Creation Records Evidence

Creation Records Evidence

Evidence from Alan Mcgee’s interviews:

“I hired James Kyllo at the start of 1989 as a business manager. He’d just quit Cherry Red, and he was working in a Record and Tape exchange. We needed someone who had experience of doing royalties, of using computers, of the systems you needed to run a record label that was getting bigger. We still didn’t have contracts in those days – just a handshake and an agreement for a fifty-fifty profit share with the band. It was time to think about protecting our interests – though it was years before we signed anyone up to a proper contract.”

Alan Mcgee – Creation_Stories

“We were doing two mixes of it, a Weatherall one and a Terry Farley one. The Weatherall one was superb. But one big problem. He’d taken Bobby’s vocals off it completely. They didn’t fit with what he’d done, an epic house track. Bobby understood what a phenomenal song the Weatherall mix was but felt totally redundant. Robert Young had walked out too because his guitars had been taken off. Both of them were thinking there was no point in them being there if they weren’t on any of the records. We knew we were going to have a problem with Robert Young. Throb got into ecstasy and acid house around summer 1990 when the scene was pretty much over. Before that he wanted Primal Scream to be the New York Dolls and was threatening to leave all the way through the making of Screamadelica.”

Alan Mcgee – Creation_Stories

You’re a corporate whore. Told him to fuck off.
Everybody thinks you’re mad anyway, he said, and rushed out. We sent the little Indian packing.
There was quite a few of those type of scenes in the Bunker. I enjoyed them. People would come down and demand things of us and I’d just listen calmly for a while. And then I’d inform them, in great detail, why they could go and fuck themselves and in how many different ways they could go and fuck themselves and how they should get the fuck out of my office or I would demonstrate the ways in which the fucking fuckers could fuck themselves.

Alan Mcgee – Creation_Stories

“We had to keep talking to both China and Sony in case one of the deals fell through. There was a lot of debt we needed to resolve. On paper, we were absolutely fucked. The figures did not add up! But Sony and China thought I had some kind of vision, and that Primal Scream had the potential to be international superstars. They thought I had the vision to find a band that would become massive.
If the deal had collapsed, then that would have been the end of Creation. I remember our press officer Andy Saunders leaving to go on his summer holiday. ‘Call me if we go bust or if we do the deal,’ he said on the way out. There wasn’t a middle option. We survived. Sony bought 49 per cent of the company for £2.5 million in September 1992. The deal included an extra million to Creation to stop us
from going bust immediately. Our keeping 51 per cent was a clever way of slanting the publicity but it made fuck all difference to how much control we really had. It sounded like I was still in control but, contractually, they had huge power to influence what I did. To seal the deal I had to commit to give them the option to buy my 51 per cent of the company at market value in four years’ time. That was a worrying detail I tried not to think about. I wouldn’t have to think about it for four years but in 1996 I might have a problem. What they didn’t reckon with is what a stubborn cunt I am and what little respect I have for contracts.
I certainly wasn’t worrying about that at the time, anyway. I was a millionaire! I’d always said I was going to be a millionaire but I’d said a lot of things in my life that hadn’t come to pass. Surprisingly, one of the first things I felt was sadness. I wanted to tell my mum. I wanted to tell her I could give her whatever she wanted, that she could be proud of me. The next thing I felt was a burning urge to call my drug dealer.”

Alan Mcgee – Creation_Stories

The scariest thing was whether we would even have the money to put out Screamadelica. Scary because it was such a masterpiece. It had been a slow process getting it out of them because the band were quite messy by this point. They were available for work two days a week basically, Wednesday and Thursday. They’d be partying Thursday night through to Sunday, then need two days to recover. Two day weeks! They did not suffer from the Calvinist work ethic, that is for certain. And Screamadelica got made this way, while other bands were nicking our space.

Alan Mcgee – Creation_Stories

“88-92 we were in a constant state of bankruptcy”

I was convinced the singles needed to keep having Bobby on them or we’d lose his power as a figurehead. So we picked ‘Higher Than the Sun’, perhaps my favourite single we ever released on Creation, a collaboration with the Orb. It’s not an obvious single in many ways – you’d never have a major label release it. I always tell people I was more about the money than the music, and I still think that’s true, but – make your mind up when you listen to this. You don’t know what you’re hearing to start with, there’s no beat, just weird organs and long sliding whale groans before Bobby comes in and
sings. The beat comes in with the chorus and the whole thing is so euphoric and psychedelic, just beautiful. It’s basically a hymn to drugs, a celebration of where they can take you creatively, spiritually. It’s the music I’d like to have played at my funeral. We put that out in June but it only charted at 40. The whole office was mad about that single, and it was disappointing. But we knew they’d made something more important than that, something that would last the test of time.

Alan Mcgee – Creation_Stories

This was ’91. I had the Screamadelica thing happening. Now that album was really a compilation
of singles and some extra tracks that we’d fucking fudged together. No matter what bullshit is spoken about that album they were off their tits and we were trying to pull things together. We had no idea we were creating history. No fucking idea. We were just capitalising on the moment. We needed to get an album out. Five of the tracks, ‘Loaded’,the Andy Weatherall remix, the Sire track of ‘Slip Inside This House’, ‘Come Together’ and ‘Higher Than The Sun’ – which appears twice on the album – had been out before. It’s a compilation album right? And it got presented as an album.

Alan Mcgee – The Story of Creation Records

PH: How long did Screamadelica take to come together?
AM: Probably about a year and a half but there was so much drug taking and partying. It was spread out. Then Throb would phone me up and say, ‘I’ve heard this amazing remix. Hire Steve Anderson to do a remix’. I would spend £5,000 and this guy sent something back that was like Italian stadium house. This is not Primal Scream. Then I found out he’d got the wrong Anderson. It would be Paul Anderson.

Alan Mcgee – The Story of Creation Records

They gave me a £1000 pound advance on royalties, no payment

Once they found Denise, they let her run the show from there. Or, more precisely, her, Weatherall and Nicolson. For all the talk leading up to the album’s release and its immediate aftermath, music journalists had implied that Primal Scream had allowed Weatherall to run riot and essentially take over the band. This isn’t true for most of these songs, but with “Don’t Fight It, Feel It” there is an audible absence. From what I can make out from the recording, I cannot detect much presence from the band—Henry Olsen’s bass, Martin Duffy’s piano, maybe that part near the end of the 12” and album mix where those snares get loud might be Toby Tomanov instead of pre-programmed beats. But contributions from the three core members of Bob, (Th)Rob, and Andrew Innes are transparent if they’re there at all. According to Bobby, there actually are guitars on it, but disguised:

“Don’t Fight It” has got guitars all over it, so’s “Higher Than The Sun,” but it doesn’t sound like guitars. It’s a Les Paul guitar through Marshall amps on those records but we’ve made it stranger and I ain’t gonna let anybody’s lack of imagination bother me. (Needs, loc. 1170-1177)

Bobby Gillespie (Kris Needs interview, loc. 1170-1177)

This is completely false. I erased their guitars and did my own. I made the effect with my guitar pedals. Primal Scream could not make the effect I made and they have shown this in their live shows when they copy my guitar. They did not make it stranger, they were not there. This is insulting.

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