Creation Records

Albums 211-220

Rating Key


CRE 211
Ultra-Living - Monochromatic Adventure
1) Monochromatic Adventure
2) Sweetest Pleasure
3) Freeze, Die & Revive
4) (Fire Is The) Ultra Living
5) Traces
6) Cosmo Vittelli
7) God Song
8) Homesick
9) The Sky Is High Enough To Fly
10) Mr Freedom


As the life of Creation Records drew to its end, the label produced fewer and fewer dance albums, their penultimate release from the genre being this 58 minute offering from Takuma and Tetsushi Nonaka which saw the light of day in June 1998. A fusion of jazz, trip-hop and drum and bass, with vocal contributions from Kyoko Mori, this is a punchy collection of tunes, with some nice changes in pace and mood. Engineered by Luke Gordon of Spacer fame, the album saw two of its tracks released as singles by Creation: 'Sweetest Pleasure' (single 251) featuring a remix from 'Doc' Scott McIlroy, and 'Homesick' (single 286) with its Major Force remix. The former features Mori singing in her pleasantly accented English and adds a loose jazz feel to its drum and bass heart, with a looping saxophone groove carrying the number through its various starts and stutters. 'Homesick' is moodier and easier paced, with a more developed vocal that could have been lifted from a Colourbox record where it may have been tucked in more snugly. As it stands it makes an interesting juxtaposition with the minimal backing: a repetitive, two-note bass line, a slow, rattling drum sound and a delicate, light waterfall of keyboards. The highlight is probably 'The Sky Is High Enough To Fly', bordering on the avant-garde with its creepy, bubbling backing attacking Mori's nicely paced vocal, though the jazz-lounge 'Mr Freedom' also has considerable charm. This album is at its best when it is at its most structured; how the more dislocated tracks work on the dancefloor we have no idea, but an educated guess is that they would do very nicely. But even if you are not a clubber, there is music you can enjoy here. Monochromatic Adventure saw release as a CD and a double vinyl album.
CRE 212
Trashmonk - Mona Lisa Overdrive
1) Girl I Used 2 Know
2) Polygamy
3) Sapphire
4) High Times
5) Amaryllis
6) All Change
7) Inner Brownstone Symphony
8) N.W.O.
9) It Won't Be Long
10) Dying Day
11) On The Way Home

Continuing his policy of reintroducing names from the past, Alan McGee signed up former Dream Academy singer Nick Laird-Clowes for a solo album which became one of the last of Creation's releases in October 1999 under Laird-Clowes' new Trashmonk pseudonym. Dream Academy had scored a top twenty hit in 1985 with 'Life In A Northern Town' but had failed to build on that success and after the band had dissolved Laird-Clowes had spent some time travelling around the Indian sub-continent. On his return he set to work on Mona Lisa Overdrive, just under an hour of music that (allegedly) took some four years to record. Based around gentle, acoustic folk foundations the songs here are embellished by a variety of electronic noises, samples and oriental instruments that help lift them from the ordinary, though the vocals remain bare and understated with a clear Nick Drake influence. Certainly not being full of obvious single choices, Creation promoted the album by releasing 'Polygamy' (single 301) which could have been one of those gloriously stretched Rolling Stones songs of the early seventies in a more traditional setting, but here is accompanied by tablas, an electric violin, samples and Egyptian drums. Of course, it made no impact on the charts and was never going to. It would have been difficult to pull another track for release though 'High Times' may have been worth a stab, curiously coming across as an attempt at Primal Scream blues, but backed by maraccas and marimbas. Everything here has a lo-fi edge to it; the album states in large type that it was 'recorded at home' and the mood echoes this. It is at its most impressive when at its simplest, the acoustic ballads such as 'Sapphire' and 'Inner Brownstone Symphony' maintaining a tasteful purity, but there is enough to hold your interest throughout, despite its length. Alan McGee obviously liked it as on the closure of Creation he bought the rights to the album off Sony and consequently released it again (with added tracks) on his new Poptones label.
CRE 213
Ruby - Album
CRE 214
Super Furry Animals - Radiator
1) Furryvision TM
2) The Placid Casual
3) The International Language Of Screaming
4) Demons
5) Short Painkiller
6) She's Got Spies
7) Play It Cool
8) Hermann Loves Pauline
9) Chupacabras
10) Torra Fy Ngwallt Yn Hir
11) Bass Turned To D.E.A.D.
12) Down A Different River
13) Download

14) Mountain People
There are some bands who naturally exude passion, greatness or even bewildering intelligence without really appearing to try. Super Furry Animals demonstrate all of these qualities, but the main emotion they evoke is pure, unadulterated joy. Their approach to their craft is so unique and refreshing you cannot help but be swept along by the carefree eccentricity of it all. Not that they produce the confused ramblings of madmen; everything here is beautifully placed, vibrant and gorgeously melodic; the tunes are so catchy your insides bounce along and your soul leaps with happiness at every buzz and whirr, every stab of falsetto and every rumbling groove. This is pop music at its very best and there is barely a blip in over forty-five minutes of some of the brightest and best songs you could ever wish to hear. It's clear at least part of the SFA's sparkling ebullience comes from a burning desire to shake things around and produce something different from the staidness of the contemporary music scene. "Every time I look around me everything seems so stationary / It just sends me the impulse to become reactionary / Spell it out, rip it up, rearrange it, on the contrary / If I scream it I mean it, I hope you will understand me / Wooh!" proclaims 'The International Language of Screaming' and the band certainly deliver on that score with even the slower numbers thrown into the psychedelic mixer to give them a completely different edge, while the whole collection is bloated with delicious harmonies, top class arrangements and the delightful little touches that help lift a song above the mundane. Creation continued to plug away with single releases, four tracks being lifted from the album, all of which made an impact on the charts. 'Hermann Loves Pauline' (single 252) reached No.26 , with follow-up 'The International Language of Screaming' (single 269) going two places better. The sparkling 'Play It Cool' (single 275) and gorgeously plaintive 'Demons' (single 283) both reached No.27. There was some consternation when the album was scheduled for release in August 1997, just a few days after the much awaited Oasis album, Be Here Now, but it still went top ten, peaking at number eight, taking the band into the major league despite the consistent failure of their singles to break the top twenty. More important than the success, however, was the sheer quality of their work, inspired by a horror of being ordinary. "A flirt with mediocrity comes with a heavy penalty," intones singer Gruff Rhys on 'Demons', but thankfully the Super Furry Animals never come close to flirting.
CRE 215
Bob Mould - The Last Dog And Pony Show
1) New #1
2) Moving Trucks
3) Taking Everything
4) First Drag Of The Day
5) Classifieds
6) Who Was Around?
7) Skintrade
8) Vaporub
9) Sweet Serene
10) Megamanic
11) Reflecting Pool
12) Along The Way


August 1998 saw Bob Mould's last release on Creation and this marked an end of an era in more ways than one. The title hinted at some sort of conclusion and following a brief promotional tour in support of the album Mould announced he would no longer be playing with a traditional guitar-based band and embarked on an in-depth exploration of other musical genres, in the words of his website (, "finding different musical avenues to explore and leaving [the] trademark tower of guitars behind." It would be four years before his next album release and some seven before he once again took to the stage in a traditional rock and roll band. There are few hints at the change in direction here, apart from the obvious 'Megamanic' which stands out among the more standard Mould fare with an almost rapped vocal, sharp keyboards and a heavy drum backing. Otherwise, this is pretty much more of the same, though the whole collection sounds more laid back than previous Mould outings. Not that lyrically Mould is any more emotionally secure, but the music often lacks the intense fury of Copper Blue or Beaster and comes across as much more confident and assured. This new-found calmness is sometimes at odds with Mould's inner turmoil and only halfway through the opening track the singer is already declaring, "I need to cleanse my soul / These thoughts will make me lose control / So if I lose control, don't leave me / You've got to be here, no matter what happens." Despite Mould's protestations that the album is not autobiographical, this is not convincing: we seldom depart from his his pet lyrical themes and when he cries, "how can anyone describe who they are in a page or less?", he sounds like a man talking from experience. Creation put out only one single to promote the album, a seven-inch vinyl-only release of 'Classifieds' backed by 'Moving Trucks' (single 206), the former the liveliest number on the collection and another prime example of Mould's ability to tap into an unending supply of light, appealing melodies. There's some really decent stuff here, with 'Who Was Around?' the undoubted highlight, powerful, melodic and intricate with the right amount of crashing guitars. Not a bad way to sign off.
CRE 216
Kevin Rowland - My Beauty
1) The Greatest Love Of All
2) Rag Doll
3) Concrete And Clay
4) Daydream Believer
5) This Guy's In Love With You
6) The Long And Winding Road
7) It's Getting Better
8) I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top
9) Labelled With Love (I'll Stay With My Dreams)
10) Reflections Of My Life
11) You'll Never Walk Alone


Seldom in the history of music has a record been so overshadowed by the controversy surrounding its cover art, but Kevin Rowland's decision to pose half naked in suspenders and make-up on the front of his September 1999 solo outing My Beauty was responsible for far more column inches than the music on the album itself. Having battled with drug addiction Rowland only pulled himself around with the help of some (largely) sixties classic records and he comments on the lovingly-printed, high-gloss sleeve, "After being so lost and seeing only ugliness in the world, these songs started to penetrate my frightened world. They re-awakened something I'd only fleetingly sensed before ... it was beauty ... These songs showed me my definition of beauty. My beauty. I realised I needed to record them before I could do anything else." Cathartic as they may be, we are certainly no fans of any artist's Pin-Ups moment. Albums of covers are invariably patchy as any listener's interpretation and feel for a song will be something personal and unique; often invoking feelings and emotions any other rendition can only fail to capture, leaving at best disappointment and at worst annoyance. Of course, there are the rare moments when a cover version actually strikes a chord inside and surpasses the original, but on a whole collection it is unlikely more than one or two will hit these heights. This is as true on My Beauty as on any other album of its ilk. Rowland produces a reasonable series of covers in his own unmistakeable style, but he seldom raises any bars. On occasion his voice fails to capture the range of a song, on occasion he changes words to tie in better with his own emotional state, and on occasion the arrangements are too grand for the singer's approach; all down sides. But when he gets it right, he produces something pretty decent: 'It's Getting Better' and 'Reflections Of My Life' are the undoubted highlights, with Rowland oozing sincerity. The competent 'Concrete And Clay' was released as a single (single 322); it was a massive flop and reportedly the lowest selling record in Creation history. Of course this had more to do with its cover and not its quality, but for those few who bought the single or the album, there really isn't an enormous amount to love.
CRE 217
Ivor Cutler - A Wet Handle
1) Her Tissues
2) An American Drink
3) One Day
4) Out Of Decency
5) My Disposition
6) No I Won't
7) It's Stupid
8) By The Bush
9) The Thatcher Generation
10) My Vest
11) Goosie
12) When It Wants
13) Her Zimmer


14) The Farmer's Wife
15) Bets
16) Just In Time
17) The Specific Sundry
18) Just Listen
19) The Breaking Point
20) Spring Back
21) Hell
22) A Man
23) The Place
24) Hello Explorer!

.... 83 tracks
Creation continued its unique approach to building its artistic roster by resurrecting the recording career of 74-year-old Scottish poet, songwriter and humorist, Ivor Cutler. A regular favourite over many years on the John Peel Show on BBC Radio 1, Cutler had released his first album back in 1959, had appeared in The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour film in 1967, and had twelve albums behind him by the time A Wet Handle was released, his first collection in some eleven years. Consisting of 83 short snippets, each divided by a short phrase on the harmonium, Cutler narrates his tales in a deadpan style with the minimum of inflection. His stories are often surreal and often leave the listeners to form their own conclusions. "The lady took the lad in her arms / Kissed his leafy curls / Then dumped him in the horse trough / She turned to her husband / 'You're right, Cecil. It's not much fun any more.' / Took up her zimmer and moved on." You'd be a hard person indeed not to smile at some of Cutler's angular tales, but they may not be everybody's cup of tea. Difficult to rate, this one.
CRE 218
Arnold - The Barn Tapes
1) Float My Boat
2) Calling Ira Jones
3) Face
4) Dog On The Stairs
5) Windsor Park
6) Sun
7) 2 Chairs
8) Medication Time

According to Creation's press release in May 1997, Alan McGee ended his policy of not signing any new bands for the 'foreseeable future' when he heard some demos by Arnold (though Creation were releasing records by plenty of new acts) and handed them £1,000 to lay down some more recordings. The results were these eight numbers, taped over a two-week period in a mediæval barn in Kent and thought decent enough by the boss for Creation to immediately package them on to a ten-inch vinyl album and a threefold digipak CD release. The terribly-named Arnold (apparently after bassist Phil Payne's dog) were a London trio, playing music on the folk side of rock, ranging from all-out ringing rockers to elegaic slower numbers. The quality of the recordings is obviously less than perfect, but they capture the essence of a band capable of producing moments of great delicacy as well as one with the ability to grind things out. 'Calling Ira Jones' is a pleasingly messy trawl through the blues, while 'Dog On The Stairs' is heavy and menacing, throwing out hints of the Beatles' White Album and featuring a thumping guitar solo from Mark Saxby, the writer of all of Arnold's lyrics and the composer of most of the music. Like all great tunes, it simply stops when it has done enough, immediately leading into another of the album's highlights, 'Windsor Park' (later re-recorded and released as single 300), achingly pretty with beautiful vocals from drummer Phil Morris. The vocalist also shines on 'Face', another cultured slower number, though not every track is as convincing with 'Float My Boat', 'Sun' and the instrumental 'Medication Time' not quite firing on all cylinders. Five and half minutes into the final track we get a hidden extra with a dancy beat which neither adds nor detracts from the whole. All in all, promising stuff.
CRE 219
Oasis - Be Here Now
1) D'You Know What I Mean?
2) My Big Mouth
3) Magic Pie
4) Stand By Me
5) I Hope, I Think, I Know
6) The Girl In The Dirty Shirt
7) Fade In-Out
8) Don't Go Away
9) Be Here Now
10) All Around The World
11) It's Gettin' Better (Man!!)
12) All Around The World (Reprise)

How many guitar tracks does it take to change the face of music? Be Here Now was probably the most eagerly anticipated album in the history of British music, was feted on its release, and is now blamed for not only snuffing out the glory of Britpop, but for being an equal menace to global warming. Yes, Oasis' 70-minute, cocaine-fuelled epic is overlong and sounds like it was recorded in a wardrobe by a guitar fetishist, but it is neither as good as it was initially proclaimed nor as bad as it is currently considered. Coming in at twelve tracks (eleven if you consider the fact that 'All Around The World' is on there twice), it runs in at over six minutes per song, some of which hit the spot and some of which are probably the weakest of Noel Gallagher's compositions to this point. That the band ever managed to get anything released appears little short of miraculous, however, with co-producer Owen Morris relating to Q magazine sorry tales of how troubled the sessions were, with "big fights, bad vibes and shit recordings." He's certainly not wrong on the latter score, with the vinyl (double) album sounding mired and the CD little better. Half of the time Liam Gallagher's vocals are fighting against a mountain of noise, with so many backing tracks laid down (in order to create a 'big' sound) that the result is little more than a hellish mess. Nevertheless, he does a fine job and it is a testament to his brother's songwriting skills that, despite all the problems, there are a number of songs that emerge sounding pretty damn good. Be Here Now is the rockiest of the band's albums and it is when Oasis are hitting hard that this album sounds at its best. 'Fade In-Out' is a stormer, with a different edge to the band's usual fare, 'Be Here Now' is punchy and has whistling on it (which automatically makes it great), 'It's Getting Better (Man!!)' screams nicely, and 'All Around The World' (single 282 - all nine minutes of it) does quite a lot right. In fact all three of the singles are there or thereabouts with 'D'You Know What I Mean' (single 256) and 'All Around The World' reaching No.1 in the charts and 'Stand By Me' (single 278) making No.2. Be Here Now became the UK's fastest selling album ever, shifting some 420,000 copies on the day of its release and one million in two weeks. It proved to be the last album from the band's classic line-up, with Paul Arthurs and Paul McGuigan leaving shortly before the release of 2000's transitional Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants.
CRE 220
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