Creation Records

Albums 231-240

Rating Key


CRE 231
Arnold - Hillside Album
hillside album
1) Fleas Don't Fly
2) Ira Jones Goes To The Country
3) Hillside
4) Fishsounds
5) Country Biscuit
6) Windsor Park
7) Curio
8) Rabbit
9) Goodbye Grey
10) Face
11) Rubber Duck (Parts One, Two And Three)
12) Mickey's Mother
13) Moroccan Roll (Part Two)

14) Catherine Day

Having blown away Alan McGee with their demos and recordings from Maggie's Barn, Arnold were packed off into the studios to record their first album proper, with Hillside Album seeing the light of day in 1998. This followed in the same vein as their previous thoughtful, pastoral balladry, though strangely the highlights are two tracks that had been heard before, the reworkings of 'Windsor Park' (single 300) and 'Face' (both originally on The Barn Tapes) being utterly gorgeous with a delightfully dreamy ambience, stunning vocals and lovely guitar work. The former became the third single to be released from the album and sounded as if it was recorded with the television left on in the corner, though this doesn't detract from the song, only encouraging a more concentrated listen. The latter is graced with a gentle wash of sound and is so soothing its guitar solo almost has to shake itself awake before blossoming into life. These two wonders are almost matched in quality by 'Fleas Don't Fly' (single 287), a gentle acoustic ballad with a mild psychedelic edge, the rockier 'Ira Jones Goes To The Country' and the pleasant 'Catherine Day'. 'Hillside' is also charmingly slow and pretty, 'Rubber Duck' with its 'I'm Mandy Fly Me' refrain builds slowly into a bigger electric sound, and 'Moroccan Roll (Part Two)' is pleasingly more urgent in a collection of moderately paced tunes. 'Fishsounds' (single 293) is possibly a little too lightweight to have warranted its single release and other tracks leave a little be desired, the folky 'Curio', acoustic ballad 'Goodbye Grey' and country-tinged 'Mickey's Mother' failing to climb above the average while the snippet of 'Country Biscuit' is completely pointless. With the album coming in at over 53 minutes, some judicial pruning could only have helped, and even more so when Arnold sadly fall into the trap of recording the worst possible type of song of the 'talking over wacky noises' variety, 'Rabbit' immediately marking them down. Indeed, they seem to like the sound of their own voices, with numerous snippets of conversation included, adding nothing to the whole. Some minutes into the final track, we are treated to another burst of chatter followed by what sounds like a rough demo to end the album. It's too much. Sometimes less is more.
CRE 232
The Jesus And Mary Chain - Munki
1) I Love Rock n Roll
2) Birthday
3) Stardust Remedy
4) Fizzy
5) Moe Tucker
6) Perfume
7) Virtually Unreal
8) Degenerate
9) Cracking Up
10) Commercial
11) Supertramp
12) Never Understood
13) I Can't Find The Time For Times

14) Man On The Moon
15) Black
16) Dream Lover
17) I Hate Rock n Roll
Returning to where it had all began, the Jesus & Mary Chain’s final album was released by Creation in June 1998, a seventeen track, seventy-minute offering that revealed the growing cracks between the Reid brothers. William recorded with the band when Jim was absent from the studio and Jim recorded when William wasn’t there. When William wrote ‘I Hate Rock ‘n’ Roll’, Jim countered with ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’. Both became singles, Jim’s track (single 296) opening the album with congratulatory horns and William’s (the band’s last release on Blanco y Negro) closing the album with seething guitars. Both tracks sounded as if they owed something to The Boo Radleys. Usually with albums of this length the offerings vary in quality, but despite the troubled recording and the less than glamorous production, the Mary Chain still manage to deliver a collection of raw and biting songs of a consistently high standard. The better moments include the first single Creation lifted from the album ‘Cracking Up’ (single 292) with its whispered vocal and reverberating guitar line, while ‘Birthday’ is bleakly appealing, ‘Virtually Unreal’ and ‘Degenerate’ noisy and driving, and ‘Perfume’, with its Hope Sandoval vocal, intriguingly ghostly. The best of all, however, is ‘Commercial’, its stuttering bursts of guitar broken into pieces, the song barely making it through in one piece, but always sounding utterly glorious. Released as a double vinyl album as well as on CD, Munki peaked at No.47, thus becoming the only one of the band’s albums not to make the top forty, the previous six (including two compilations) having all made the top twenty. The artwork for all three singles and the album was not particularly appealing and may have turned off the hesitant purchaser, but the relatively low sales and Creation's forthcoming demise left Munki as something of a lost album until it was repackaged and made available once again in 2011.
CRE 233
The Completion - Electronic Music For The Cinema
1) The Five Thousand Fingers Of Dr. T
2) Where No Vultures Fly
3) Are Those Water Rats Of Yours Still In The Pool?
4) Make Way For Tomorrow
5) Interference
6) Beneath The 12-Mile Reef
7) Killpoint
8) The Haber Process
9) They Were Expendable
10) Slaughterhouse 7
11) Running Speed


Another obscure one, this forty minute collection of electronic instrumentals was sneaked out almost without any fanfare or publicity and was the only Creation album release to be housed in a cardboard sleeve, similar to the ones used on the early CD singles. Pretty much as the title implies, this was a collection of pieces written for the cinema by Revolving Paint Dream and Primal Scream guitarist Andrew Innes, credited under the name of The Completion. We have no idea if they were ever used for this purpose, but as there are no credits relating to this, we must assume not. The tracks themselves are more ambient than harmonic and obviously aimed at creating dark atmospheres and oppressive moods. There are no tunes in these sonic deconstructions but plenty of repetitive single notes, disonant scraping guitars, whirrs and blips and obscure vocal samples. This isn't stuff you will be playing for fun; in fact it's doubtful whether you will ever play it once you have listened to it the first time unless you intend creating some intense psychological thriller with shedloads of brainwashing scenes. It's all pretty much in the same vein, so no tracks are particularly outstanding, uplifting or recognisable. This could give you a major headache if you turn the volume up. Another major oddity from a label that was growing increasingly unpredictable as it neared the end of its existence.
CRE 234
CRE 235
Technique - Pop Philosophy
CRE 236
Ivor Cutler - A Flat Man
a flat man
1) A Bubble Or Two
2) A Flat Man
3) Jam
4) Alone
5) What Have You Got?
6) What?
7) Out With The Light
8) I Ate A Lady's Bun
9) One At A Time
10) Living Donkey
11) And So Do I
12) Excitement
13) Questionaire

14) Bleeding Shoes
15) A Ball In A Barrel
16) Blind
17) My Next Album
18) Aquarium
19) Flies
20) The Dichotomy Of Love
21) Lemonade
22) Birdswing
23) Turn To The Right
24) Empty Road At Little Bedwyn

... 48 tracks
A year after A Wet Handle, Creation released a second album from the eccentric Scottish poet. A Flat Man was to be the last album Cutler produced, though he continued to perform until 2004 (when he was 81) and continued to publish books of his poems. In contrast to his earlier Creation work, many tracks on A Flat Man featured Cutler singing to his own harmonium accompaniment, hence only 48 tracks here as opposed to 83 on the earlier work. There is very little difference between Cutler's songs and spoken word narratives - they are equally as surreal and drily humorous. "What's your favourite jam? / Traffic jam, traffic jam ... / What's wrong with raspberry? / What's wrong with plum? / Howsabout a blob of elderberry on a scone? / What's your favourite jam? / Traffic jam, it's the jam for a man." Is there anything else you can say?
CRE 237
Hurricane #1 - Only The Strongest Will Survive
only the strongest
1) Intro
2) N.Y.C.
3) The Greatest High
4) Remote Control
5) The Price That We Pay
6) Separation Sunday
7) Rising Sign
8) Only The Strongest Will Survive
9) Long Way Down
10) Twilight World
11) Come Alive
12) What Do I Know?
13) Afterhours

14) Outro/N.Y.C. 2
With their first releases having met with more success than may have been anticipated, the Creation publicity machine went into overdrive in an attempt to turn Hurricane #1 into the next big thing. There is no doubt this had the effect of increasing the pressure on mainman Andy Bell and this was not helped when the first track lifted from the album, the self-questioning 'Only The Strongest Will Survive' (single 285) was picked up by The Sun tabloid and used in its television advertising, something that left the politically correct NME trembling with indignation and though the single became the band's second in a row to reach the top twenty, peaking at No.19, there is no doubt the controversy hurt their future prospects. A further three singles were released, none of them performing particularly well, with 'Rising Sign' (single 303) touching base at No.47, 'The Greatest High' (single 309) managing No.43, and 'Remote Control' (single 316) failing to chart altogether. All four singles were issued as two separate CDs to boost sales, but obviously this was not enough to lift their profile. The album itself, when released in April 1999 with a limited CD slipcase issue and a double vinyl release with postcards, failed to make the same impact as its predecessor, hitting only No.55 in the album charts. Whether the decline in the popularity of Britpop and its guitar bands was a major factor in this, or the fact Hurricane #1 had changed tack we'll never know, but Only The Strongest Will Survive is certainly a different beast to Hurricane #1, turning away from traditional rock formats to encompass a more dance-orientated beat and leaving some tracks doing a pretty good impression of Primal Scream. As with many of the later Creation releases (no doubt in the quest to appear good value for money) the album is overlong at 75 minutes and some judicial pruning could have taken place. 'Intro' should have been the first to go, a pointless and unappealing instrumental, while 'N.Y.C.' appears weighed down by the same curse as Oasis's Be Here Now with too much going on in the background to offer a clean sound. Of the the three later singles, all set to dance rhythms, 'Remote Control' is by far the best, Alex Lowe given room to breathe among the nice bursts of guitar. 'The Greatest High' sees Lowe's vocals tampered with, which is a shame, and the incessant eastern-flavoured guitars on 'Rising Sign' get particularly annoying after a while. The album is at its best when you get the second disc. 'Long Way Down' is measured and biting, 'Twilight World' funky and soulful, and 'Come Alive' rocking like a take from the debut album and using Lowe's voice to its best effect. The singer has his own song in the gentle 'What Do I Know?' before the album concludes with the soothing 'Afterhours' and the twelve-minute 'Outro' which again is little more than needless filler. After the release of the album, Bell quit the band to play bass with Gay Dad, informing the somewhat miffed Lowe that he "couldn't write songs any more."
CRE 238
Teenage Fanclub - Album
CRE 239
Primal Scream - Xtrmntr
1) Kill All Hippies
2) Accelerator
3) Exterminator
4) Swastika Eyes (Jagz Kooner Mix)
5) Pills
6) Blood Money
7) Keep Your Dreams
8) Insect Royalty
9) MBV Arkestra (If They Move Kill 'Em)
10) Swastika Eyes (Chemical Brothers Mix)
11) Shoot Speed/Kill Light


Despite its early catalogue number, January 2000's Xtrmntr (Exterminator), was the final album release on Creation Records and a track lifted from the album, 'Accelerator' (single 333), the final single release. It was quite fitting that one of the label's earliest signings should be the ones to clock out the label; the Scream's first single had been only No.17 in the catalogue, with Bobby Gillespie appearing even earlier than that on The Jesus & Mary Chain's 'Upside Down' (single 12) released in 1984. Xtrmntr pushes the boundaries explored in Vanishing Point even further, being a collision of dance, rock and industrial noise, and was credited by Q magazine as being one of fifty heaviest records of all time. Certainly the pulsating 'Exterminator' and the screaming 'Accelerator' are as far removed from the debut single 'All Fall Down' as it is possible to imagine, and a testament to how the band never seemed content to stay in one place for any length of time. Not all of the album is as assured as these two tracks, however, with the forgettable funk of 'Kill All Hippies', the painful rap of 'Pills', the seven minute distorted jazz instrumental 'Blood Money', and the freeform mess of 'MBV Arkestra' ranking among the band's least convincing work. Three singles were lifted from the album, the driving 'Swastika Eyes' (single 326), 'Kill All Hippies' (single 332) and 'Accelerator', a tornado of a track mixed by Kevin Shields which must rank among the best singles ever released by the label. Other highlights include the gentle 'Keep Your Dreams' and the punishing 'Shoot Speed/Kill Light'. Despite huge critical acclaim to this day, Xtrmntr really is a bit hit and miss. There's no doubt when it hits home, it hits hard, but when it misses, it misses by a country mile. The album was released in a double vinyl format as well as on CD.
CRE 240
Various Artists - Rock The Dock
rock the dock
1) Introduction: Irvine Walsh
2) Oasis - Don't Look Back In Anger
3) Cast - For So Long
4) Smaller - Aimless
5) Beth Orton - Best Bit
6) Dodgy - Found You
7) Chumbawamba - One By One
8) The Boo Radeys - Lazarus
9) Ocean Colour Scene - Foxy's Folk Faced
10) Doxx Band - The Line
11) Paul Weller - So You want To Be A Dancer
12) Billy Bragg - Never Cross a Picket Line
13) Rumbletrain - Haunted

14) Lovers - Transparent
15) The Chemical Brothers - Setting Sons (Live)
16) Gene - Cast Out In The Seventies
17) Primal Scream - Come Together (Original Version)

Another new one for Creation, a benefit album on behalf of Liverpool dockers with all of the money raised going into a charitable trust – the Initiative Factory – which intended to retrain long-serving dockers unable to find new work. The industrial dispute began in September 1995 when four hundred dockers were sacked by the Mersey Docks & Harbour Company after going on strike to protest at working conditions, redundancies and the introduction of casual labour. It only ended in January 1998 with a redundancy agreement reached, though the royalities from the record would also be used to compensate around one hundred dockers not covered by that agreement. All of the artists involved, Creation Records, and those advertising and marketing the album gave their services free of charge. Released in September 1998, this CD-only compilation featured previously issued tracks by The Boo Radleys and Primal Scream along with a live version of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ by Oasis recorded at Earls Court. Contributors from outside of the label included Cast, Dodgy, Paul Weller, Billy Bragg and Ocean Colour Scene amongst others. Obviously the quality of the tracks included was secondary to the cause and getting some big names behind the launch, and though it has some good moments, in truth the collection as a whole is not a particulary riveting listen.
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