Creation Records

Albums 061-070

Rating Key


CRE 061
Tangerine - Tangerine
1) Organic
2) I'm Telling Lies
3) Hope This Plane Never Lands
4) Outside Looking In
5) Sunburst
6) Westbound Number Nine
7) I Am A Tangerine
8) Into 2001
9) Do It

This was the first indie-dance crossover release from Creation made by American band Tangerine who were the brainchild of former Crash mainman Mark Dumais. Crash had been formed in New York before the band had moved to London in 1986, releasing three singles and an album, and amongst its members were guitarist Kurt Ralske, who would go on to become Ultra Vivid Scene and release three albums for 4AD; drummer Byron Guthrie, who also later joined Ralske in UVS; and Bill Carey, who went on to form fellow Creation band Something Pretty Beautiful. Joining Dumais on vocals in Tangerine was Julie Davids and the two singers were backed by heavy dance keyboards and beats. The incongruity between the voices and the disco rhythms occasionally works well with Dumais' lethargic indie delivery contrasting nicely with the house backing on 'I'm Telling Lies' and the big 60s-influenced vocal on the single 'Sunburst' (single 65) defying the heavy dance backbeat. 'I Am A Tangerine' is the best moment despite the banality of its acid-induced lyric, "Hello banana I am a tangerine". Layers of keyboards drown distorted, psychedelic vocals with appropriate female backing and the whole song takes on an 'I Am The Walrus' aspect. 'Do It' is upbeat and zippy with plenty of yelping and multi-tracked backing vocals, though the cover of Flaming Ember's Detroit soul classic 'Westbound #9' just sounds wrong.
CRE 062
The Jazz Butcher - Cult Of The Basement
1) The Basement
2) She's On Drugs
3) Pineapple Tuesday
4) The Onion Fields
5) My Zeppelin
6) Fertiliser
7) Mister Odd
8) After The Great Euphrates
9) Panic In Room 109
10) Girl Go
11) Turtle Bait
12) Sister Death

Extra track on CD release
5) Daycare Nation
Did the Jazz Butcher get bored when making records? Yet again, this is a record that starts positively before collapsing in the middle and building up again to a decent conclusion; it appears the band could not get through a whole record without needing two or three tracks in which to fool around. 'She's On Drugs' is a fine, fast number and when the band is on form they produce a modern, fresher Lou Reed sound. 'Pineapple Tuesday' is again decent and could have come from the Weather Prophets; there is never any complaints about the musicanship and construction of Jazz Butcher songs which remains top notch. 'The Onion Fields' is a ballad to piano and acoustic, and 'Daycare Nation' a light, sax-fuelled number. Then things give way yet again. 'My Zeppelin' is a country number with an annoying vocal, 'Fertiliser' a baby crying with water noises, and 'Mister Odd' wastes some terrific guitar playing. 'Panic In Room 109' is another lost opportunity before the record picks up again with 'Girl Go' (single 77) which is a slow building number with a bassy rhythm and wailing guitar, enhanced by an unemotional vocal. The end track 'Sister Death' is again good, a slower number with nice lyrics and, again, very decent guitar work. Cult Of The Basement shows no sign of the dance culture that had hit the label and retains a classical approach. The release came with an inner sleeve, but no lyrics.
CRE 063
Various Artists - Do You Believe In Love?
1) Primal Scream - You're Just Dead Skin To Me
2) The Jazz Butcher - Girl Go
3) The Times - Snow
4) Tangerine - Organic
5) My Bloody Valentine - No More Sorry
6) Biff Bang Pow! - Hug Me Honey
7) The Weather Prophets - Always The Light
8) Something Pretty Beautiful - Freak Outburst
9) Love Corporation - Palatial II
10) Pacific - Shrift
11) The Bounty Hunters - Everything's For Her

The eighth Various Artists compilation from Creation saw eleven tracks, mostly from their more recent releases, comprising three singles and eight album tracks. 'Freak Outburst' by Something Pretty Beautiful had been scheduled to be released as the label's single 74, but it never saw the light of day. My Bloody Valentine's failure to deliver their new album saw 'No More Sorry' being taken from the previous Isn't Anything album, whilst the now defunct Weather Prophets were represented by the 'Always The Light' single taken from the Judges, Juries And Horsemen album. Apart from those two, everything else is pretty up to date, though surprisingly there was no room for a track from Momus. The offerings from The Jazz Butcher, The Times, Tangerine, Biff Bang Pow! and The Bounty Hunters were amongst the best from their respective album releases, whilst, unsurprisingly, one of the ballads was lifted from Primal Scream's latest album offering. Love Corporation were represented by the Rampling remix of the interminable 'Palatial', whilst the lead track from Pacific's 'Shrift' EP (single 64) was also added. This is set to a dance drum rhythm and has plenty of horns in evidence, yet is clearly very much an indie record, with appropriate vocals. A pretty accurate snapshot of the label at the time.
CRE 064
Simon Turner - Simon Turner
1) Almost Bliss
2) Warm Melt
3) Dark Melt
4) Muzak
5) Bliss
6) Pop Shop (90)


Another oddity. Simon Turner had already featured on the El label as The King of Luxembourg and the splendid Bad Dream Fancy Dress, whose 'The Supremes' single is a set-in-stone indie gem. This solo album, offered to Alan McGee, took on the form for which he was to become better known in later years, mirroring the ambient soundtrack music he was to make for, amongst others, Derek Jarman. Running in at over an hour, this six-tracker is no easy listen. The opener, 'Almost Bliss' is a fifteen minute epic with some wailing over a keyboard drone, whilst extracts of 'The Long Way Round' by controversial, avant-garde, Austrian novelist Peter Handke are read out. 'Warm Melt' lasts fourteen minutes, a slow, nagging piece built on piano and Spanish guitar with some nice recorder bursts and a very odd vocal thrown in at the end. 'Dark Melt', a mere twelve minutes, is a piano march on a steady bass line with intermittent musical explosions and a nice female vocal coming in after seven minutes which states, "Losing yourself is part of the game / Shut your eyes and brighten your horizon". Give it a try. The surely ironic 'Muzak' has a distorted, muffled vocal on a droning keyboard background with half-speed guitar and some light tinkling, whilst 'Bliss' is back to Handke for another twelve minutes with a multi-layered, mass-like backing. 'Pop Shop (90)' is a funky four minutes with eastern-flavoured vocals. It works.
CRE 065
Peter Astor - Submarine
1) Beware
2) Walk Into The Wind
3) Firesong
4) Your Sun Leaves The Sky
5) Holy Road
6) I Wish I Was Somewhere Else
7) Emblem
8) On Top Above The Driver
9) Submarine
10) Chevron

Had The Weather Prophets released their second album on Elevation instead of the insipid Mayflower things may have turned out very differently for both the label and the band. However, it was not to be and the opportunity and major label financing were lost, leaving the band with an upward battle to create an impact with Judges, Juries and Horsemen. The album's failure to take off led to the quick demise of the band and Peter Astor consequently became a Creation solo artist, his debut album seeing the light of day in 1990. Recorded with loyal drummer Dave Morgan, Laurence O'Keefe of The Jazz Butcher on bass and girlfirend Heidi Berry on backing vocals, Submarine is a subdued, melancholic album, perhaps reflecting the singer's mood following the traumatic past couple of years. "I stay inside where I can dream no one can touch me in my submarine", Astor intones on the title track and this sums the record up very well: everything is closed in, nothing is allowed to express itself, with voice and percussion dominating and the guitar rendered virtually redundant. As such, this is not an uplifting listen; the well constructed 'Holy Road' and more confident 'Chevron' being the best moments, the remainder depressing in their surrender. This is music to hibernate to. Unusually eight of the ten tracks found their way on to single, with the album initially coming with a bonus seven inch.
CRE 666
The Brides Of Ashton - Themes From The Black Book
1) Intro (Dark Fantasies)
2) Only Women Bleed
3) Codes
4) The Innocent
5) Piecework
6) Beating The Meat
7) Possession
8) The Woodslide Monster
9) Dummy
10) Coda (Heart Of Darkness)

The third and final release to accompany publications from the fledgling and short-lived Creation Press. The label took the opportunity of changing the available catalogue number 066 to 666 for this release, though the The Black Book, a collection of dark, short stories, is far from satanic. Additionally, the a-side is here re-named 'Sex' and the b-side 'Death', though the 'Sex' side sounds more like death and the 'Death' side more like sex. Indeed, it would difficult to find anything that sounds as unsexy as side one, five melancholic piano pieces with little variety and very little life. Piano over strings, piano over acoustic, piano over tom toms, piano over keyboards and piano on its own; only 'Piecework' has much merit as a musical composition. The 'Death' side consists of loops of noise distortion with plenty of screaming, whipping and laughter. There is some chainsaw action on 'Beating The Meat', whilst 'Possession' sounds like My Bloody Valentine falling down the stairs. The whole thing ends up with the ambiguous cry of "The horror, the horror" from Joseph Conrad's 'Heart Of Darkness', the complexity of meaning in that clever tale seemingly lost on The Brides Of Ashton. Not the label's finest moment.
CRE 067
Hypnotone - Hypnotone
1) Dream Beam
2) Junovia
3) Potion 90
4) Italia
5) In Joy
6) SBX
7) Sub


Following on from Ed Ball releasing Creation's first pure acid house album as Love Corporation, the second offering was the self-titled, 32-minute debut from Hypnotone, at this stage the duo of Martin Mittler and Tony Martin, recorded in Manchester in 1990. Opening with the single 'Dream Beam' (single 82), a slow 109 bpm number, the instant impression is that the pair had produced a fuller, more satisfying sound than Ball, with plenty of samples on a bassy backline boosted by a decent vocal from the unsurnamed Denise which makes even the undance-minded nod in appreciation. It is possibly the unsampled vocals that make the record's best moments, with Denise again contributing to the faster, bouncier 'Potion 90' with its pleasant keyboard harmonies. Star Trek keyboards boost the drummy 'In Joy' with its burst of typical Ibiza piano riffs, whilst 'SBX' is a straight dance number with no samples and resonant keyboards charging over a high-pitched two note loop. It's not all great. 'Junovia' is a pointless one minute drone and 'Italia' is a breathless six minutes which never really hits the spot and slowly begins to grate. Far from perfect, but a decent effort, and certainly accomplished.
CRE 068
Love Corporation - Lovers
1) Love
2) Warm
3) Crystal
4) Sun
5) Happy
6) Nice
7) Lovers
8) Smile


Two in a row. Following Hypnotone's initial offering, Ed Ball returns with the second album from Love Corporation, this time a full-blooded, 37-minute offering. The differences between the two releases are immediately apparent. Ball's work is less seriously focused with his sense of humour often encroaching into the tracks which themselves are so stuffed with samples you feel they might explode. They also go on a bit. The opener 'Love' is six minutes of a cackling rhythm over piano with a nice organ solo in the middle, and 'Warm' has a hymn-like opening with barking dogs, oriental chanting and a female vocal that would have sounded better if it had been brought to the front and not played around with. 'Crystal' is full of Captain Scarlet samples with dancing keyboards and a bubbling back beat, whilst 'Sun' opens with David Bowie's 'Diamond Dogs' but is hard work, so densely loaded down with content its six minutes weigh heavily. 'Happy' again should have developed the vocal and has a very pleasing keyboard composition ruined by a nasty piano break. Three mercifully shorter tracks end the album, with 'Lovers' again dense and heavy going and 'Smile' being all the better for being more of a straightforward dance tune leaving you with some room to breathe. It's a step up from Tones but occasionally hard work.
CRE 069
Felt - Bubblegum Perfume
1) I Will Die With My Head In Flames
2) Stained-glass Windows In The Sky
3) I Didn't Mean To Hurt You
4) Space Blues
5) Autumn
6) Be Still
7) There's No Such Thing As Victory
8) Magellan
9) The Final Resting Of The Ark
10) Sandman's On The Rise Again
11) Don't Die On My Doorstep
12) A Wave Crashed On Rocks
13) Book Of Swords


14) Declaration
15) Gather Up Your Wings And Fly
16) The Darkest Ending
17) Bitter End
18) Rain Of Crystal Spires
19) Voyage To Illumination
20) Ballad Of The Band
CD Cover
With Felt's time on the label having come to an end following five albums and four singles, it was only a matter of time before the inevitable retrospective hit the shelves of the nation's record stores. And as they come, Bubblegum Perfume was not bad value – containing twenty different tracks, some of which were seeing release on CD for the first time. Representation of the various albums was mixed. There was only one track from the poor Let The Snakes Crinkle Their Heads To Death, three from Forever Breathes The Lonely Word, and two each from Poem Of The River, The Pictorial Jackson Review and Train Above The City. Additionally there were three tracks from 'Ballad Of The Band' (single 27), four from 'Rain Of Crystal Spires' (single 32), three from 'The Final Resting Of The Ark' EP (single 48) and two from the band's final Creation release 'Space Blues' (single 60). Of those seeing the light on an album for the first time, the opener is an excellent, speedy number with guitar and organ interacting well, 'Magellan' is a neat piano tune that mirrors the roll of the ocean, and 'Sandman's On The Rise Again' positively charges along – all three tracks come in at under two minutes. 'The Final Resting Of The Ark' is Felt at their best, though its b-sides 'Autumn' and 'There's No Such Thing' don't scale equal heights. 'Space Blues' is a charming oddity with its b-side 'Be Still' a little shrill.
CRE 070
The Times - Et Dieu Créa La Femme
1) Septième Ciel
2) Aurore Boréale
3) Confiance
4) Chagrin D'Amour
5) Volupté
6) Baisers Volés
7) Pour Kylie
8) Sucette
9) 1990 Année Erotique
10) Extase

The release of the third album by The Times officially made Edward Ball the most annoying person on earth. A talented multi-instrumentalist with a decent voice it was clear he was capable of producing better things than this. Like a sponge, Ball soaks up influences from everywhere, but continually fails to add his own distinctiveness to the equation, resulting in such an eclectic series of recordings that there are few things ultimately to love. Et Dieu Créa La Femme continues where Love Corporation leaves off with ten songs built around dancy rhythms and full of samples, yet with guitar and vocals thrown on top. There is an awful lot going on and occasionally this hits the mark. 'Septième Ciel' adds some big guitar riffs and 'Baisers Volés' has a Bowie style vocal on OMD keyboards which works nicely between a pretty off-key opening and a rapid fade to end. 'Volupté' also delivers with a rather hard vocal, backing sighing and neat guitar with plenty going on behind it. Like The Jazz Butcher, however, Ball cannot resist a lark and 'Pour Kylie' is nicely sung before a ridiculously overblown chorus and finale, and '1990 Année Erotique' is a modern 'Je T'Aime' which is absolute dross. Two untitled tracks end the CD version which are merely collections of samples. Too much mediocrity, too much going on, too many records on the go at once. Quality control needed.
© 2008. All rights reserved.
facebook logo
Please 'like' Isolation on Facebook.