It wasn't all a musical desert around Oasis - CREATION RECORDS was home to bands like Primal Scream, Teenage Fanclub, Ride and My Bloody Valentine.
As the label draws to a close, what next for Scottish boss Alan McGee?
Words: Mark Robertson
'MCGEE SAID "I WANT TO GO OUT ON a classic”.' says Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie. ‘Make of that what you will.‘ This is perhaps a complementary remark about the Scream team's new LP Extw‘minator or a barbed criticism of the forthcoming Oasis album. the first Gallagher brothers record not put out by McGee. Either way it signifies the end of an era for British music - the end of Creation Records.
The last glowing embers of what remains of Creation have been raked over and over by the press since Alan McGee announced he was closing the label in November last year. But Creation was often overlooked as a
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Scottish success story. Despite its biggest export. Oasis. being Lancastrian. much of the meat on Creation‘s bones was home-grown
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'They were all loonies on drugs, butthey were decent folk.’
north of the border. The label played a significant part in bringing many quality Scottish acts to an international audience. It‘s all the more poignant that Creation's last release would be from a Scottish band. as Primal Scream are the only successful band to have been on the label at the start and there again at the end.
In sixteen years Creation went from a backroom concern to the biggest indie label ever. For a while during the 90s. every other quality new record was coming out on Creation and. in 1996. when Oasis were at their biggest. they held 7% of the entire market share of records sold in Britain. Not bad for a ginger lad from Hampden.
Funded with a £21,000 bank loan. McGee set up Creation Records with
ex-Television Personalities guitarist Joe Foster. and named it after the 60s psychedelic garage group. The initial
releases included artists like Revolving Paint Dream. The Legend! and Biff Bang Powl. McGee's own musical labour of love. In 1984. McGee's encounter with two introverted young men from East Kilbride called Jim and William Reid led to Creation’s first big seller: the Jesus And Mary Chain's debut 'Upside Down’.
Creation was always home to a few Scottish bands at any time. most consistently and successfully Teenage Fanclub, but along the way BMX Bandits, Superstar. 18 Wheeler and The Pastels featured among others. ‘Alan is very conscious of his Scottish roots.’ says Pastel's frontman Stephen Pastel. ‘He signed lots of Scottish bands: it was good for Scotland. We were only on the label a year and a half. We managed three singles. and we hold the record for being thrown off the label the most — three times. We got thrown off for really trivial things. We had an argument with Joe
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Foster [McGee’s deputy who recorded Slaughter Joe] over who was to headline a gig. him or The Mekons. who most people were there to see. We got the phone call from Joe the following Monday to say we were off.’
McGee stuck by his friends. and many of them. like Joe Foster.