Creation Records

Albums 221-230

Rating Key


CRE 221
Bernard Butler - People Move On
people move on
1) Woman I Know
2) You Just Know
3) People Move On
4) A Change Of Heart
5) Autograph
6) You Light The Fire
7) Not Alone
8) When You Grow
9) You've Got What It Takes
10) Stay
11) In Vain
12) I'm Tired


Having quit Suede in 1994 after contributing to two brilliant albums, and having seen his successful partnership with singer David McAlmont come to an equally acrimonious end a year later, Bernard Butler kept his head down for some three years before Creation announced they were releasing his debut solo album in April 1998. With label boss Alan McGee making comparisons with Neil Young, expectations were clearly high, but the album still managed to surprise on its release by its sheer retro feel, something unexpected from the most innovative guitarist of the age. Written, produced and played in its entirety by Butler, bar the strings and drums, there are very few guitar explosions and a surprising lack of an alternative edge, Butler delving into more traditional rock formats, gentle acoustic numbers and country-tinged power ballads. When he does let rip, as on the debut single 'Stay' (single 281), you are reminded that when Butler makes a guitar sing, you are talking choirs of angels. The single reached No.12 and with everything possible thrown into the mix, it is difficult to tell whether it is a work of genius or a troubled mind, maybe both, but on the whole it does the job. The follow-up 'Not Alone' (single 289) is equally huge, dominated by strings and given a sixties feel by its wall-of-sound production. It reached No.27, encouraging Creation to issue a third single in the unremarkable 'A Change Of Heart' (single 297), another string-laden ballad, which struggled up to No.45. Perhaps the highlight of the album is 'You Just Know' which is the only number dominated by screaming and driving guitars, though 'Woman I Know' is a pleasant bluesy epic, and the slow building 'Autograph' ends with some splendid carnage. Throughout Butler is hardly concise with barely a song under three minutes and a couple around the eight minute mark and the overall quality may have been improved by a little more editing. On its release many reviewers commented on the weakness of the vocals, but though Butler is certainly no McAlmont, he sings within himself and his voice is not unpleasant. Not what we expected and not what we really wanted, but decent enough.
CRE 222
The Times - Pirate Playlist 66
pirate playlist
1) Kill The Playlist
2) Liam Gallagher Our Leader
3) I Hate Ibiza
4) 66 Extra Shows Added
5) 3 Pages In Record Collector
6) Heroin Music
7) The Rise And Rise Of My Ex-Wife
8) Psychedelic Lunchboxes
9) Opinionated Pop Svengali
10) Song For Larry Clark
11) AOR To Metal
12) The Real Theatre Of Dreams
13) 34,323 Melody Melody Maker Circulation Figure

The last album from The Times on Creation, released in 1999, saw Ed Ball adopting the same idea as The Who had used on The Who Sell Out in that he attempts to recreate the sound of a 1960s pirate radio station, in his case Radio Jolly Roger. He doesn't go as far as The Who in recording adverts between tracks, but there are a few announcements and most of the songs run into each other to give a constant flow of music. Again, the titles of the tracks bear no relation to the songs and are another series of in-jokes at the expense of the music industry. Though this is annoying, the quality of some of the music more than makes up for it, the first half of the album being a collection of clean and attractive pop songs, gently harmonious and on occasion even uplifting. In fact, Ball here had material which could have formed the basis of a rather splendid solo album, though possibly the failure of 1997's Catholic Guilt under his own name had made that untenable as far as the label was concerned. As far as we can say Pirate Playlist 66 was not released on vinyl, which makes it one of the few Creation albums not to be available in that format. Without an a-side and b-side, then, we can only say that the first half of the album is far superior to the second and the tracks are lit by some admirably astute musical touches, the strings on '3 Pages In Record Collector' giving the song another dimension and the accompanying guitar and odd touches of feedback on the atmospheric '66 Extra Shows Added' adding depth and class. The second half of the album (track seven onwards) is nothing like the first, the music losing its sensitivity, acquiring a harder, less appealing, edge and tending to disappoint. 'AOR To Metal' is a decent enough instrumental, sounding like The Shadows with a thrashy guitar backing, while the closer is a pretty decent rocker, but they lack the delicate touch that made the opening numbers a class above. Well worth giving this a listen if only for tracks one to six.
CRE 223
Dexys Midnight Runners - Album
CRE 224
Primal Scream - Echo Dek
echo dek
1) Living Dub
2) Duffed Up
3) Revolutionary
4) Ju-87
5) First Name Unknown
6) Vanishing Dub
7) Last Train
8) Wise Dub
9) Dub In Vain


So pleased were Primal Scream with the quality of their Vanishing Point album that they handed it over to Adrian Sherwood to perform a complete dub remix on the tracks and, barely three months after the original release, Echo Dek saw light of day in late October 1997 to much critical acclaim. The band had worked with Sherwood on another unusual Creation release, a football song recorded with Irvine Welsh and On-U Sound under the banner 'The Big Man and the Scream Meet The Barmy Army Uptown' (single 194) which wasn't really much to write home about, but apparently the main protagonists had hit it off and were able to work together smoothly. Sherwood certainly leaves no stone unturned as he dismantles Vanishing Point track by track and creates his own Frankenstein's monster from the scattered pieces. Some, of course, remain discarded on the floor with the producer unable to do much with the more classic rock tracks such as 'Medication' and 'Motörhead', whilst he has a field day with the rest of the album, telling Webadelica he was happy to find "loads of space" in which to work and describing the final result as "one of the best dub things I've ever done." To ensure the band were happy with what he was doing, Sherwood insisted they sat in as he worked and the result is certainly an intriguing, moody listen with some numbers easily identifiable and others simply mixed to buggery. Undoubted highlights are the extremely unsettling 'Living Dub', the predatory 'Ju-87' which should be annoying with its incessant ringing doorbell but manages to maintain an overriding air of menace, and the almost ethereal 'Vanishing Dub' which sounds like the winding down of a pleasant evening and uses Bobby Gillespie's vocals to impressive effect. Whether Creation always intended to give the remix an official release is not known, but Echo Dek appeared in an assortment of odd formats, originally coming out in a twelve-inch white label vinyl version before appearing in an unusual manilla digipak with a magnetic catch, a box set of five seven-inch singles (one of them one-sided) and finally a standard CD issue. Both the CD releases carried the same unadulterated catalogue number.
CRE 225
Saint Etienne - Good Humor
good humour
1) Woodcabin
2) Sylvie
3) Split Screen
4) Mr. Donut
5) Goodnight Jack
6) Lose That Girl
7) The Bad Photographer
8) Been So Long
9) Postman
10) Erica America
11) Dutch TV


Another coup for Creation was getting the opportunity to release the fourth album from synthpop dance trio Saint Etienne whose first three offerings had seen light of day on the allied Heavenly Records. The album was recorded in Sweden in early 1997 with Cardigans' producer Tore Johansson but was not released until April 1998 due to Creation's commitments to the launch of the Oasis album Be Here Now. To be fair, Creation then put some resources behind the record, packaging the CD in a three-fold CD digipak with a slipcase and sixteen-page booklet and it reached No.18 in the charts. This may have been disappointing in some ways as previous albums So Tough and Tiger Bay had both reached the top ten, but it was now some four years since the release of the latter and obviously some momentum had been lost. With Johansson recruiting a whole band to accompany the synths of Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, the album has less emphasis on dance and more on traditional pop songs, though its tone remains resolutely familiar. And though the band reportedly named the album with the American spelling of the title in order to escape being labelled quintessentially English, the lightness of touch and the pleasant, refined vocals of Sarah Cracknell defy any other description. This is gentle, pretty pop music that borders on the inconsequential despite all efforts to beef it up. The first track used as a single, 'Sylvie' (single 279) opens with some sparkling piano, is carried along by a big bass line enveloping half-hidden Balearic breaks and Tubeway Army synths, yet still passes by like a summer breeze. The follow-up, 'The Bad Photographer' (single 290) is a melodic dream with its overlayered chorus, but disappears like a flash of sunlight on distant hills. The former reached No.12 in the charts with the latter making it to No.27. There is some good use of horns on the splendid 'Split Screen' which speeds along like an open-top MG in a sixties' movie, and the wistful 'Lose That Girl' and 'Been So Long' are lovely things, but like sand slipping through your fingers, Good Humor trickles away too quickly leaving little lasting impression.
CRE 226
CRE 227
3 Colours Red - Revolt
1) Paralyse
2) Pirouette
3) Beautiful Day
4) Cancel The Exhibition
5) Intermission
6) Song On The Radio
7) Paranoid People
8) Back To The City
9) This Is My Time
10) Be Myself
11) Calling To The Outside
12) Age Of Madness


3 Colours Red's follow-up to the intense Pure was released in 1999 and showed a much more sophisticated approach to their craft. Where the debut album thrashed and crashed with barely room to draw breath, the songs on Revolt are a lot more considered, melodic and approachable. Indeed, two tracks even feature strings: the searching ballad 'Beautiful Day' (single 308,) which became the band's biggest hit single, reaching No.11 in the charts on its release in January 1999, and the equally effective 'This Is My Time' (single 313) with its gentle verses and punching four-word chorus, which reached No.36. Both were preceded by the single 'Paralyse' (single 304), one of Creation's biggest cock-ups in being too long to be eligible for the charts and quickly withdrawn. The song itself is more standard fare in being a grungey anthem, with shouty verses, and a melodic singalong chorus. Elsewhere we are treated to blistering 3CR rockers in 'Cancel The Exhibition', 'Intermission', and 'Calling To The Outside', and more subtle numbers such as the excellent 'Pirouette', 'Paranoid People' and the reggae-influenced punk of 'Be Myself'. But here even the more furious tracks are more subtle than on Pure with some nice melodic twists. Five of the tracks were written solely by singer Pete Vuckovic, with the remaining seven co-written with guitarist Chris McCormack, though it was to be differences between the pair that led to the group disbanding at the height of their popularity following the Leeds and Reading Festivals of 1999. A later reformation in 2004 saw a new album released but it made little impact. Revolt was released in a limited CD version, featuring the video to 'Beautiful Day' and catalogued CRE227X.
CRE 228
The Boo Radleys - Kingsize
1) Blue Room In Archway
2) The Oldest Newstand At Hamilton Square
3) Free Huey
4) Monuments For A Dead Century
5) Heaven's At The Bottom Of This Glass
6) Kingsize
7) High As Monkeys
8) Eurostar
9) Adieu Clo Clo
10) Jimmy Webb Is God
11) She Is Everywhere
12) Comb Your Hair
13) Song From The Blueroon

14) The Future Is Now
When The Boo Radleys went into the studio to record Kingsize, they were aware this would be their swansong. It is quite possible Martin Carr was going through a dry spell creatively with the band no longer able to inspire him, as the end result is clearly the weakest collection of songs he had delivered to Creation and so meagre were the pickings the band were promptly sent back to the studio to add a couple of numbers that could be used as singles. That one of the greatest of the label's (if not the country's) acts should go out with such a whimper is guttingly disappointing, but in truth Kingsize offers few of the glories we had come to expect from the band. The addition of 'Free Huey' (single 299) and 'Kingsize' (about to be released as a single when the band announced they had broken up) certainly added to the quality of the album, though with sixty-three minutes of music on offer, a couple of other tracks could have been quietly dropped without detracting from the overall result. 'Free Huey' is the Boos at their riotous best, a blistering, buzzing, but still groovy, cacophony of a song with delirious harmonies, while 'Kingsize' is dreamily smooth and pleasingly uncomplicated. The album opener is another high point, 'Blue Room In Archway' opening mildly with strings before chopping and changing from a blistering chorus to its gentle verses. Other than that, the record fails to reach the same highs. There are plenty of nice touches, but they are found across numerous songs: the synth and guitar outro to 'High As Monkeys', the guitar solo in 'Eurostar', Simon Rowbottom's excellent vocals – but in previous albums highlights such as these would be found in each and every song and not rationed. There seems to be a lack of inspiration here and the thought that if you stick a noisy ending on a series of gentle numbers, that will still register as innovation. But the overall album feels empty, lacking the psychedelic flavouring and, especially, the achingly brilliant commercial gems of previous years. And did we really need the Bay City Rollers' pastiche? Two records on from a number one album, Kingsize failed to make much of a chart impression on its release in October 1998, peaking at No.62. We desperately want to love this, but we can't.
CRE 229
Super Furry Animals - Out Spaced
1) The Man Don't Give A Fuck
2) Dim Brys Dim Chwys
3) Smokin'
4) Dim Bendith
5) Arnofio/Glô In The Dark
6) Guacamole
7) Don't Be A Fool, Billy
8) Focus Pocus/Debiel
9) Fix Idris
10) Pam V
11) Pass The Time
12) Carry The Can (Reprise)
13) Blerwytirhwng?

Out Spaced was a compilation album pieced together mainly from the tracks Super Furry Animals had recorded for the small Welsh independent label Ankst. The spaced-out 'Dim Brys: Dim Chwys' was the first track the band had recorded, eventually appearing on the Triskedekaphila compilation album in August 1995, while 'Fix Idris' and 'Blerwytirhwng?' had appeared on the band's 'Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (In Space)' EP in June 1995. 'Pam V' and 'Focus Pocus/Debiel' were taken from the 'Moog Droog' EP of October 1995, which also featured an early version of future Creation single 'God! Show Me Magic'. Apart from the latter, all of these tracks were sung in Welsh. The additional songs consisted of the band's favourite Creation b-sides, plus 'The Man Don't Give a Fuck'. It had originally been intended to include this protest song as a b-side to the single 'If You Don't Want Me To Destroy You' (single 243) but its use of a Steely Dan sample had not been cleared in time and it was eventually released as a single in its own right (single 247). The track included the repeated refrain "You know they don't give a fuck about anybody else" over fifty times and on its release was reported to contain more uses of the expletive than any other record. On the whole Out Spaced is a decent enough collection of songs, though it would have been nice to have included the missing four Ankst recordings instead of the easily available Creation b-sides, though the rawer nature of these tracks (and the Welsh vocals) may have swayed the label's choice. Out Spaced was initially released in a rubber sleeve shaped like a breast, in three choices of colour: black, yellow and blue. We're not sure why either.
CRE 230
Ed Ball - Album
© 2012. All rights reserved.
facebook logo
Please 'like' Isolation on Facebook.