In this week’s NME cover story we celebrate Creation Records. As Mark Beaumount defines it in the piece: “Creation: a label by out-of-control outsider freaks for out-of-control outsider freaks.”
The story behind the label that brought us (amongst others) My Bloody Valentine, Oasis and Primal Scream unfolds in glorious detail, via first hand accounts from Alan McGee, Bobby Gillespie and Oasis’ Andy Bell.
Trying to cherry-pick the best 20 songs from this British rock institution is a bit like trying to choose a final, death row meal. Do we go for the burger ‘n’ chips option (Oasis), the foie gras (My Bloody Valentine), the veggie roast (Teenage Fanclub) or the single tablet of Berocca (‘Screamaelica’)?
It’s been tough, but here are 20 personal favourites…
1) My Bloody Valentine – ‘You Made Me Realise’
A sadly beautiful proto-grunge sonic assault. It attacks the senses with acres of twisted harmonies and desolate feedback soundscapes.
2) Primal Scream -‘Kill All Hippies’
Heralding ‘XTRMNTR’’s bustle into the outer reaches, ‘KAH’ is both stone cold cool and extremely catchy.
3) Jesus & Mary Chain – ‘Upside Down’
Their first single; a sharp, piercing statement of intent that hides it’s timeless melodiousness behind a glass sheet of feedback.
4) Primal Scream- ‘Higher Than The Sun’
A sweat-drenched, sun kissed echo of a song, that gently reveals itself as a troubled masterpiece.
5) Sugar – ‘Changes’
Chiming, seemingly autobiographical return for Husker Du legend Bob Mould with his power-trio Sugar.
6) Slowdive – ‘Allison’
Full of morning-after regret and fag stained remorse, a song which feels like the present slipping into a melancholy memory.
7) The Cramps- ‘Naked Girl Falling Down The Stairs’
Classic Cramps, given a shiny self produced gloss and about as much fun as you can have in a patented latex jump suit (see above).
8)Teenage Fanclub – ‘Neil Jung’
We’ve all been in one of these relationships. But the power of Norman Blake’s storytelling is in the unrelenting laundry list of one-sidedness he gives.
9) The House Of Love- ‘Christine’
Space-out, dead eyed chastisement from Guy and Terry on this throbbing classic.
10) Super Furry Animals- ‘Ice Hockey Hair’
An anthem born out of Gruff’s Vocoder-ized vocals and a lyric about memory and a mullet.
11) Teenage Fanclub- ‘Sparky’s Dream’
Just The Fannies are gee, schucks, Byrds-ian best.
12) Ride- ‘Nowhere’
A rudderless leap into a guitar netherworld.
13) Felt- ‘Rain Of Crystal Spires’
Lawrence’s Jonathan Richman-esque voice is in full throttle on this country-ish stomper.
14) Swervedriver- ‘Rave Down’
Fist pumping slice of dreampop for Oxford longhairs.
15) Oasis- ‘Cigarette And Alcohol’
You know this one, right? Still fresh as a (inebriated) daisy.
16) Oasis – ‘Wonderwall’
Even after all these years, it’s still all about the cello.
17) The Pastels- ‘I’m Alright With You’
A post-C86 postcard of jangly loveliness.
18) Super Furry Animals –‘The Man Don’t Give A Fuck’
A subtle anthem of modern discontent.
19) BMX Bandits- ‘Serious Drugs’
The drugs don’t work, part 1.
20) Boo Radleys – ‘Barney (…And Me)’
Lurches ambitiously from ‘Just Like Heaven’ strum to Van Dyke Parks-like orchestration.