In many ways, Alan McGee’s Creation Records could be seen as the ultimate embodiment of post-punk DIY culture; built on fan-stoked dreams as chart-topping success took second place to a spin on John Peel’s radio show.
It was deliciously ironic that a label named after a 60s mod/pop art band would end up defining the 90s with Primal Scream’s Screamadelica, and then stumble upon that decade’s biggest band with Oasis, before falling apart as the next century barged in.
Now, more than 30 years having passed since Creation’s inception from McGee’s club nights, nostalgia dictates a sumptuous presentation which is almost the polar opposite to the cottage industry ethos which birthed the label, but it’s a handsome set, complete with epic account of the label’s birth and vivid memorabilia.
Now names dimly remembered from the mists of legend, such as the Laughing Apple, Revolving Paint Dream (featuring Primal Scream mainstay Andrew Innes), Biff Bang Pow! and The Loft are annotated and presented as recording entities over five discs of early singles, demos, rarities, Peel sessions and sundry other recordings, including the first releases by the Jesus And Mary Chain and Primal Scream, plus mothership outfit the Television Personalities live.
It wasn’t a more innocent time but audacious fun and being a fan rarely felt so good, neither did getting played on a radio show. That this spirit can still come across in 2015 is testament to the set’s ability to bottle the motivation behind Creation in a modern work of art.