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Alan McGee and the Story of Creation Records
by Paolo Hewitt
ISBN 1840183500 / 9781840183504 / 1-84018-350-0
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"I always saw punk rock as successful", explains Alan McGee, founder of Creation Records--Britain's most notorious independent record label ever. "I saw punk rock as a way to live your life with edge. I'm an obsessive character. And I was obsessed with Creation and keeping it going. I was putting these records out because I had to do it".
Originally a labour of love, founded by Scottish punk-rocker Alan McGee in a London bedsit in the Summer of 1983, Creation Records painstakingly built up a reputation as one of the most consistent indie labels in Britain throughout the 1980s, surfed the wave of acid house throughout the early 1990s and signed Oasis as the star of Britpop began to rise. At the end of the 1990s, the Creation empire crumbled into dust in the face of ever-diminishing financial returns and the hangover from a decade of rabid drug abuse--one which saw McGee, suffering from a number of debilitating cocaine-related breakdowns that almost saw him drop out of the business altogether. Alan McGee and the Story of Creation Records (subtitled "This Ecstasy Romance Cannot Last"), then, is both a biography and an official Creation epitaph, written by sometime Oasis biographer Paulo Hewitt. Hewitt's prose is more instinctive than incisive; the conversations that he has conducted with McGee and a dozen-odd Creation staffers, relatives and hangers-on are written up verbatim, which, on the positive side, makes this an easy, lightweight read. However, this chatty style neatly skirts any serious critical weight, and since few others outside McGee's immediate circle are interviewed (notable absentees include Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie and Oasis' Noel Gallagher--often referred to in McGee's tales of chemical excess, but irritatingly, never quoted) it occasionally leaves This Ecstacy Romance... feeling like a work in progress.
Undeniably, though, McGee is the fulcrum and it is his fascinating testimony--and weighty ego--that carries the story through. Skirting madness at every turn, Alan McGee and the Story of Creation Records is purest rock'n'roll hedonism, coming straight from the horse's mouth. --Louis Pattison [via]