Creation Records

Albums 041-050

Rating Key


CRE 041
Nikki Sudden - Groove
1) See My Rider
2) Murder Valley
3) French Revolution Blues
4) Breaking Lines
5) Groove
6) Sea-Dog Blues
7) Great Pharaoh
8) Poor Relation
9) Wild Cathedral
10) Beethoven's Ring
11) Back To The Coast
12) Too Bad For You
13) Village Green

Nikki Sudden's fourth, and final, offering for Creation was a first for the label in being an hour-long double album:
or at least an album released as two 12-inch 45rpm singles. Despite the extravagence of the format, there was no corresponding investment in the packaging, with no gatefold sleeve, no lyric sheet and no inners. The CD release did include a proper eight-page booklet, a rarity for the label, but even this gave no clues as to who was playing on the record, Sudden's new backing band being named 'The French Revolution'. From the songwriting credits it would appear that bassist Duncan Sibbald remained, but Epic Soundtracks had departed to play with These Immortal Souls. The new line-up had obviously enthused Sudden as Groove is a far rockier record than his other Creation offerings, though the subject matter of the songs remained familiar. 'French Revolution Blues' was originally recorded with Rowland S Howard and added as an extra to the 'Kiss You Kidnapped Charabanc' CD, but here it is reworked as a more conventional rock track with Sudden playing the unmistakeable Howard riffs. 'Groove' opens with funky bass and Stonesey guitars and has a brilliantly ungroovy guitar solo, and other good moments come when Sudden's balladeering drawl reappears, the album ending properly with 'Village Green', an eight-minute slab of distorting guitars and pained vocals.
CRE 042
Duncan Dhu - Duncan Dhu
1) Tarde De Fiesta
2) Cien Gaviotas
3) En Algun Lugar
4) No Debes Marchar
5) Fin De Amor
6) Por Tierras Escocesas
7) No Puedo Evitar (Pens En Ti)
8) Esperaré A Que Se Esconda El Sol
9) Sueño Escoces
10) Extraños

Following on from the release of Kaleidoscope World, a collection from New Zealanders The Chills, Creation's second foray into overseas music saw the label commission an album from Spanish band Duncan Dhu. Precisely why this happened remains a mystery as this is a record that does not fit in with any aspect of the Creation sound and, unlike The Chills' mildly psychedelic pop, has no indie credentials whatsoever; there being very little with which the label's traditional audience could empathise. The opening track, 'Tarde De Fiesta', all acoustic guitars, clicking fingers and double bass, leaves you bemused, and the summery skiffle of 'Cien Gaviotas' does nothing to help. It is only 'En Algun Lugar' that gives the record any credibility, with keyboards adding weight and a harder vocal leaving the song sounding as if it could have been a minor 1980s chart hit. 'No Debes Marchar' and 'Sueño Escoces' are the others worth a listen, the former with some electric guitar and the latter featuring some decent playing with a typically Spanish solo. Otherwise, side one ends with 'Fin De Amor', an Elvis impersonation, the awfulness of which is only perfected when the sax opens up. When side two begins with bagpipes you bury your head in your hands and more sax and skiffle add to the misery which is compounded by the final track which sounds like a Stray Cats cover. What were they thinking?
CRE 043
The Sneetches - Sometimes That's All We Have
1) Unusual Sounds
2) Don't Turn Back
3) In A Perfest Place
4) Empty Sea
5) Sometimes That's All We Have
6) Run In The Sun
7) Mrs Markle
8) Nowhere At All
9) Take My Hand
10) Another Shitty Day
11) You're Gonna Need Her
12) It's Looking Like Me

Creation's third foray into overseas music saw them license an album from San Francicso label Alias from Californian three-piece The Sneetches. Again the cover had no band name or title, but, unlike the Duncan Dhu release, this time there was plenty of information on the reverse. The Sneetches provide us with twelve songs, all nicely produced and featuring far more instruments than a three-man band should have access to. Immediately apparent is the group's love of the 1960s with the opening, and best, track 'Unusual Sounds' echoing both the Beach Boys and The Kinks at their experimental best, and featuring a decent solo and trumpet. 'Don't Turn Back' opens acoustically but adds harmonies, piano, steel guitar and harmonica with the occasional Move-like moment before 'In A Perfect Place' leaps straight out of The Kinks' 'Village Green'. 'Empty Sea' mirrors the same influences but lacks any sort of cutting edge, and the title track features some gentle, psychedelic sounds but again comes across as far too polished. From track six onwards the obvious influences begin to fade and The Sneetches deliver more contemporary, very middle of the road pop that has no sense of pain, loss, or the merest hint that some days it may rain. By track eight you just want to punch something and even 'Another Shitty Day' sounds as if the band were miffed because their lawnmower had broken.
CRE 044
Jasmine Minks - Scratch The Surface
1) Lost And Living
2) Little Things
3) I've Lost Her
4) Marcella
5) Misery
6) Can You Hear Me?
7) Take
8) Reaching Out
9) Too Young (My Home Town)
10) Shiny And Black
11) Scratch The Surface


Extra tracks on CD release
CRE 025
Another Age
CD Cover
The last original work on Creation from Jasmine Minks (the 'The' disappeared again for this release) seemed to close a chapter on the label with only Alan McGee's group Biff Bang Pow! now remaining from the original roster of bands that had helped to give the label a name for a particular brand of indie guitar pop. The album is the band's tightest yet, capturing a sound all of their own and coming across as a confident piece of work. The organ is pushed to the background as guitars dominate and the production, though not bad, was rushed, leaving quite a drummy sound. 'Little Things' sees a good combination of the organ sound along with the guitars of new recruit Ed De Vlam, but apart from the instrumental 'Take' the keyboards have second place. 'Reaching Out' sums up what most people considered the label to stand for and may well be the last great indie jangle on Creation. 'I've Lost Her' also shines, but the high point is 'Shiny And Black', again capturing a nice guitar sound. A pretty good effort from the band, though perhaps Scratch The Surface is not quite as heartfelt and uplifting as Another Age. Both albums were grouped together on the CD release, with an extra track, so that is one record well worth getting hold of it you can still find it. A sad farewell to one of Creation's better bands.
CRE 045
Razorcuts - The World Keeps Turning
1) Goodnight England
2) Mile High Towers
3) Change
4) I Won't Let You Down
5) Waterfall
6) Flowers For Abigail
7) Across The Meadow
8) Come My Way
9) Snowbound
10) Steps To The Sea
11) The World Keeps Turning

Extra tracks on CD release
CRE 026
CD Cover
Having impressed with their debut album, Razorcuts went one better with the follow-up, 1989's The World Keeps Turning which is a stunning record. Tragically, that year saw the breakup of the band with Tim Vass going on to form Red Chair Fadeaway, and Gregory Webster joining The Carousel. Once again we are treated to proper songs with verses and choruses with fabulous instrumentation and far more mature vocals from Webster. Lyrically, Vass is in very top form and his personal tales of alienation and missed opportunity never fail to impress, and often move. This is a record without a weak link and many highs. 'Goodnight England' is a sad tale with subtle harmonies and gentle Hammond organ, whilst 'Mile High Towers' is a brilliant jangle with top backing vocals, a very neat solo and a splendid ending. 'Change' is a chugging love song, and 'Waterfall' a joyous, uptempo best-out-of-it number with an uplifting refrain and choral guitars. The lovely 'Snowbound' muses poignantly on another lost relationship, whilst the title track, only two and half minutes long, is almost spiritual and amongst the very best tracks Creation ever released. 'Across The Meadow' appears to sum up the album succinctly: "Help me to find a place where the world can be like it is in my mind." This album is that place and it is certainly worth visiting. Again and again.
CRE 046
Biff Bang Pow! - The Acid House Album
1) I'm Still Waiting For My Time
2) Love And Hate
3) Someone Stole My Wheels
4) Love's Going Out Of Fashion
5) She Haunts
6) Fifty Years Of Fun (Almost Live Version)
7) She Paints
8) She Never Understood (Alternate Version)
9) The Beat Hotel (Alternate Version)
10) In A Mourning Town
11) Then When I Scream (Original Version)
12) She's Got Diamonds In Her Hair (Demo)
13) The Girl From Well Lane (Demo)
14) There Must Be A Better Life

CD Cover
It was only a matter of time before the label cobbled together a retrospective from the owners' band, Biff Bang Pow!, and The Acid House Album was released in a plain white sleeve that was hand spray-painted in the same way the band's debut single 'Fifty Years Of Fun' had been some years earlier. The album is a collection of favourite moments, on the whole pretty well chosen album tracks, along with some alternative versions of other tracks to tempt the band's supporters, and five of Biff Bang Pow!'s six singles: the one missing out being the inconsequential 'The Whole World's Turning Brouchard'. In fact, 'Fifty Years Of Fun' is here as an 'Almost Live Version' and sounds just what it is, an early track from a developing band, less well crafted than their better, later moments, but it romps along nicely enough. 'She Never Understood' has good jangly guitars and a pleasant vocal, while the 'Alternate Version' of 'The Beat Hotel' is the Christine Wanless version from the 'She Haunts' single. 'Then When I Scream' is a demo of the Oblivion track, pared back to an organ accompaniment, and 'She's Got Diamonds In Her Hair' is again a demo, but well worth a listen. 'The Girl From Well Lane', a demo of a new song, is rather good, acoustic with a strong vocal and very well played; it was later released on the Songs For The Sad Eyed Girl album where it remained one of the better tracks. A decent enough compilation for the beginner, though the band's singles were not generally their better moments, and there is probably not enough new material here to really impress those who already owned the other records.
CRE 047
The Loft - Once Around The Fair
1) Why Does The Rain
2) Skeleton Staircase
3) Lonely Street
4) Your Door Shines Like Gold
5) Time
6) Winter
7) Like
8) On A Tuesday
9) The Canal And The Big Red Town
10) Up The Hill And Down The Slope


Some bands simply have a special life force that is impossible to quantify but is one of the things that makes music so vital to life. The Loft were one such band. Producing lyrically complex and thoughtful songs that were musically terrific it is almost impossible not to empathise with their intellectual alienation and find youself submerged in a sea of beautifully chiming guitars. There is little doubt The Loft would have been enormous except for the tensions in the band that unfortunately came to a head when they were playing their biggest ever gig in London that ended in an on-stage punch-up. This retrospective includes all of their a-sides, b-sides and a BBC session and there is barely a weak note. 'Your Door Shines Like Gold' is a brilliant, uptempo jangle with crafted lyrics, nice bass and guitar solos and a proper ending, whilst 'Time', written by Richard Hell, is rhythmical with perfect delivery and timing, neat drumming, great words and picks you up and carries you away. When you wonder if things can get any better the bass-driven 'On A Tuesday' has a captivating intro and never loses its grip, before the disc offers its knockout blow. 'Up The Hill And Down The Slope' has everything: a cracking intro, fabulous musicianship, brilliant words, unsurpassed construction and the best guitar solo in the history of independent music. Quite, quite brilliant.
CRE 048
Heidi Berry - Below The Waves
1) Ribbons
2) Below The Waves
3) Little Tragedy
4) Legacy
5) Northshore Train
6) Gather All The Hours
7) Riversong
8) All For You
9) Living Memory

Extra tracks on CD release
11) Out Of My Hands
12) Firefly
13) Nobody Tells On You
14) Will It All Change?
15) Houses Made Of Wood
16) Hasten The Buds To Bloom
Heidi Berry's debut for Creation had been a bit of a non-event, but Below The Waves showed a massive development in approach and style. The robust accompaniment was dropped and replaced by something much more minimal, encouraging the singer to fill the gaps with a more forceful delivery. Here Berry's voice carries far more emotion, often playing as an additional instrument, the enunciation stretched and twisted to give an often ethereal air. The result is a remarkable transformation, though the subject matter of the songs rermains the same: typical folk tales of departures, decay, disappointment and despair. And lots of mentions of water. Highlights include the opener 'Ribbons' where Melissa Rand's otherworldy violin is a perfect frame for Berry's haunted vocals. 'Northshore Train' to piano and strings is an effective, sad tale of bottled emotion, glimpses of hope but ultimate futility, and 'Riversong' has a nice All About Eve feel with effective mandolin as mankind's role in the world is debated. So impressed must the label have been that they included a lyric sheet with the album, a high honour indeed. The CD version also included the tracks from the debut album Firefly allowing comparisons to be made between the two. The contrast is clearly enormous.
CRE 049
The Jazz Butcher - Big Planet, Scarey Planet
1) New Invention
2) Line Of Death
3) Hysteria
4) The Word I Was Looking For
5) Bicycle Kid
6) Burglar Of Love
7) Nightmare Being
8) Do The Bubonic Plague
9) Bad Dream Lover
10) The Good Ones


The Jazz Butcher had grown in size from the duo who had released their Creation debut Fishcotheque, the band now being a five-piece with the addition of Paul Mulreany, Laurence O'Keefe and Alex Green. Their second Creation album was divided into two halves, the 'Big' side and the 'Scarey' side, though it is not known whether the misspelling of 'Scary' was intentional or not. The result of the expansion was to produce a much beefier sound; Fishcotheque was a light, middle of the road sounding record, but this one is more of a tuneful classic rock album which is an improvement. Unfortunately, though, there is still little to warm to in the songs. The 'Big' side is overtly political, no doubt germinating on the band's recent tour of the States, and 'New Invention' is a state of the world rocker with added samples and is possibly the highlight, with 'Line Of Death' being a beefy and bouncy song that attacks American foreign policy with a bit of Ennio Morricone thrown in for good measure. 'Hysteria' is decent, a steady number relating the confusion brought by driving through the States, and 'The World I Was Looking For' is an uptempo stormer if not memorable. Sadly things fall to pieces after this with 'Bicycle Kid' a bit embarrassing, and the 'Scarey' side coming across more as the 'Smartarse' side with rapping, sampling and not particularly endearing, whimsical lyrics.
CRE 050
The Weather Prophets - Temperance Hotel
1) The Key To My Love Is Green
2) You're My Ambulance
3) Mayflower
4) Midnight Mile
5) Why Does The Rain
6) Can't Keep My Mind Off You
7) In My Room
8) Odds And Ends
9) Sleep
10) Chinese Cadillac
11) Blue Rooftop
12) I Saw The Light
13) Stepping Lightly On The Ancient Path
14) Joe Shmo And The Eskimo

Extra tracks on CD release
15) Hollow Heart (Live)
16) Chinese Cadillac (Live)
The Weather Prophets did not last long after their second album had failed to set the world alight, and Creation were quick to churn out what they could from the band, this collection comprising six BBC Radio One session tracks, four single b-sides, two demos of new songs and the two tracks from the seven-inch single given away with Judges, Juries And Horsemen. Additionally, the CD version included two tracks recorded live in Lyon in 1989. The BBC sessions were all from the Mayflower era and recorded in the Summer of 1986. From them it is clear to see why their debut album, released on WEA's Elevation label, was pretty much a disaster. The songs are alright, but they are way too professional. There is no challenging instrumentation; everything is in its place and doing what it should be doing – and that is forming a backdrop to the vocal. There are no exciting guitars; nothing is trying to burst out and carry you away, and they end up simply sounding dull. 'Mayflower' is the best of them with its guitar solo trying to match that of 'Up The Hill And Down The Slope', but failing, though it does a job. The other best moments are the single b-sides which have a bit of invention, and create more challenging backdrops for Pete Astor's vocals. Of the demos, 'Sleep' is an unspectacular ballad, while 'I Saw The Light' is an honest version of the old worship song, though if the Prophets had turned to prayer it had had little effect on their sales. The tracks from the giveaway seven-inch hardly set the world alight either, 'Odds And Ends' being a curious Eddie Cochran pastiche, the other being the Doorsy ending to 'Ostrich Bed'.
© 2008. All rights reserved.
facebook logo
Please 'like' Isolation on Facebook.