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David Cavanagh

The Creation Records Story - My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry For The Prize

    Out of print for many years and regarded as one of the greatest music books ever written, My Magpie Eyes are Hungry for the Prize: The Creation Records Story is the definitive account of the iconic British record label, republished for the label's 40th anniversary.

    'The greatest book ever written on British independent music' Guardian 'One of the best British music books of the last ten years' Mojo

    Founded by Alan McGee in 1983, Creation Records achieved notoriety as the home of Primal Scream, the Jesus and Mary Chain and other anti-Establishment acts. During the Britpop boom of the mid-90s, the astonishing success of Oasis brought Creation fame on the world stage. In 1999, however, McGee announced his shock departure as his label's influence over a generation of British music came to a confusing and disappointing end. Containing interviews with Creation musicians, employees, supporters and detractors, this is the inside story of Creation Records - and of British music since the 1980s.

    The Creation

    Psychedelic Rose

      The Creation was formed in 1966 from beat combo The Mark Four, and was quickly signed to a production deal with Shel Talmy, The Who’s producer. The first release was the urgent “Making Time”, which featured guitarist Eddie Phillips playing his guitar with a violin bow, two years before Jimmy Page started doing so.

      In January 1985, The Mark Four reformed for a one-off show in Cheshunt, and subsequently Eddie Phillips and original lead vocalist Kenny Pickett reunited to make some new Creation recordings. At the time, only two tracks – “Spirit Called Love” and a new version of “Making Time” – were issued as a single in 1987, before the record label went out of business. These two tracks plus the remainder of the recordings were finally issued as the album “Psychedelic Rose” in 2004.


      1. Lay The Ghost
      2. Psychedelic Rose
      3. Radio Beautiful
      4. United
      5. Doing It My Way
      6. Making Time [new Version]
      7. Far From Paradise
      8. White Knight
      9. Spirit Called Love 

      The Creation

      Power Surge

        The Creation was formed in 1966 from beat combo The Mark Four, and was quickly signed to a production deal with Shel Talmy, The Who’s producer. The first release was the urgent “Making Time”, which featured guitarist Eddie Phillips playing his guitar with a violin bow, two years before Jimmy Page started doing so.

        Creation Records founder Alan McGee named his label after the band, and named his band Biff Bang Pow after one of their songs. So perhaps it was no surprise when in 1995 he came up with the idea of The Creation recording a song called “Creation” to be released on the Creation label. In the wake of reunion shows at The Mean Fiddler in 1993 and 1995, the original line-up re-convened, and the recordings expanded into an album. “Power Surge” was released in 1996.


        1. Creation
        2. Power Surge
        3. Someone’s Gonna Bleed
        4. Shock Horror
        5. That’s How I Found Love
        6. Killing Song
        7. Nobody Wants To Know
        8. City Life
        9. English Language
        10. Free Men Live Forever
        11. Ghost Division
        12. O+N 

        The Illicits

        Left Behind / Born Slippy

          The Illicits are the leaders of the next generation. The four-piece band from Blackburn, newly-signed by Alan McGee to his Creation 23, are the vital, essential guitar band the UK music scene has been waiting for, creating what Alan McGee has described as “terrace punk”.

          With their blistering live shows, The Illicits are bringing people together, speaking to their peers in the north and documenting life in the post-industrial northern towns and cities. The band’s euphoric take on punk rock is instilling confidence and swagger into the northern music scene, and increasingly resonating with kids up and down the country as word spreads.

          “Left Behind” features Sex Pistols legend Steve Jones on guitar, and is an urgent, anthemic slice of punk rock. Steve recorded his part at Atticus Ross’ (Nine Inch Nails) studio in LA. The cover of the Underworld classic “Born Slippy” has become a firm fan favourite at live shows, with the band encoring with the 90s classic.

          The Illicits became the first band ever to appear on Soccer AM without releasing any music when they performed live on the show earlier this year. This latest AA side release follows the vinyl-only release of debut single “In What World”. The record sold-out on pre-sales alone, entering the vinyl charts at Number 4 on release. To date the band have focused on physical releases only, avoiding streaming as they’ve built their reputation on word of mouth. 

          The New Creation

          The Fish Song / Elijah Knows

          The New Creation were a five piece ensemble made up of family members Robert James Randle (Aka Rasheed Shakoor Sr) his son Keith Randle (aka Rasheed Shakoor Jr) their nephew/cousin Mel Houston. Mel’s stepfather William Cooper (aka Wali Ali) and a fifth unrelated member Wayne E-2X.
          The creator of The New Creation was William Cooper a guitarist who had previously worked with Norman Whitfield at Motown and had toured with The Undisputed Truth and The Jackson Five. He had also been employed by HB Barnum as part of Areatha Franklin’s touring band an association that would be relevant in The New Creation’s story.

          The concept of The New Creation began sometime during 1973 when Robert James Randle penned the song “The Fish Song” ( credited as Robert 51-X) and William Cooper penned the song “Elijah Knows” amongst other material that never really got past the demo stage. Adding teenage cousins Mel Houston (Bass Guitar) and Keith Randle (Conga drums) and Wayne E-2X , The New Creation began performing through their affiliation to the African America political and religious movement , The Nation Of Islam with no lesser a person than Muhammad Ali, as a support act to his Celebrity Boxing Promotion Tours. They also toured as a support act to one of Philadelphia’s most well known soul groups, The Delfonic’s.
          During the summer of 1974, under the tutelage of HB Barnum, The New Creation entered the Devonshire Recording Studio’s in North Hollywood to lay down the basic tracks of the above two songs with HB later adding the horn arrangements. The group pressed 2000 copies (plus a later 500) on their own Salaam label. They initially began to seek out radio airplay, unfortunately this wasn’t to be too forthcoming as the majority of radio stations considered “The Fish Song” to have been recorded as a commercial song , (which the group had no intention of) and demanded extortionate fees to promote. Therefore The New Creation were left with no choice but to promote their own product which they did by mail order and appearances throughout Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver (Colorado), Cleveland and New York selling their 45, for $5 each complete with a homemade promotional brochure.

          With the groups growing popularity came the need for more rehearsals which sometimes lasted till three in the morning the teenage members of the group parents feared this would compound upon their High School work and so pulled them out of the group. They were replaced briefly by older members before the group broke up for good.

          The New Creation’s “The Fish Song/Elijah Knows” is now a highly regarded and sought after 45 with sweet and harmony soul collector’s in Europe and it’s native USA.


          Side 1

          1. "The Fish Song" (3:25)

          Side 2

          1. "Elijah Knows" (3:55)

          Leon's Creation

          This Is The Beginning

            The first reissue of this private press late 1970 San Franciscan psychedelic soul masterpiece. Led by Leon Patillo, this self-contained group took their influences from Sly And The Family Stone and Santana. Patillo would later go on to sing with his heroes Santana on their ‘Borboletta’ and ‘Festival’ albums before establishing himself as a successful gospel singer.

            The Creation

            Creation Theory

              Alan McGee was such a big fan of The Creation that he named his record label after the band, and named his own band after one of their songs – Biff Bang Pow. The Creation was formed in 1966 from beat combo The Mark Four, and was quickly signed to a production deal with Shel Talmy, The Who’s producer.

              The first release was the urgent “Making Time”, which featured guitarist Eddie Phillips playing his guitar with a violin bow, two years before Jimmy Page started doing so. Whilst very popular in Germany, UK success largely eluded the band, and after a number of non-charting singles and line-up changes (including Ron Wood), the band broke up in 1968 without ever having released an album.

              Phillips and lead vocalist Kenny Pickett recorded an album in 1987 that remained unreleased until 2004, and in 1995, following reunion concerts at Harlesden’s Mean Fiddler, Alan McGee and Joe Foster managed to persuade the original line-up to record a new album, for release on Creation Records.

              Compiled with the assistance of Eddie Phillips himself, this limited edition deluxe media book presents a chronological history of the band. The four CDs include all eight single sides by The Mark Four (and three live reunion recordings from 1985), all of The Creation’s legendary recordings for Shel Talmy, in both mono and brand new stereo mixes, the 1987 album and the Creation Records album, and some solo recordings by Eddie from 1990 and 2011.

              The DVD features a lengthy new interview with Eddie, filmed in October 2016, five songs from The Creation’s two live appearances on the legendary German 60s TV show “Beat Beat Beat” (from the original tapes, three songs appear on DVD for the first time), and 21 songs from the band’s two reunion concerts at the Mean Fiddler in the 90s.

              TRACK LISTING

              CD 1:
              Rock Around The Clock
              Slow Down
              Try It Baby
              Crazy Country Hop
              Hurt Me If You Will
              I'm Leaving
              Work All Day (Sleep All Night)
              Going Down Fast
              Making Time
              Try And Stop Me
              Painter Man
              Biff Bang Pow
              If I Stay Too Long
              Cool Jerk
              Like A Rolling Stone
              Can I Join Your Band
              Hey Joe
              Life Is Just Beginning
              Through My Eyes
              How Does It Feel To Feel [UK Version]
              Tom Tom
              How Does It Feel To Feel [US Version]
              I Am The Walker / Ostrich Man / Sweet Helen

              CD 2:
              Midway Down
              The Girls Are Naked
              Bony Moronie
              Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
              For All That I Am
              Uncle Bert
              Making Time [instrumental]
              Painter Man
              Biff Bang Pow
              Sylvette [full length]
              If I Stay Too Long
              Cool Jerk
              Like A Rolling Stone
              Can I Join Your Band 
              Hey Joe
              Life Is Just Beginning
              Through My Eyes
              How Does It Feel To Feel [UK Version]
              How Does It Feel To Feel [US Version]
              Midway Down / For All That I Am
              Instrumental # 1
              How Does It Feel To Feel [instrumental]
              CD 3:
              Hurt Me If You Will
              Got My Mojo Workin'
              That's How Strong My Love Is
              Lay The Ghost 
              Psychedelic Rose
              Radio Beautiful
              Doing It My Way
              Making Time [new Version]
              Far From Paradise
              White Knight
              Spirit Called Love
              The Jimi Hendrix Trilogy

              CD 4:
              Power Surge
              Someone's Gonna Bleed 
              Shock Horror
              That's How I Found Love
              Killing Song
              Nobody Wants To Know
              City Life
              English Language
              Free Men Live Forever
              Ghost Division
              Woodstock Daze
              Good Times

              Eddie Phillips Interview
              Making Time
              I'm A Man
              That's How Strong My Love Is
              Try And Stop Me
              Painter Man
              Try And Stop Me
              Life Is Just Beginning
              I'm A Man
              If I Stay Too Long
              Biff Bang Pow
              Try And Stop Me
              Life Is Just Beginning
              I'm A Man 
              If I Stay Too Long
              Hey Joe
              Making Time
              Power Surge
              Tom Tom 
              That's How Strong My Love Is
              How Does It Feel To Feel
              Painter Man
              Biff Bang Pow

              For their fifth album, the Athens-bred/Nashville-based power trio the Whigs wanted to find the exact midpoint between raw and rehearsed. After more than a decade together - during which they’ve released four critically lauded studio albums and toured constantly as either headliners or openers for the likes of the Drive-By Truckers, Kings of Leon, and MGMT - the three members all agreed that they wanted to flex their muscles a bit: write some good songs, get them down as tight as possible, hit , and tear shit up.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. You Should Be Able To Feel It
              2. Asking Strangers For Directions
              3. The Particular
              4. Hit Me
              5. Modern Creation
              6. Friday Night
              7. She Is Everywhere
              8. Too Much In The Morning
              9. I Couldn't Lie
              10. The Difference Between One And Two

              "Upside Down: The Creation Records Story", produced & directed by Danny O'Connor, is the definitive and fully authorised documentary of the highs & lows of the UK's most inspired & dissolute independent record label - Creation Records. This is the accompanying 34 track, double disc set, compiled by Creation label founders Alan McGee and Joe Foster, featuring Primal Scream, Teenage Fanclub, Oasis, Ride, Jesus & Mary Chain, House Of Love, BMX Bandits, Boo Radleys and many more...

              STAFF COMMENTS

              Andy says: Superb compilation from the label that soundtracked many of our lives. Some amazing songs and inspiring attitude. But where's The Pastels?

              TRACK LISTING

              CD 1:
              1. The Jesus And Mary Chain - Upside Down
              2. Oasis - Rock N Roll Star
              3. Primal Scream - Loaded
              4. Ride - Leave Them All Behind
              5. The House Of Love - Shine On
              6. BMX Bandits - Serious Drugs
              7. Teenage Fanclub - The Concept
              8. The Telescopes - Perfect Needle
              9. Biff Bang Pow - There Must Be A Better Life
              10. Slowdive - Souvlaki Space Station
              11. Slaughter Joe - I’ll Follow You Down
              12. The Jasmine Minks - Think
              13. The Boo Radleys - Lazarus
              14. Revolving Paint Dream - In The Afternoon
              15. Sugar - If I Can’t Change Your Mind
              16. Swervedriver - Son Of Mustang Ford
              17. Super Furry Animals - Something 4 The Weekend

              CD 2:
              1. Oasis - Wonderwall
              2. Ride - Taste
              3. Primal Scream - Swastika Eyes
              4. Swervedriver - Duel
              5. Teenage Fanclub - Mellow Doubt
              6. Biff Bang Bow - It Makes You Scared
              7. Slowdive - Alison
              8. Revolving Paint Dream - Flowers In The Sky
              9. The House Of Love - Destroy The Heart
              10. BMX Bandits - I Wanna Fall In Love
              11. Slaughter Joe - So Out Of Touch
              12. The Jazz Butcher - Girl Go
              13. The Creation - Creation
              14. The Telescopes - Perfect Needle
              15. Primal Scream - Imperial
              16. The Boo Radleys - Wake Up Boo!
              17. The Jesus And Mary Chain - Some Candy Talking

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