Creation Records

Albums 151-160

Rating Key


CRE 151
Momus - Timelord
1) Platinum
2) Enlightenment
3) You've Changed
4) Landrover
5) Rhetoric
6) Suicide Pact
7) Christmas On Earth
8) Breathless


The latest offering from Nicholas Currie presented the listener with a very different perspective; gone are the clever observations, knowing wit and sexual obsessions and in their place are some very personal and intimate musings on the nature of love. Currie himself described this as a "private and oblique record" made at a difficult time when there was growing pressure on his girlfriend to enter into an arranged marriage. The songs, then, are statements of his love which he hoped would have a positive infuence on a confused and worrying situation. Backed by a mixture of ambient and tehno beats, Momus narrates and warbles his way through his pain and, strangely, when 'Rhetoric' casts a mocking eye at lovers' declarations, the artist has himsef in his sights, "Love you till the world has stopped and time has lost its power." There is little obliqueness here. 'Suicide Pact' is as straightforward as Momus has ever been, "Where in the world is there realm and dominion enough for love?" he cries and the album is all the more powerful for it. It may lack the god's lofty asperity, but a touch of humanity does Currie's cause no harm at all.
CRE 152
Pie Finger - Album
CRE 153
Sugar - Beaster
1) Come Around
2) Tilted
3) Judas Cradle
4) JC Auto
5) Feeling Better
6) Walking Away

Described by Bob Mould as "the other side of Sugar", Beaster was certainly a sea change from Copper Blue being heavier, darker and more furious in its approach. Bordering on anti-commercial, this mini album of just six tracks strangely did the best of all of the band's releases, shooting to No.3 in the UK album chart on its release in April 1993. Insisting the album shouldn't be overanalysed or dissected, the very nature of the recordings with their dark religious imagery and subject matter actually demand some such investigation. The slow-burning, insistent opener 'Come Around' gives few clues at what is to come before 'Tilted' (single 156) explodes on the listener, the vocals buried deep in the mix and Mould struggling to get the words out as he is engulfed in cascading noise. Never a commercial release, the single saw light of day on seven inch vinyl only, reaching No.48 in the charts. 'Judas Cradle' is heavier still, the device in question a torture implement (originally attributed to the Spanish Inquisition) that slowly impales the victim, Mould obviously railing against some deep hypocrisy or personally felt betrayal. There is no let-up. 'JC Auto' (Jesus Christ Autobiography) is hugely dark, Mould crying, "I don't believe in anything. Do you believe in anything?" The doubt is always both ways, making the fury all the more convincing. 'Feeling Better' almost has some catchy hooks amidst its jagged rhythms as Mould expels more demons and church organs decorate 'Walking Away' with its repetitive mantra "I'm walking away back to you I do." Catharsis in noise.
CRE 154
Dexy's Midnight Runners - Don't Stand Me Down
1) The Occasional Flicker
2) This Is What She's Like
3) My National Pride
4) One Of Those Things
5) Reminisce (Part Two)
6) I Love You (Listen To This)
7) The Waltz
8) Reminisce (Part One)
9) The Way You Look Tonight

Dexy's Midnight Runners were a huge band, with a million selling single behind them as well as number one hits on both sides of the Atlantic. Somehow Creation got hold of the rights to the band's third album, Don't Stand Me Down which had originally been released on the Mercury label in September 1985. Coming three years after the hugely popular Too-Rye-Ay, it was a modest success, reaching No.22 but not spawning any hits as frontman Kevin Rowland refused to promote any single releases. Expensively made, it received mixed reviews, though Melody Maker described it as "the most challenging, absorbing, moving, uplifting and ultimately triumphant album of the year." Two of the song titles were changed for the Creation reissue: 'Knowledge of Beauty' became 'My National Pride', and 'Listen to This' became 'I Love You (Listen to This)'. 'My National Pride' was the original title of the former song, but Rowland "didn't have the courage to title it that when it came around to the artwork." He contributes two pages of sleeve notes and two extra tracks are added: 'Reminisce (Part One)', recorded in Spring 1983 and a version of Jerome Kern's 'The Way You Look Tonight'. The album itself is well worthy of a Creation release, being another strange one: interspersed with conversations it captures not just the peaks of the music but the plateaus of studio mundanity in between. Fascinating. An unfettered ego at work ... and quite possibly a genius.
CRE 155
Poster Children - Tool Of The Man
1) Dynamite Chair
2) Tommyhouse
3) In My Way
4) Clock Street
5) Redline
6) Shotguns & Pickups
7) Blatant Dis
8) Idiot Show
9) Outsie In
10) Three Bullets


After the muddy confusion of Daisychain Reaction, it was a surprise Creation opted to release the Poster Children's follow-up album Tool Of The Man. Apparently named after some graffiti written into the dust on their van during the South by Southwest Festival, it is a relief to hear a much cleaner sound with distinguishable vocals, though the overall collection is let down by some stereotypical grunge backdrops. Thankfully these are interspersed with a couple of tracks of crushing heaviness as well as some lively, more intricate numbers. Singer and guitarist Rick Valentin once said he formed the band after listening to alternative music and realising "you didn't have to be great, you could make up for technical talent with energy and directness." There is certainly plenty of that on show, though occasionally his vocals cannot live up to the weight of the backing as on the powerful 'Idiot Show'. When they do work, however, they can be worth listening to and the lively 'Outside In' is a highlight with its attractive, dancing guitars. Creation released 'Clock Street' (single 152) as a single, though it is not one of the better numbers, jerky and inconclusive. The pulsing 'Redline' is more adventurous, as is the shortest track, 'Shotguns and Pickups', which is nicely shouty and aggressive, and bluntly swift. Known for their DIY ethic, the band provided their own artwork and an after-image of the US flag adorns the cover, a picture that remains in your vision after you look away. Tool of The Man doesn't have the same effect on your aural senses, but it has its moments.
CRE 156
The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy - Waiting For The Love Bus
1) Rosemary Davis World Of Sound
2) Bakersfield
3) Kids In The Mail/Kaliningrad
4) Whaddya?
5) Sweet Water
6) Ghosts
7) Killed Out
8) Ben
9) Penguins
10) President Chang
11) Angel Station

Extra tracks on the CD
7) Baltic
13) Rosemary Davis (Reprise)

This was the penultimate album on Creation from stalwarts The Jazz Butcher and mainman Pat Fish has applauded its "clean, simple sound", adding, "There's rockin' shit and there's a big ballad or two ... and a nice family sing-along about penguins." Now consisting of Fish, Richard Formby, Dooj Wilkinson and Nick Burson, this album is quite probably the best thing the band did. Initially Formby's production seems subdued and almost defensive, but repeated plays reveal a determined subtlety that fits in nicely with some clever lyrics and (as usual) terrific playing leaving us with a gem that is, for once, not overpolished. There is no smugness here, just some bloody good tunes. 'Bakersfield' rocks along pleasantly with some almost excitable guitars and 'Kids In The Mall' reverberates impressively and even tips the wink at the Stones. 'Killed Out' is also a stormer and though the Butcher are far too cultured ever to wig out in a sonic storm, this is about as far they ever go down that track. 'President Chang', a song about cocaine, also features some top guitar work and is worthy of all of its six and half bristling minutes. The ballads are top notch. 'Whaddya?' is decent enough, but 'Baltic' blows everything else out of the water, haunting and helpless, and, for some reason, only available on the CD version of the album. Oh, and there's a song about penguins. They're still out there, you know.
CRE 157
Swervedriver - Ejector Seat Reservation
1) Single Finger Salute
2) Bring Me The Head Of The Fortune Teller
3) The Other Jesus
4) Son Of Jaguar 'E'
5) I Am Superman
6) Bubbling Up
7) Ejector Seat Reservation
8) How Does It Feel To Look Like Candy?
9) Last Day On Earth
10) The Birds

Extra tracks on the CD
11) Plan 7 Star Satellite
12) Flaming Heart

Released in April 1995, Swervedriver's third album proved to be their farewell to Creation. In fact, the band were unceremoniously dropped just a week after its release and it became their poorest selling record, failing to chart and receiving little promotion. With Steve George having been added to the ranks on bass, the band certainly didn't make Ejector Seat Reservation easy listening; it has plenty of the same spirit and drive as the first two albums, but is muddier, less melodic and less accessible. "What's the point in romanticising everything?" sings Adam Franklin on 'Bubbling Under' and that could be the sub-title for what is a pretty blunt album, both sonically and lyrically, with the customary Americana substituted for tales of Camden Town, Tottenham and the plea, "I don't wanna hear anymore, just don't tell me the Fulham score." The wah-wah decorated 'How Does It Feel To Look Like Candy' must surely be some comment on Creation stablemates Ride and the Jesus & Mary Chain, all interspersed with the chorus from 'Do You Know The Way To Santa Fe?' Bizarre. The slower 'Last Day on Earth' (single 179) was released as a single but again failed to chart. There are two unlisted tracks on the CD, 'Plan 7 Star Satellite' and 'Flaming Heart' which came on a bonus seven-inch single with original copies of the vinyl album.
CRE 158
James Young - Songs They Never Play On The Radio
1) Mystery Of Love
2) Long Wooden Box
3) For The Sunrise (Tantric Love Juice)
4) Mr. Mysterioso
5) Listen To The Rain
6) Aphro Gypsia
7) Curious (Elvis Has Left The Building)
8) Tall Tales
9) Der Leiermann
10) Planet Pussy
11) The Silver Sweet Siren Song Of The Eternal Feminine
12. Songs They Never Play On The Radio

Despite the failure of Creation Press, there was to be one more album released by the label which served as a soundtrack to a book. Songs They Never Play On The Radio was written by keyboardist James Young about his years working with Nico, the former model, actress, and singer with the Velvet Underground. In 1982 Nico was living in Manchester, alone and interested only in feeding her heroin habit. A local promoter saw an opportunity, hired musicians to back her, rented a van and sent her off around the world. Over the next six years, until her death in 1988, Nico toured with assorted thrown-together groups of addicts and misfits, making next to no money playing generally awful shows. In the book Young relates the remarkable tales of this bizarre circus. Creation boss Alan McGee was a fan of the book and suggested a record was made to accompany it, with Young commenting in an interview with Stephen Yarwood, "It was a bit of an odd thing ... it was a solo album but I didn't have autonomy as the agenda was set by someone else. It consisted of songs and pieces stimulated by situations and characters." It is another strange one; mostly gentle dance tunes interspersed with some nicely thought out samples. Generally easy listening there are some outstanding moments, especially the title track with its haunting evocation of the Velvet Underground. Heartfelt.
CRE 159
A Certain Ratio - Looking For A Certain Ratio
1) Shack Up (Radio Edit)
2) Flight (Massey Mix)
3) The Fox (MacSilva Mix)
4) There's Only This (Sub Sub's Rainy City Mix)
5) Mickey Way (Manchester City Mix)
6) Touch (Primetime Mix)
7) Wild Party (Way Out West Mix)
8) Life's A Scream (Emergency Ward 10 Mix)
9) Blown Away (Puffin'stuff Mix)
10) Bootsy (The Swingfire Mix)
11) Si Firmir O Grido (Bandini Bimba Mix)

Another surprise release from the never dull label was a compilation of remixes provided by former Factory Records funksters A Certain Ratio. Seeing the light of day in August 1994, this was a CD release, though six tracks were additionally packaged on a double twelve-inch DJ set in a plain white, stickered sleeve. This was limited to 1,000 copies with the tracks mixed louder for the dancefloor. The remixes themselves are of variable quality and you could probably live without them. Tracks of note include Graham Massey's working of early Factory single 'Flight' which is the best thing the band ever did and highly evocative of Joy Division. Whether the track needed remixing at all is obviously a moot point. Other highlights include Sub Sub's take on 'There's Only This' which is rather beautiful and manages to hold your interest throughout. The Way Out West reworking of 'Wild Party' also shows some innovation while far too many of the other numbers are pretty uninspiring and pointless. Creation released the album's opening number 'Shack Up', Electronic's second look at an early Factory Benelux single, as an EP (single 151) containing three different versions accompanied by 'Life's A Scream (Shaven Not Stirred Mix)' by ACR keyboardist Andy O'Connell who went on to form Swing Out Sister the following year. Very much hit and miss.
CRE 160
Idha - Melody Inn
1) High Over Hollywood
2) Red Balloon
3) From Me To You
4) More Love
5) Another Door
6) Stockholm
7) All My Loving
8) Hickory Wind
9) Get Undressed
10) Safe At Home
11) Music Carries On

Swedish folk singer Idha Övelius released two albums and five singles on Creation Records which amounted to her entire recorded output. She was brought to the attention of the label through being married to Ride's Andy Bell, who helped co-write some of the country-tinged songs. Three of the eleven tracks are cover versions: Janis Ian's 'From Me To You', Gram Parsons' 'Hickory Wind' and Tim Hardin's 'Red Balloon', the latter having once been covered by the Small Faces whose keyboardist Ian MacLagan features among the album's musicians. And musically the record is fine, never breaking into the spectacular, but remaining gently reassuring. Where the album falls down is in the vocals. Övelius sings in unaccented English, but her voice is unexceptional, and her delivery is often stilted. Whether this is due to the language barrier or not, the words often don't to fit the music, scan badly, and some of the lyrics are pretty awful. "Oh dear, I need you. Don't go away," declares 'More Love' which is simply a mess, while others grate at first listen and don't improve with familiarity. The better songs are the cover versions, but even here the limited range of the vocals fails to do the songs justice, and the smoothest moments are when Övelius sings within herself, as on 'Stockholm' and 'All My Loving'. The highly average 'Get Undressed' (single 161) was released as a single with little impact and was soon followed by a cover of the Faces 'Ooh La La' in an EP of cover versions under the title of 'A Woman In A Man's World' (single 166).
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