Wilson, Clive Langer, David Westlake et al.
CRE 024
Various Artists - Doing God's Work
1) Phil Wilson - Ten Miles
2) Biff Bang Pow! - In A Mourning Town
3) Momus - Murderers, The Hope Of Women
4) The House Of Love - Shine On
5) The Jasmine Minks - Cut Me Deep
6) Westlake - The Word Around Town
7) Nikki Sudden & The Jacobites - Kiss At Dawn
8) Blow Up - Catch Me


The fourth compilation album marked a change of direction as it contained only three single tracks, with four album tracks and one unissed number, totalling some 29 minutes. Some effort had been put into pushing Phil Wilson's first single for the label, with seemingly little effect, and the follow-up 'Ten Miles' opens this collection. This is an eastern-flavoured song lit by Wilson's distinctive vocals and it was a shame this became the former June Brides singer's last contribution to the label. 'In A Mourning Town' is a solid track that opens Biff Bang Pow!'s strong Oblivion album, whilst 'Murderers, The Hope Of Women' was the label's debut single from Momus. This finds Nick Currie in top form and, pleasingly, this is more of a song than a narrative to music, sharp and dissecting. 'Shine On' is a phenomenal record from the label's new discoveries, never bettered, and never even equalled by the band; romantic, inspiring and beautiful. Side two opens with the great lost Jasmine Minks single that could have been one of the label's greatest successes, but ended up as a simple album track on Another Age. 'The Word Around Town' is the opening track on the mini album from Westlake, a tale of frustration at the fallout from an unsuccessful relationship, and 'Kiss At Dawn' is the final track on Nikki Sudden's Dead Men Tell No Tales album: acoustic blues with a splendid feedbacking guitar buried in the background. The compliation concludes with Blow Up's 'Catch Me', a psychedelic offering, weaker than other their Creation recordings, possibly why it ended up here in the first place.
CRE 025
The Jasmine Minks - Another Age
1) Veronica
2) Still Waiting
3) Summer! Where?
4) Follow Me Away
5) Cut Me Deep
6) Living Out Your Dreams
7) Don't Wait Too Long
8) Nothing Can Stop Me
9) Soul Station
10) Time For You
11) Another Age
12) Sad

Extra tracks on CD release
CRE 044
Scratch The Surface
CD Cover
If you had thought the Minks had faded into the sunset, the re-born band soon emerged with a new album. The label's bizarre artwork, along with the record's title, may have hinted at a collection of elf music, but pleasingly the band had succeeded in producing a work that gave their influences a contemporary edge. The departure of singer/guitarist Adam Sanderson following the last album left these duties solely to songwriter Jim Shepherd and the vocals are nicely refined in a vastly improved production. The re-introduced organ is most expressively felt in 'Follow Me Away', but opens doors throughout. 'Summer! Where?' shimmers; 'Don't Wait Too Long' brings joy; 'Soul Station' is an impressive, measured jangle and 'Nothing Can Stop Me' shumps along meaningfully. The best moment is 'Cut Me Deep'. The band knew they were on to a winner with this track and worked on it ceaselessly to use it as a single. However, they refined it too far and the results sounded nothing like the Jasmine Minks. Ultimately, and tragically, it never saw light of day. An earlier mix is included here and the song still sound enormous. If not quite life affirming, then bloody close. It could have been massive, but in any case sits comfortably in what is a very fine album indeed.
CRE 026
Razorcuts - Storyteller
1) Storyteller
2) Try
3) A Contract With God
4) Sky High
5) Everyday Eyes
6) Jade
7) Silhouette
8) Brighter Now
9) I'll Still Be There
10) The Last Picture Show

Extra tracks on CD release
CRE 045
The World Keeps Turning
CD Cover
If there was one band on Creation that was never going to make it big it was Razorcuts. Not because the band were not talented, but because they had become too closely associated with the 'cute' pop movement and their debut single releases on the Subway label were very much in that vein, not aided by Gregory Webster's light, plaintive vocal style. The band was to prove this was an unfair prejudice with two impressive albums for Creation, paving the way with this 1988 release. The best comes first, with the title track a stunner with bursting guitars, verses with lines repeated over the top of themselves and a supremely catchy chorus. Unfortunately, the record never reaches the same heights, though some very decent tracks follow as Webster narrates tales of alienation in an uncertain world. Unusually, the singer is not singing his own words, with bassist Tim Vass responsible for the lyrics and Webster taking on the musical compositions. 'I'll Still be There' is another highlight as the singer ponders what he should really be doing in an uncomfortable situation: "I know it's a million miles from feeling good to knowing what to say." This is very close to being a killer album, though 'Everyday Eyes' and 'Silhouette' are not thoroughly convincing and the strings on 'Brighter Now' courtesy of the St. Mary's Sinfonia are a little heavy.
CRE 027
The Jazz Butcher - Fiscotheque
1) Next Move Sideways
2) Out Of Touch
3) Get It Wrong
4) Living In A Village
5) Swell
6) Looking For Lot 49
7) The Best Way
8) Chickentown
9) Susie
10) Keeping The Curtains Closed

The first release from an artist who was to become one of the mainstays of the label over the next few years. With their name conjuring up images of magnificent carnage, this couldn't be more different from the measured, crafted pop the band produced. At the time of this release the band consisted of mainman Pat Fish and guitarist Kizzy O'Callaghan, with the recording boosted by the inclusion of several Weather Prophets and other associates including Sonic Boom and The Perfect Disaster. The production is sound and the playing is top notch, but the songs offered up can be testing. 'Next Move Sideways' is straightforward Atlantic pop with a jazzy sax solo, while 'Out Of Touch' is built on an attractive, rumbling bass line boosted by some brass flourishes, but somehow ends up in the 1940s. The light soul of 'Get It Wrong' drags after a while and the wry 'Living In A Village' sounds like Paul Simon on an off-day. 'Swell' is a non-starter, though 'Looking For Lot 49' has rather more substance without proving remarkable. 'The Best Way' is the nadir, a pointless rap song about chickens, though as you begin to bury your head in your hands 'Chickentown' proves to be the hardest-edged and most contemporary number with some sharp lyrics and nice guitar work. It gets better with 'Susie', a melancholic lament which stands out as the album's best and 'Keeping The Curtains Closed' is a decent conclusion, sounding a cross between Lou Reed and a country number. On the whole, this is an easy listening album with a bit of wit and a bit of an edge, but probably too much of the former and not enough of the latter.
CRE 028
Various Artists - Flowers In The Sky
1) Biff Bang Pow! - There Must Be A Better Life
2) The Loft - Why Does The Rain
3) The Pastels - Million Tears
4) Primal Scream - All Fall Down
5) The Jasmine Minks - Think!
6) The Revolving Paint Dream - In The Afternoon
7) Slaughter Joe - I'll Follow You Down
8) The Bodines - God Bless
9) Felt - Ballad Of The Band
10) The Loft - Up The Hill And Down The Slope
11) Primal Scream - Velocity Girl
12) Biff Bang Pow! - Love's Going Out Of Fashion
13) Slaughter Joe - She's So Out Of Touch

14) Phil Wilson - Waiting For A Change
15) The House Of Love - Shine On!
16) The Jasmine Minks - Cold Heart
17) Felt - The Final Resting Of The Ark
18) Momus - Murderers, The Hope Of Women
19) Phil Wilson - Ten Miles
20) Blow Up - Pool Valley
This was the first release from Creation that was aimed solely at the CD market and did not get a vinyl pressing. Consequently, this is the first record from the label that was not designed to have an a-side and a b-side, something that is taken for granted these days. Intending to bring the Creation sound to a new generation of audiophiles (and many lovers of indie music remained loyal to vinyl for as long as they could), this collection groups together eighteen a-sides and two b-sides from the earliest days of the label to its most recent releases. It is not a history insofar as any bands that had moved off the label or had passed into history were not represented, hence no room for The Legend!, Les Zarjaz, The X-Men, Meat Whiplash, The Membranes, Five Go Down To The Sea, The Moodists or The Jesus And Mary Chain. Of the contemporary roster the only name to miss out was Nikki Sudden and there seems to be no explanation for this omission as other bands are represented more than once, so there was certainly space for him. Of the selected tracks, the same old Biff Bang Pow! numbers are dragged out and one or two others could have been better chosen, but all in all this is a fair old compilation for the beginner to the label, even if it is the first nail in the coffin for the way things used to be.
CRE 029
Biff Bang Pow! - Love Is Forever
1) Miss California Toothpaste 1972
2) She Haunts
3) Searching For The Pavement
4) She Paints
5) Close
6) Ice Cream Machine
7) Electric Sugar Child
8) Dark In Mind
9) Startripper
10) She Went Away To Love


Extra tracks on CD release
11) The Beat Hotel
12) It Happens All The Time
Following on from the magnificent Oblivion it may have been expected that Biff Bang Pow! would approach their new album overflowing with confidence, but it is clear from the start that Love Is Forever is not the celebration you may have believed from the title, but comes across less emotionally confident, with the vocals partially hidden and loaded with reverb, and the hollow, haunted production technique taken to its limit. It does not hold together as well as its predecessor and perhaps this is because of the nature of love itself; at times it is euphoric, at times maudlin and at times confused. The album opens in fine style with clanking guitars, harmonicas and harmonies and this is followed by one of the highlights 'She Haunts' which is quite delicate and beautiful. 'She Paints' is another stunning, slow number, deservedly paired with 'She Haunts' on single 51. 'Ice Cream Machine' has a terrific opening, the verses tumbling into each other and concluding with a whirling guitar outro, whilst 'Electric Sugar Child' simply rocks, with mumbling guitars and half drowned vocals being swallowed up by a blistering guitar attack that should have gone on longer. 'Dark In Mind' aches along nicely, though 'Searching For The Pavement' and 'Close' suffer from too much production. A bit of a tangled web with a few loose strands. However, at its worst it is decent and at its best it is very fine indeed.
CRE 030
Felt - The Pictorial Jackson Review
1) Apple Boutique
2) Ivory Past
3) Until The Fools Get Wise
4) Bitter End
5) How Spook Got Her Man
6) Christopher St
7) Under A Pale Light
8) Don't Die On My Doorstep
9) Sending Lady Load
10) The Darkest Ending

Extra tracks on CD release
CRE 035
Train Above The City
CD Cover
The fourth album release from Felt on Creation appeared to show that the label was not prepared to commit the same finances to the band as they had done previously. The cover had no artwork and was again monochrome; the lyrics were printed on the back cover rather than added on an insert. Additionally, the job of producing the album fell to Joe Foster rather than a bigger name being brought in as had happened with the last release. If the label was growing weary of the band's lack of commercial success, it certainly appeared as if the band's contribution was not whole-hearted either with only one of the eight tracks on side one making it to three minutes, and side two consisting of two instrumentals, 'Sending Lady Load' lasting a full twelve minutes. This may have been fine in its way, but an epic piano sortie is not really the motivation for buying a pop record, and the gloomy 'The Darkest Ending' did nothing to lift the disappointment. On the song side, Apple Boutique' is almost jolly for Felt, but comes in at under two minutes, and 'Until The Fools Get Wise' is a better length but feels subdued. 'Bitter End', 'How Spook Got Her Man' and 'Christopher St' are better moments despite their shortness, though 'Don't Die On My Doorstep' takes the crown with joyous organ, pulsating guitar and excellent lyrics sung with feeling.
© 2008. All rights reserved.
facebook logo
Please 'like' Isolation on Facebook.