Creation Records

Albums 181-190

Rating Key


CRE 181
18 Wheeler - Formanka
noise annoys
1) Boddha
2) Drought
3) Steel Guitars
4) Cartoon
5) The Bottle
6) Formanka
7) Winter Grrrl
8) Pretty Ugly
9) The Track
10) John The Revelator


Half of the fascination with Creation is that despite unleashing a series of albums of outstanding quality such as Grand Prix, Vanishing Point and Wake Up, they continued to champion and promote bands who clearly were never going to reach such giddy heights. Not that Formanka is a hopeless cause: 18 Wheeler's second album is more mature and far more convincing than Twin Action. It's just that whatever they throw into the mix, it can't change the fact that the band play gentle guitar-pop music and singer Sean Jackson has a light voice which is very suited to that style. Thus the explosive guitar bursts that decorate 'The Bottle', the Mary Chainesque opening to 'Winter Grrrl', and the screeching solo at the end of 'Pretty Ugly' are mere adornments to pretty straightforward pop songs, rather than the opening of doors to more dangerous territory. The best moments are those that actually begin to stretch the boundaries. Drummer Neil Halliday's song 'The Track' sits on heavy, grinding guitars that are ripped apart by whistling bursts and a grumbling solo, and 'John The Revelator' is an acoustic ballad carried unwillingly away by the forces of six-string psychedelia in the manner of the Boo Radleys. The least satisfying moment is strangely the opening track and first single 'Boddha' (single 198) which is irritatingly grating until it is transported halfway through to a completely different planet. 'Steel Guitars' (single 209) was issued as a follow-up, a thrashier but unspectacular number, and the album was originally released with a free CD offering four home demos. The vinyl album came with a seven-inch single containing two of those demos.
CRE 182
The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy - Illuminate
do the collapse
1) A Great Visitation Of Elephants
2) Sixteen Years
3) Cute Submarines
4) Lulu's Nightmare
5) Beetle George
6) Old Snakey
7) Land
8) When Eno Sings
9) The Ugliest Song In The World
10) Scarlett
11) Cops And Hospitals
12) Blues For Dead Dean Reed
13) True Stories

Extra tracks on CD release
6) Truck Of Fear
10) Waiting For Sumo
14) Surf Gear In Idaho

Order of songs on CD
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, new track, 6, 12, 8, new track, 9, 10, 11, new track, 7, 13.
Described by Pat Fish as the band's 'difficult tenth album', Illuminate was also the last release on Creation by the Jazz Butcher (or, as here, the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy). With their previous studio album, Waiting For The Love Bus, being their best to date, the new release followed in a similar vein musically and featured a new version of the band (the 1994 live line-up) with Alex Lee and Dave Henderson on guitars, Gabriel Turner on drums and Alex Green on sax in addition to Fish and sidekick Dooj Wilkinson. Musically, this album feels very rounded; the songs are stylish and well played, and the production, by former Bauhaus bassist and fellow Northampton boy David J, is clean and bright. It seems Fish had doubts about the sound after his new band had "stumbled through a series of tunes", and commented that the mastered version sounded better than the original mix, but there really are few problems on that score. Content-wise, the songs vary between the classy pop of 'Cute Submarines' and 'The Ugliest Song In The World' to the jokier 'Truck Of Fear' and 'When Eno Sings', with others falling in between the two, such as 'Old Snakey' which is also adorned with some fine sound effects which are used to complement the album throughout. Add the direct, politcal rant of '16 Years', the customary visit to continent in 'Blues For Dead Dean Reed' and it's another pretty mixed bag. There's stuff here that is really, really decent but again the jokier side of the band doesn't always appeal and it can be so frustrating lsitening to a record that could have been stunning but ends up like the curate's egg. Still, there is nearly an hour of music on the CD release so there is plenty from which to pick.
CRE 183
Ed Ball - Welcome To The Wonderful World Of Ed Ball
do the collapse
1) Give Me Some Love
2) Lundi Blue
3) The Colour Of My Love
4) Kiss Me
5) I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape
6) Manchester
7) Translucence
8) Another Star In heaven
9) Sorry I've written A Melody
10) Will Success Spoil Frankie Summit
11) Losing My Grip
12) On The Peace Line

13) Baby Girl
14) We Love Malcolm
15) Cloud Over Liverpool
16) Palatial
17) Blue Fire
18) Finnegan's Break
19) Ballad Of Georgie Best
20) No Love On Haight Street
21) This Is London
22) Up Against It
23) Snow
24) All I Want Is You To Care
There obviously hadn't been enough released by Ed Ball in recent weeks, as Alan McGee decided his prolific sidekick was worthy of another retrospective (his second on the label) and compiled this one himself, using not only tracks from the Creation albums (and there were five from the recent Alternative Commercial Crossover), but also earlier tracks recorded by Ball for the Whaam! and Artpop! labels from 1982 to 1986. The double disc compilation (both on vinyl and CD) included songs released by The Times (eighteen), Love Corporation (three), Teenage Filmstars (only one, thankfully), Conspiracy of Noise (only one, sadly) and a single track by 'O' Level, 'We Love Malcolm' being from a 1978 EP released on the Kings Road label which has become quite a rarity. It's a jaunty enough, do-it-yourself number in the spirit of the age and makes an interesting addition to the collection. Of the non-Creation releases, 'Cloud Over Liverpool' is an acoustic singalong involving payday, Liverpool at home to West Brom, and a night at the pub, while 'Blue Fire' is moody electronica which echoes the later 'Lundi Bleu'. 'This Is London' is sixties guitar pop garnished with keyboards and horns, 'Up Against It' a pretty decent tune, carried along by a swirling organ, and 'Will Success Spoil Frankie Summit' sounds like the Who at their silliest, with familiar harmonies. Finally, 'I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape' is one of Ball's more famous recordings, based on the cult television series The Prisoner, and is pleasingly silly. Of course, the early albums by The Times had been reissued from 1992-94 on Creation offshoot Revola, so it made sense to push them a bit on this 1995 compilation, but they do make intriguing listening and you have to take your hat off to Ball for the sheer weight of material he managed to get on to vinyl.
CRE 184
Idha - Troublemaker
do the collapse
1) Sorry Sorry
2) Always Been With You
3) Going Down South
4) Still Alive
5) Mercy Me
6) Sweet September Rain
7) Me And Johnny
8) Troublemaker
9) Fields Of Avalon
10) Just Moved In

Despite a poor debut, Creation decided to persist with Idha and the second album, August 1997's Troublemaker, came adorned in a foldout digipak featuring numerous pictures of the attractive Ms. Övelius. And from the opening bars of 'Sorry Sorry' (single 205), it was clear this was going to be an altogether bigger production, full of lush strings and horns, and losing a little of its country edge in favour of a largely middle of the road, mature pop sound. Put together by well known indie (and REM) producer Charlie Francis and featuring Andy Bell on guitar on six tracks and Oasis drummer Alan White on three, this sounds a world better than Melody Inn which had been released over three years earlier. Idha's voice is better, with the ten self-penned songs not stretching her limited vocal range, and there are none of the awkward stilted moments that plagued her earlier songs. There is nice use of backing vocals by an assortment of contributors that add some decent harmonies, the songs are more intricate, and the whole thing just sounds more a lot more competent and professional. There are some surprisingly uplifting moments. White and Bell shine on Troublemaker which has a very fine indie rock backing track, while on 'Still Alive', the singer even attempts to get into a similar mood and it's no bad thing at all. There are also a couple of numbers that hark back to the country sound of the debut, and these are probably the least fulfilling. As well as the opener, 'Going Down South' (single 268) and 'Sweet September Rain' (single 274) were released as singles with little impact. Some decent stuff here, though it was to be the last album Idha was to record.
CRE 185
Heavy Stereo - Déjà Voodoo
do the collapse
1) Chinese Burn
2) Cartoon Moon
3) Déjà Voodoo
4) Tell Yer Ma
5) Crown Of Thoughts
6) Mouse In A Hole
7) Bangers And Mash
8) Deep Fried Heart
9) Reaching For Heaven
10) Keep Up
11) Plane Empty
12) Shooting Star


Despite his growing number of successes, Heavy Stereo was another project which proved that however hard he tried, there were some bands Alan McGee just could not lead to mainstream success. There's no doubt of his belief in the Durham outfit and Creation pushed them hard, but, despite repeated attempts, Heavy Stereo never managed to break into the top forty of the singles chart and this, their sole album, sank without trace. Not that commercial success is any real measure of quality, but there appeared a real desperation on the part of the label to prove they were right about the band and the harder they pushed the more the media reacted against them; Heavy Stereo were never press darlings. Quite why they were so critically panned is hard to tell as Déjà Voodoo really isn't that bad, but the band's glam sound never found acceptance even in the guitar friendly environment of 1996. There are heavy Faces influences here, and echoes of T. Rex eveywhere, but it is pretty well done and you cannot help hearing traces of singer-songwriter Gem Archer's future influence on Oasis in some of the songs. Two non-album singles preceded this release before 'Chinese Burn' (single 218) and 'Mouse In A Hole' (single 230) were lifted from the album, reaching No.45 and No.53 respectively. Both are decent enough, but the real showstoppers are the vibrant 'Cartoon Moon' and 'Planet Empty' which sounds like The Sweet at their heaviest. And we'd defy any fan of the Faces not to enjoy 'Bangers And Mash' and 'Keep Up'. Heavy Stereo were in the process of writing their second album when Archer got the call to replace Bonehead in Oasis. It was obviously an offer difficult to refuse but by all accounts his band were then making their best music of their lives and it is a shame it never got to see the light of day.
CRE 186
CRE 187
CRE 188
Bob Mould - Bob Mould
do the collapse
1) Anymore Time Between
2) I Hate Alternative Rock
3) Fort Knox, King Solomon
4) Next Time That You Leave
5) Egoverride
6) Thumbtack
7) Hair Stew
8) Deep Karma Canyon
9) Art Crisis
10) Roll Over And Die

The huge success of Sugar had taken everybody by surprise, not least Bob Mould, with all three of the band's albums charging into the top ten in the UK. Of course, with success comes added pressure, and Sugar's demise appears to have been a relief for the singer/songwriter with his next outing, this self-titled solo album, proclaiming "this one is for me" and adding, "Bob Mould is Bob Mould". Not that this third solo album (his first in six years) contributes much different to the Mould oeuvre; it is still dominated by songs about failing relationships and riddled with self doubt, with Mould writing all the songs, playing every instrument and also producing. It's certainly a mixed bag with 'I Hate Alternative Rock', 'Deep Karma Canyon' and 'Art Crisis' being familiar Mould rockers, while the whispered approach to 'Anymore Time Between', 'Next Time That You Leave' and the excellent 'Roll Over And Die' echoes the lo-fi leanings of such bands as Sebadoh. Again Mould is able to throw in annoyingly catchy tunes with the chiming 'Fort Knox, King Solomon' and the screeching 'Egoverride' teasingly melodic, Mould describing the latter as "the sound of my ego spinning out of control". 'Thumbtack' and 'Hair Stew' are intense ballads, almost bordering on the pyschotic, the former accompanied by a lonely electric guitar and the latter a scarily insistent threat which is accentuated in a tortured, screaming endgame. These are followed by an uncredited, spooky musical piece just over a minute long just in case you didn't get it. It's a difficult one, this. Some of it's terrific, but the overwhelming impression is that you really wouldn't want to be Bob Mould.
CRE 189
Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory?
do the collapse
1) Hello
2) Roll With It
3) Wonderwall
4) Don't Look Back In Anger
5) Hey Now
7) Some Might Say
8) Cast No Shadow
9) She's Electric
10) Morning Glory
12) Champagne Supernova

Amongst all the discussions about whether Definitely Maybe was the greatest album of the era, one point consistently overlooked was the fact the second Oasis album was actually better. Retaining the positive outlook of the band's debut, the songs on October 1995's (What's The Story?) Morning Glory were more thoughtfully constructed, better played and effortlessly huge. Any record where you can't help but sing along to every song has captured the very essence of what music is all about. Whether through the simple approach of 'Wonderwall' or the more complex strands of 'Champagne Supernova' it is impossible not to get caught up in the euphoria of it all and to make that your own. Of course, it was a massive hit, selling 347,000 copies in its opening week and spawning two number one singles and two number twos. 'Some Might Say' (single 204) and 'Don't Look Back In Anger' (single 221) both topped the charts for a solitary week, while 'Roll With It' (single 212) and 'Wonderwall' (single 215) both fell one place short, the former beaten to the top spot by Blur's 'Country House' amidst huge publicity, and the latter sadly being kept out by Robson & Jerome's 'I Believe'. All four of the singles are cracking tracks, but the real highlights of the album come at the end. 'Morning Glory', a howling monster of a song, and 'Champagne Supernova', featuring Paul Weller on guitar and a non-UK single release, are possibly the best things Oasis ever recorded, transcending the band's influences to become something purely theirs. Once again, it's all good, and the singing is fantastic throughout. As with Definitely Maybe, the vinyl version of the album was released as a double disc set. Number one for a million years and quite rightly so.
CRE 190
Super Furry Animals - Fuzzy Logic
do the collapse
1) God! Show Me Magic
2) Fuzzy Birds
3) Something For The Weekend
4) Frisbee
5) Hometown Unicorn
6) Gathering Moss
7) If You Don't Want Me To Destroy You
8) Bad Behaviour
9) Mario Man
10) Hangin' With Howard Marks
11) Long Gone
12) For Now And Ever

One of the glories of Creation Records was their ability to bring together some of the most remarkably free-thinking talents from every corner of Britain. Formed in Cardiff in 1993, Super Furry Animals had released a couple of EPs in their native Wales before they were snapped up by Alan McGee who, once again, spotted the enormous potential in a relatively unknown group and helped them to become one of the most important bands of the decade. Initially aimed as a statement against the conservative nature of the contemporary music scene, the skewed pop of Fuzzy Logic embraced the very exuberance that had lifted Britpop to national prominence in the first place and the same people who could snap up records by Blur and Oasis found they could also thrill to SFA's psychedelic-tinged glam punk with its prevelent singing guitars. Thus, as the band became better known, so their releases fared better in the charts. The band's first single, the hugely captivating 'Hometown Unicorn' (single 222), an NME single of the week and a clear pointer that this band could only have been sent by God, made it to No.47, with 'God! Show Me Magic' (single 231) reaching No.33, and 'Something For The Weekend' (single 235) and 'If You Don't Want Me To Destroy You' (single 243) both reaching No.18. Fuzzy Logic itself, released in May 1996, achieved a very respectable No.23 in the albums chart and it was certainly no less than it deserved, a remarkable collection of songs full of unbridled charm, wit and intelligence. There are impossible highs. Apart from the untouchable debut single, 'Bad Behaviour' collides with other worlds, 'Frisbee' meanders insanely, while the solemn strings on 'If You Don't Want Me To Destroy You' immaculately frame its memorable chorus of 'Gravity, you just hold me down so quietly." This album just oozes class from every pore. Marvellous.
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