Posts Tagged ‘the Creation’

The Creation

Our first introduction to the character of young Max Fischer in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore comes by way of his lengthy extracurricular resume—Stamp & Coin Club, Fencing Team, Trap & Skeet Club, Rushmore Beekeepers, etc etc etc. But just as memorable as Fischer’s list of exploits is the music that scores it: the fuzzed-out 1966 single “Making Time” by the UK group The Creation.

The song, which kicks against the mundanity of working in a clock factory, is cut from the same cloth as equally ecstatic mid ‘60s anthems like The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” and The Who’s “My Generation,” and with good reason: all three were produced by Shel Talmy, a Chicago native who spent the meat of the 1960s living in London. In The Creation, Talmy saw a band willing to push the boundaries of rock ‘n’ roll, and to explore the use of noise and overdrive in the context of melodically-driven tunes. Where the feedback Talmy added to The Who’s “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” was rejected by Decca Records (they thought there was something wrong with the test pressing), The Creation, led by singer Kenny Pickett and guitarist Eddie Phillips, were more than willing to crank things up to 11. Phillips even ramped up the noise factor by using a violin bow on his electric guitar, a technique that would be hijacked by Jimmy Page a year later when he made his debut as the new member of The Yardbirds and then, more famously, in Led Zeppelin.

Eddie Phillips was looking for was something that would give me a long sustain, and the fuzzbox wasn’t even invented yet back then. So to get that long sustain, I thought maybe what I could do was to get a thing that would make the bottom E play while I can hammer on notes on the top E. First thing that I tried to do was take a hacksaw and put a bottom E guitar string in it, so the windings on the one string would go one way and the strings on my guitar would go the other way and these windings would sort of rub on each other to make the sound I was looking for, which it did. But unfortunately, the hacksaw cut some scars on the guitar neck, and those scars were still there when Dave from XTC took it.

Biff! A violin bow scrapes across the strings of a guitar
Bang! The hiss of a an aerosol can releases paint on to canvas
Pow! As the violin bow pierces the canvas.

The Creation

Sadly, the band never scored a hit single during their initial run, but a decade after they split up, Boney M.’s Eurodisco version of “Painter Man” finally put The Creation in the UK Top 10. As it turned out, this was only the beginning of a wave of appreciation for the group: The cover art for their single “Biff Bang Pow” can be seen on the inside of The Jam’s classic third LP All Mod Cons, and, in the ‘80s, Alan McGee decided to call his new record label “Creation,” in direct tribute to the group. The label’s earliest signings—the Jesus & Mary Chain, Ride, Swervedriver—all shared The Creation’s signature fondness for noise and distortion.

The scant yet sacred discography The Creation produced during their initial two-year run has been compiled and released a number of times over the course of the last 50 years, but the Numero Group’s new collection Action Painting is by far the most exhaustive anthology to date. A beautifully-packaged, two-disc hardcover box set, Action Painting gathers up all the original singles recorded by the group’s original lineup and pairs them with songs by their first iteration as The Mark Four, as well as newly mixed versions of the group’s most well-known tunes. Like the originals, the remixes were produced by Talmy who, at 79 and legally blind, is still a genuine master of amplified fidelity.

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Creation guitarist Eddie Phillips comments about Action Paintingas well as the history of one of the most electrifying, influential, and underrated acts to emerge from the British Invasion.

We were on [‘60s music TV show] Ready Steady Go the same week Little Richard was on it. After the show, we did a two-week tour of the UK with him, which was a real gas.  He didn’t really come very often to the UK. But when you talk about an awesome performer—he really was that. It was just fantastic.

He signed my cherry red Gibson 335 , ‘To Eddie, Good Luck Always, Little Richard.’ After I left The Creation, I still stayed friends with Kenny Pickett, and I lent him the guitar in the early ‘70s for a short period of time. While he had it, the neck got broken. He called me afterwards and said, ‘I’m sorry, but I sort of had an accident with your guitar. Can I buy it off of you?’ So I sold it to him for 100 quid. Then, it ended up in the hands of Dave Gregory from XTC. Dave said he needed to bring it in for repairs—because I half-wrecked the guitar to begin, with using the bow on it—and, unfortunately, Little Richard’s autograph got rubbed off. How mad is that?

John Lydon used to say that The Creation was one of The Sex Pistols’ favorite bands, and they actually covered “Through My Eyes.” They featured [that cover] in that movie that came out about them around 20 years ago, The Filth and The Fury.Our songs crop up in strange places. They made a movie about Jimi Hendrix a couple of years ago, and they used “Through My Eyes” in the movie.

When I first heard Oasis, I just thought they were a ripoff of The Creation. Well, not a ripoff , but you knew they looked at our videos and listened to our songs. Plus, the way Liam Gallagher was onstage, that persona—it looked to me as though he got that from Kenny Pickett, because Kenny had this arrogance about him when he was on the stage. Oasis used to remind me of The Creation quite a lot. We actually did a night at the Royal Albert Hall, and it was a Creation Records birthday bash. When we were on there we played a few songs as The Creation with the original lineup.

We loved the 1960s Batman; I personally don’t enjoy the new Batman movies. I quite prefer the lighter, campier Batman with Adam West and Burt Ward. We got the title for “Biff Bang Pow” from those captions in the show when somebody gets knocked on the chin. We would actually open our live sets with the Batman theme, and we’d really rock that thing.

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Creation Theory coloured vinyl box

Demon Records will issue a Creation Theory in a new four-LP vinyl box set that charts the chaotic and haphazard career of sixties English rock band The Creation.

The four LPs include all of The Creation’s legendary recordings for Shel Talmy (producer of The Who, The Kinks, and The Creation) 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. (the 2016 stereo mixes appear on LP for the first time), We Are Paintermen replicating the 1966 German LP, the only Creation album released anywhere in the 60s. How Does It Feel To Feel rounds up the remainder of the ’60s recordings, and the other two records are the 1987 album Psychedelic Rose and the 1996 Creation Records album Power Surge complete the set.

Whilst very popular in Germany, UK success largely eluded the band, and after a number of non-charting singles and line-up changes (including at one time Ron Wood), the band broke up in 1968 without ever having released an album in the UK. Bizarrely, Boney M had a huge hit in 1979 with the band’s composition “Painter Man”. Phillips and lead vocalist Kenny Pickett recorded an album in 1987 that remained unreleased until 2004,

Only 500 copies of this coloured vinyl set (exclusive to Amazon UK) will be made. We Are Paintermen is on blue vinyl, How Does It Feel To Feel on yellow vinyl, Psychedelic Rose on red vinyl and Power Surge is pressed on orange vinyl.

This set has been designed by legendary designer Phil Smee and indeed the album sleeves feature photos from his personal collection. This limited edition Creation Theory vinyl box is released on 1st June 2018.

The DVD includes vintage performances from two episodes of the German T.V. show “Beat Beat Beat”, and fortunately the performances are live. The remainder of the DVD includes a 34 minute 2017 interview with guitarist Eddie Phillips.

Creation Theory - Amazon Exclusive Edition [VINYL]

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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, the band broke up in 1968 without ever having released an album. In 1995, following a reunion concert at Harlesden’s Mean Fiddler, Alan McGee and Joe Foster managed to persuade the original line-up of Eddie Phillips, lead singer Kenny Pickett, bassist Bob Garner and drummer Jack Jones to get into a studio and record a new album, for release on Creation Records! The results were issued in 1996, with a very limited release on vinyl. Sadly the reunion was cut short by Kenny Pickett’s death from a heart attack in 1997.

This limited edition reissue is pressed on purple vinyl, and features the original inner sleeve.

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Ronnie Wood in 20 Songs

Ronald David Wood, artist, songwriter, and one of Britain’s finest, and possibly most underrated, guitar players was born on 1st June 1947. His is a musical family: Ronnie’s older brother Art formed the Artwoods, who included Jon Lord, later to a co-founder of Deep Purple, and drummer Keef Hartley, who played with John Mayall and later had his own band.

Ronnie Wood’s first group was a West London R & B outfit that he co-founded as a 16-year-old. The Birds released a string of singles, with much of their material written by Ronnie, but by 1967 he had joined The Jeff Beck Group, as the bass player, along with singer Rod Stewart and Micky Waller on drums. The Beck group recorded two classic albums, and ‘Plynth (Water Down The Drain)’ is a track from their second, Beck-Ola. He also briefly played with The Creation, a band formed by ex-Bird Kim Gardner.

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In 1969 Art Wood formed Quiet Melon, with Ronnie, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones, Ian McLagan and Kim Gardner. They cut four songs for Fontana but they went unreleased and soon after the band split with the two Ronnies, Rod, Kenney and Ian going on to form The Faces. Ronnie Lane, Ian and Kenney had of course played together in the Small Faces.

Just prior to the Faces forming, Rod Stewart got a solo contract with Vertigo Records and recorded An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Downon which Ronnie played guitar and bass, as well as harmonica on ‘Dirty Old Town.’

A month later, The Faces released their debut album and it featured several Ronnie Wood co-written songs, including ‘Around The Plynth’ which showcases Ronnie’s excellent slide guitar playing. The album “Long Player”which followed in 1971, included ‘Sweet Lady Mary’;A Nod Is As Good As a Wink… To A Blind Horse, later that same year, included the Faces anthem ‘Stay With Me’, again co-written by Ronnie. The Faces swansong was 1973’s “Ooh La La” , which had another of Ronnie’s songs, written with Ian McLagan and Rod Stewart, ‘Cindy Incidentally’.

Faces
In between making the Faces records, Rod Stewart also recorded his own solo albums, with the second, Gasoline Alley in 1970, breaking through into the UK album chart, with its title song coming from the pens of Rod and Ronnie; it again features Ronnie Wood’s by now trademark slide. 1971’s Every Picture Tells A Story was the big one for Rod Stewart, topping the charts in both Britain and America. Once again the title song is a Ronnie and Rod co-write. In 1972 “Never a Dull Moment” came out, which included Ronnie’s co-write,‘True Blue’ as its opening track. Rod and Ronnie’s last collaboration was on “Smiler” (1974). ‘Sailor’ comes from this album and it’s so typical of their recording together.

In late 1973, the seeds of Ronnie Wood’s future career were sown when, along with Mick Jagger, David Bowie as backing singer, Willie Weeks on bass and Kenney Jones on drums, they recorded the basic track that became ‘It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll (But I Like It)’ in the studio at Wood’s house, “The Wick” in Richmond, London. In 1974 both Jagger and Keith Richards played on Ronnie’s first solo album, “I’ve Got My Own Album to Do”.

After Mick Taylor quit the Rolling Stones in December 1974, Ronnie helped with the recording of their album “Black and Blue” in the spring of 1975. From this album comes ‘Hey Negrita,’ on which Wood plays lead and is credited on the album as ‘inspiring’ the song. Two days before Ronnie’s 28th birthday he played his first live gig with the Stones on their 1975 Tour of the Americas…and he’s been with them ever since.

From 1980’s “Emotional Rescue” the title track, which features Ronnie’s distinctive ‘lead bass playing’. A year later from “Tattoo You” is ‘Black Limousine,’ a co-write from Ronnie Wood with Mick Jagger and Keith Richard. According to Ronnie, “‘Black Limousine’ came about from a slide guitar riff that was inspired in part by some Hop Wilson licks from a record that I once owned… And there was another guy called Big Moose, who I’ve never heard of before or since…he was an old slide guitar guy who had one particular lick that he would bring in every now and again. I thought, ‘That’s really good, I’m going to apply that’ – and so subconsciously I wrote the whole song around that one little lick, building on it, resolving it and taking it round again.” It’s an outstanding song

From the same year we’ve included one of Ronnie’s songs from his solo album,”1234″. ‘Fountain of Love’ shows Wood’s love for R&B; the album also featured Bobby Womack on guitar.

With the Rolling Stones hiatus in the 1980s, Ronnie worked with Keith Richard as the New Barbarians and collaborated with others including, including Prince, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Eric Clapton,Ringo Starr and Aretha Franklin. By 1990 when the Rolling Stones were back on the road with their Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle tour, Ronnie Wood’s guitar was integral to both their live shows and their albums recorded over the last two decades.

The Rolling Stones’ 1995 “Stripped” project features Ronnie’s deft slide guitar on ‘Love In Vain,’ the song had been included on the album “Let It Bleed”. When Ronnie’s slide guitar comes in about half way through the number, it turns it into one of the finest readings of this classic blues tune. We’ve also featured ‘Happy’ from Live Licks, which Keith Richard sings but Ronnie Wood helps to make such a great song with his excellent slide playing.

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In 2010 Ronnie released “I Feel Like Playing”, his seventh studio album; naturally, he did the cover art, and it is a great record. It features a string of guests and opens with Ronnie’s song, ‘Why You Wanna Go And Do A Thing Like That For’ which shows his love for Dylan but also his skill as a songwriter. It sounds like a song that must have been recorded by everyone and deserves to be more widely heard: a 21st century classic.

We finish our Ronnie Wood In 20 Songs with ‘Forever’, the closer from I Feel Like Playing, which features Slash on second guitar and we thought it the best way to go out. Get the low down on Ronnie’s exciting new book from the man himself. To pre-order a copy head over to Genesis Publications here:http://bit.ly/1QIJhLT

With his new book launch ‘How Can it Be? A Rock & Roll Diary’. The book is a deluxe reproduction of his ‘lost’ 1965 diary that chronicles a pivotal year in his life, playing in his first band The Birds and includes encounters with Jeff Beck, The Who, and Eric Clapton to name just a few.

Annie Nightingale & Bob Harris joined Ronnie on stage sharing in the stories and memories as everyone was treated to some great insight into the year that shaped his future. Also, on hand was Ali McKenzie, lead singer of The Birds, who was swapping tales of rehearsing in shop windows, gigs in Ealing and most importantly getting paid.

Ronnie Wood also previewed his new single, ‘How Can It Be?’, as well giving the audience a first look into some of the diary pages and the exclusive artwork he created for the book. Hats off to Ron’s mum for keeping the diary in the back of a drawer for all these years and the guys at Genesis Publications for creating a wonderful keepsake of an important part of rock history.

We hope Ronnie Wood plays forever, and continues to gather plaudits for his playing, just as he is on the latest Stones tour, on which his guitar playing has been described as “Awesome”. That’ll be seconded by all

Happy birthday, Ronnie.