Creation Records

Albums 121-130

Rating Key


CRE 121
Sheer - Absolutely Sheer
1) Kali
2) Smother Earth
3) Morning Star
4) Bandaloo
5) One Eye Love
6) Feverish
7) Don't Look Back
8) Cascades


Sheer Taft had been introduced to Creation by Primal Scream and followed their two singles for the label with their only album, with the band name shortened to simply 'Sheer'. The eight tracks average out at six minutes each, and the album is quite a step away from the two singles, being far more mellow and musical with the tunes built around a big bass sound and a variety of drum styles. This is early morning music, then, and works the best on 'Bandaloo' where the layered female vocals make a nice effect over a pleasant melody and throbbing, dubby bass. 'One Eye Love' starts very promisingly as well, though changes halfway through and never regains its appeal. 'Feverish' is well named with its involved drumming, raspy keyboards and looped female vocals, and 'Don't Look Back' is a rare, faster number with a lot more zap and some muted female orgasmic moaning. Where it doesn't work so well is when the songs are dragged out to seven minutes and beyond, with most of the ideas going into the first few minutes. 'Kali' begins to grind after a while and 'Smother Earth' gets a bit ploddy after a nice, slow guitar and bass opening. The outro to 'Morning Star' also wanders around for too long with the keyboards and drums not saying much and seemingly having nowhere important to go. Still, a decent beginning for the group; sadly not built upon.
CRE 122
Pie Finger - A Dali Surprise
1) Jaggy Jungle
2) Time Will Tell
3) Strictly Planets (Jupiter)
4) A Dali Surprise
5) Let Them Drip Gold
6) Amazonian Howl
7) Without A Name
8) Re-possession Mix
9) Jaggy 'Pie' Seas

Has there been an independent label in history that released as many oddities as Creation? The product of singer and keyboardist Russel Burn and guitarist Nick Prescott, Pie Finger here produce an enigmatic record which in parts is dancey, in parts country, in parts rock and altogether fairly strange. Opening with a minute and half of flute, 'Time Will Tell' starts in a dancey vein before turning into a Country & Western ramble and tailing off into a huge, meandering guitar outro that carries the track over nine minutes. The brief vocal is deep and gravelly and effected, and the same tones feature on 'Strictly Planets (Jupiter)' where the music again takes over after a couple of minutes with guitar and keyboards soon moving into Holst's The Planets Suite before a brief snatch of 'Wanderin' Star' and more guitars again pushing the number over the nine-minute mark. There certainly are some decent guitar parts on the album, but few tracks that leave you more than scratching your head. 'Without A Name' features a rap about artists, 'Re-possession Mix' has a big dance beat and drags for over seven minutes, and 'Jaggy 'Pie' Seas' drones on for a minute and a half. 'A Dali Surprise' features chanting and drums, choppy guitar and distant vocals, whilst 'Let Them Drip Gold' has a fast, drummy beat, female choirs and a whirl of backing noise, sounding like a half-buried soul number. Odd, but not that appealing.
CRE 123
The Times - At The Astradome Lunaville
1) Wellcome
2) Septième Ciel
3) Big Painting
4) On The Peace Line
5) Valvaline
6) Crashed On You
7) All Your Life
8) No Love On Haight Street
9) Love And Truth
10) Shoom!
11) Manchester
12) Cloud Over Liverpool

It had to happen, I suppose. After a myriad of different albums under a variety of pseudonyms for the label, there wasn't much new ground for Ed Ball to break, so here we are presented with a pretend live album from The Times, filled with fake mass applause. Four tracks from E For Edward, one from Et Dieu and one from Beat Torture are included along with some previously unreleased snippets. 'Wellcome' is an introduction of samples, whilst 'Big Painting' is a fast, tuneful number with light vocals and a very good guitar accompaniment from Paul Heeren, who spends most of this record throwing his best rock shapes from the school of guitar hero cliche. 'All Your Life' is an acoustic ballad, drowned out by ludicrous applause, 'Love And Truth' is a sixties-style number with Dick Green on guitar, and 'Shoom!' is seven and half minutes of keyboard and guitar noise. The closer, 'Cloud Over Liverpool' is an acoustic addition to the old single 'Manchester'. Admittedly, the old tracks are given a new life on this release. 'Septième Ciel' rocks out with proper drums and big guitar with heavy metal solos, and 'Crashed On You' bursts into life with a heavy intro and appropriately silly rocking solo. The album does bring a smile to your face on occasion and makes you pull your hair out at other times. Quite silly, but not without charm.
CRE 124
Ride - Going Blank Again
1) Leave Them All Behind
2) Twisterella
3) Not Fazed
4) Chrome Waves
5) Mouse Trap
6) Time Of Her Time
7) Cool Your Boots
8) Making Judy Smile
9) Time Machine
10) OX4


Having seemingly saved Creation as an indie guitar label, Ride's fall from grace was to be almost as swift as their rise to prominence. Their second album should have reinforced their position as the top British alternative guitar band, but the huge step away from their established sound left many fans shaking their heads and though the album charted at No.9, it quickly tumbled down the ratings, helped on its way with almost universally bad reviews. Featuring five tracks from Andy Bell and five from Mark Gardener, the band here dropped a lot of the reverb and guitar effects that had given them their distinctive sound, leaving the record to stand more on the strength of the songs and more focused on the vocals than the accompanying waves of noise. Unfortunately, this is where it falls down. The best efforts are Gardener's; his voice is better and his songs better capture the style that had broken the band in the first place. 'Mouse Trap' is the highlight with the guitars battling it out before a nice crashy conclusion, and 'Time Machine' is also up there with a false start, decent bass and choppy guitars. The single 'Leave Them All Behind' (single 123) is eight minutes of heavy guitars and 'Who's Next' keyboards, with the follow-up 'Twisterella' (single 150) an almost jolly, straightforward 1960s pop song. Overall, a disappointment, but there's enough in here not to write the band off completely.
CRE 125
Biff Bang Pow! - Debasement Tapes
1) Long Live Neil Young And All Who Sail In Him
2) In Bed With Paul Weller
3) It Makes You Scared
4) It Happens All The Time
5) The Death of England
6) In The Afternoon
7) Sleep
8) Back To The Start
9) Inside The Mushroom
10) Everybody Wants To Divorce Her

More scraping the bottom of the barrel in the Creation vaults. This 29-minute excuse for an album appears to be a compilation of everything Biff Bang Pow! didn't release on record, and for the large part it should have stayed that way. There really is some tat on here and for a band or a label to expect its fans to shell out for this sort of thing is pretty poor. The opening track is far and away the best, with acoustic guitar, organ and a forceful vocal, but it quickly goes downhill. 'In Bed with Paul Weller' is 1.49 or reverby vocals to electric and keyboards and fails to impress, while 'It Makes You Scared' is a poor recording of the full band playing a nippy song with a load of mad noise at the end. It possibly could have been good with a lot of work, but, as it is, sounds dreadful. This is followed by a slow, distorted take of 'It Happens All The Time' with Alan's McGee's vocal buried, as this mix should have been, and 'The Death Of England' is a poorly recorded demo. 'In The Afternoon' is a slow version of the Revolving Paint Dream number with a weedy attempt at psychedelia, whilst 'Sleep' is a Pete Astor ballad that had first appeared on the Weather Prophets' 'Temperance Hotel' compilation, and is mercifully listenable. 'Back To The Start' appeared on the Pensioners On Ecstasy debacle and is a mess with struggling falsetto and ludicrous tempo changes, whilst 'Inside The Mushroom' is an amorphous mess, and 'Everybody Wants To Divorce Her' a bloody awful jokey number to put the final seal of death on the disc. Don't ever pay money for this.
CRE 126
Ride - Smile
1) Chelsea Girl
2) Drive Blind
3) All I Can See
4) Close My Eyes
5) Like A Daydream
6) Sliver
7) Furthest Sense
8) Perfect Time


This is a CD-only compilation of Ride's first two EPs, 'Ride' (single 72) and 'Play' (single 75), originally released in the USA. The third EP, 'Fall' (single 87) had been included as a bonus on the Nowhere CD, leaving these two offerings as the only Ride tracks not previously available over there in that format. Demand for the import version eventually led to the record's release in the UK. When they first burst on to the scene, Ride were almost the epitome of indie values with no band shots on the covers, all the songs credited to the whole band, and the track listing spelled out in a circle so that no one track was seen to be given preference over the others. And it is not hard to see why they created such an impact. 'Drive Blind' is the star of the first EP, scintillating guitar played over rumbling guitar and a fine, messy lump in the middle before the whole thing starts over again and concludes with a dirty solo. 'All I Can See' is also right up there with drunken guitars reeling around a big bass with a double vocal and wah-wah solo. 'Close My Eyes' is also a belter featuring slower, heavier guitars with one going nicely off the rails and ending in a storm of noise. 'Sliver' is the highlight from 'Play', a menacing slower number with big guitars, distortion and feedback behind the vocals with a Loop-like collapse at the end, and 'Like A Daydream' attacks rapidly from the beginning with its little guitar flourish hooking you in every time. It's not all perfect. 'Furthest Sense' is the least convincing, sounding a little disjointed with an up-front vocal and guitars in the background, but this is a rare weak spot in what really is a terrific collection.
CRE 127
Sand - Five Grains
1) Grain 1
2) Grain 2
3) Grain 3
4) Grain 4
5) Grain 5


After the disappointment of the first album, the follow-up from Ed Ball and Dick Green contained five tracks lasting some 42 minutes. Adding Paul Mulreany of The Jazz Butcher on percussion it is a little tricky to work out exactly what the band was trying to achieve here as these lengthy tracks are not huge experiments in sound, with the only real innovation coming towards the end of the album. 'Grain 1' is a ten-minute piece that has really said everything its needs to say by the five-minute mark. Cultured guitar playing over an electric rhythm and a minimal two-note keyboard backing retreats as drums follow the passing of an underground train and keyboards take over to the end. 'Grain 2' has a bassy intro and random percussion as the guitar gradually builds up, but is eight and half minutes long and gets a bit repetitive. 'Grain 3' is faster, but distorted, with electric guitar played over the top of waves of rhythm with occasional crazy organ and bongos and a noisy conclusion. 'Grain 4' is an eight-minute mixture of percussion, bongos and a shuffling noise with understated and unshapely guitar parts, whilst 'Grain 5' has drums, widdly organ, whizzy guitar effects, screeching and loud and quiet moments over eight and half minutes. It's another record from Creation that leaves you scratching your head. If you bought it because you liked the debut album then you will be delighted as it is far better; otherwise you may not be overly impressed.
CRE 128
Various Artists - Select Magazine Creation Tape
1) Boo Radleys - Lazy Day (Version)
2) Swervedriver - Son Of Mustang Ford (Demo)
3) Teenage Fanclub - Kylie's Got A Crush On Us
4) Silverfish - Vitriola (Demo)
5) Love Corporation - Gimme Some Love (Remix)
6) Ride - Time Of Her Time
7) MK - Play The World (Edit)
8) The Telescopes - You Set My Soul
9) Slowdive - Shine (Edit)
10) Sher Taft - Atlantis (Edit)
11) Bill Drummond - The Manager's Speech (Edit)

Creation was no different from any other label in donating tracks to the compilation albums given away by the various music magazines. Unusually, however, for this offering from Select magazine they allocated the cassette a proper catalogue number. Various tracks were included from recent compilations, with MK's 'Play The World' lifted from the Area Code 212 collection, and both the original recording of Swervedriver's 'Son Of Mustang Ford' and Bill Drummond's 'The Manager's Speech' taken from the awful Amercian Pensioners On Ecstasy collection. A different version of The Boo Radley's 'Lazy Day' opened the tape, and there are some other interesting numbers on here, including Teenage Fanclub's live version of 'Kylie's Got A Crush On Us' (later released as a single by BMX Bandits) and a live Going Blank Again track from Ride, recorded in Sweden. The Telescope's 'You Set My Soul' was previously unreleased, with Silverfish's 'Vitriola' being an early version of the song that was to appear on their 'Silverfish With Scrambled Eggs' EP (single 118). Two tracks from the Keeping The Faith compilations appeared: an edit of Love Corporation's 'Give Me Some Love' and 'Atlantis' by Sheer Taft. A snipped version of Slowdive's 'Shine' from their 'Holding Our Breath' EP (single 112) also helped give the collection a bit of class.
CRE 129
Sugar - Copper Blue
1) The Act We Act
2) A Good Idea
3) Changes
4) Helpless
5) Hoover Dam
6) The Slim
7) If I Can't Change Your Mind
8) Fortune Teller
9) Slick
10) Man On The Moon


With the advent of grunge in America, Bob Mould had become almost a legendary figure, being one of the main influences on Nirvana with his previous band, the groundbreaking Hüsker Dü. He had signed to Creation in 1991 and presented the label with this album a few months later, probably little knowing the impact it would create. Under the band name Sugar, with David Barbe on bass and Malcolm Travis on drums, Mould here creates a powerful, monster of an album that eventually ran off with the NME's 'Album Of The Year' award in 1992. Unusually, three singles were taken off Copper Blue by Creation, the first being 'Changes' (single 126) a melodic rocker, full of hooks and soaring guitars. The follow-up 'A Good Idea' (single 143) has a Pixies-style intro and repetitive chorus interlayed with cascading guitars and rumbling bass, whilst the third single was 'If I Can't Change Your Mind' (single 149), the album's most accessible pop moment and a poignant love song. There are high points throughout, with 'The Act We Act' opening proceedings with a huge salvo of guitars and a brisk chorus, and possibly the best number 'Helpless' commencing with blazing guitars whilst remaining melodic, strong and catchy. If there's a weak spot, it is 'Slick', slow 1960s' influenced car-crash blues, but if that's the worst on offer you can be very happy indeed.
CRE 130
Velvet Crush - Teenage Symphonies To God
1) Hold Me Up
2) My Blank Pages
3) Why Not Your Baby
4) Time Wraps Around You
5) Atmosphere
6) #10
7) Faster Days
8) Something's Gotta Give
9) This Life Is Killing Me
10) Weird Summer
11) Star Trip
12) Keep On Lingerin'

Having impressed with their first release on Creation, a collection of thoughtful and melodic pop songs with a killer edge, hopes were high for the second outing from Velvet Crush. However, the change in the musical landscape between that release and this, appeared to effect the band considerably and Teenage Symphonies To God is heavier and dumber, as the band apparently casts an envious eye on the grunge market. Gone is the subtlety and pop sensibility of the first album and in its place we are presented with some bewilderingly ordinary rock numbers. 'My Blank Pages' has a heavy metal intro with an appropriate solo, but is as straightforward a rock number as you will ever hear. 'Atmosphere' is fast but creates no atmosphere despite a good guitar solo and some nice twiddly bits at the end, and 'Something's Gotta Give' is too rock 'n' roll and a bit of a strut. There are better moments. 'Time Wraps Around You' is a measured jangle with some nice melodies and a loopy solo, and 'Weird Summer' is a slower number that actually does something other than stroll from A to B. In fact, the slower moments tend to be the best, with the gentle paced 'Star Trip' containing some quite pleasant vocal harmonies. The track chosen as the single, 'Hold Me Up' (single 146) is quite rocky and raw, with some snappy guitar work, but was never going to forward the band's reputation. This seems very much the album of guitarist Jeffrey Borchardt, with some nice fretwork, but disappointingly very little else to recommend it.
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