Posts Tagged ‘The Creation’

The Eyes

Saturday, December 7th, 2013


Side 1:

Listen: The Immediate Pleasure / The Eyes

Listen: I’m Rowed Out / The Eyes

Side 2:

Listen: When The Night Falls / The Eyes

Listen: My Degeneration / The Eyes

Originally a West London instrumental band, The Renegades added a vocalist and became Gerry Hart & The Hartbeats, before changing their name to The Eyes and recording a four song demo at Rayrik Sound Studios in Chalk Farm. Literally one block away from The Roundhouse, the apartment turned studio was used often by The Graham Bond Organization, and as well to record ‘Wrapping Paper’, the first single by The Cream. Trojan Records cut dozens of singles there as well, including Bob & Marcia’s hit ‘Young, Gifted And Black’.

Clearly influenced by The Creation and especially The Who, The Eyes didn’t appear to be the most original band around. A MELODY MAKER review of their stage show included sound effect tapes and colored visuals and despite rather lame soccer shirt uniforms that featured eyeball images, they managed to fit into the London Mod movement for a bit. By early 1965, The Eyes signed to Mercury, releasing ‘When The Night Falls’ and ‘I’m Rowed Out’ from those sessions as their debut single.

Like the follow up ‘The Immediate Pleasure’ and ‘My Degeneration’, both singles got decent airplay in the UK and so Mercury decided to couple them together as an EP in early 1966, when the EP market was still fairly healthy.

Apparently very few copies shifted out the door, making for one of the most valued EP’s from the era.

Kennedy Express

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

kennedyexpressuka, Kenny Pickett, Eddie Phillips, The Creation, Kennedy Express

Listen: Is There Life On Earth? / Kennedy Express

I stumbled on Kennedy Express in some London collectors shop, I think it was 50p. How could the staff not have noticed both the writers and producers were Kenny Pickett and Eddie Phillips of The Creation? Aren’t you paid to know these things?

Better yet, how did I not know The Creation were essentially recording under another name? Bigger fuck up.

Okay, so ‘Is There Life On Earth?’ was released in 1980, when the band were traveling the has-been patch before legend. Not sure if The Creation were ever really has-beens though. Never mind, the discovery was the shop’s loss and my gain.

It was pretty 80′s sounding stuff but the Phillips/Pickett hooks were still obvious. This was around the time when ‘Teacher Teacher’, a song they’d written for Rockpile, became a worldwide hit. Proof there is a God.

Presumably Don Arden, who owned Jet, decided to give the guys a release. Clearly he continued to be an investor, given some seven years later, when Eddie Phillips reformed The Creation, he released ‘A Spirit Called Love’, also on Jet. That was during a brief period when both Mick Avory and John Dalton from The Kinks made up the band’s rhythm section.

Considered disposable pop by those in the know apparently. ‘Is There Life On Earth?’ doesn’t even appear in the RECORD COLLECTOR PRICE GUIDE. Possibly only for we hardcore Creation specialists. I can live with that too.

Again, their loss, my gain.

The Creation

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

How Does It Feel To Feel / The Creation

Listen: How Does It Feel To Feel / The Creation

The Creation, undisputed masters of British psychedelia. Eddie Phillips is as stellar a guitarist as he is a songwriter. He wrote, or at least co-wrote, most, if not all of their original material. Plus he was the first to use a violin bow on the instrument, combining his mastery of feedback with scraping, screeching chaos to ultimate effect. Jimmy Page later brought the technique mainstream on ‘Whole Lotta Love’, but fairly, has always credited Eddie Phillips for the idea. It’s also widely documented that indeed he asked him to join Led Zeppelin as second guitarist.

They recorded two versions of ‘How Does It Feel To Feel’ in summer ’67. Oddly, this one specifically for the US market, apparently deeming the violin bowed manic version more suitable to American programmer. Huh? Nonetheless, it’s a super version and top single to own and cherish, which I do.

In ’01, The Creation finally made it to America, playing The Warsaw Theater here in New York. I had injured my leg, it was a very cold November night, none of my friends wanted to attend, so I struggled along alone. The pain vanished when the musty maroon curtain lifted and there were The Creation, looking weirdly not a day older than those pictures from back when, sharp haircuts, great colored shirts and pants, but not dressed too young for their age. Sorta like if today’s Paul Weller would tone his image down a bit. Huge Union Jack backdrop. Sounding so powerful, my jaw dropped. Everyone’s did.

Bob Garner, original bassist and then sometimes singer, now permanantly on lead vocal, executing the red and purple spray paint free form psychedelic graffiti routine during the closing song ‘Painter Man’. Truly worth the 34 year wait.

Afterwards, I did my jukebox tab signing routine, Eddie and Bob both filling one out (see below). Flattered, appreciative, friendly, talkative, great, great guys.

Little Steven brought them back a few years later for his Randall’s Island Festival. Still powerful. Still one of a kind.

Above: Jukebox Tabs signed by The Creation. Eddie Phillips (left), Bob Garner (right)

Tintern Abbey

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Beeside / Tintern Abbey

Listen: Beeside / Tintern Abbey

Many years back, in the late 80′s, a friend John Stainze had stumbled on a bunch of Deram singles. I seem to recall them being from a UK Mom & Pop record shop or something. He called asking if I wanted him to pick any up, running a bunch of titles past me. They were around $5 each so I said yes to a few including The 23rd Turnoff record.

Amongst their stock was the sole release by Tintern Abbey, ‘Beeside’, of which they had five copies. I took them all, even though they were $20 a piece back then. When the box arrived, I was bragging to Corinne that I’d gotten five copies of this, and she berated me for wasting even money on more useless records, not to mention multiple copies. One recently sold for $1135 on eBay. She remains unimpressed. Now I just need to unearth the remaining four somewhere in the black hole of extras.

The record is often sighted as classic British psych, to these ears not unlike Love in parts. It’s truly up there with The Smoke, Tomorrow and The Pretty Things ‘Defecting Grey’. But that’s just one useless opinion.

Vacuum Cleaner / Tintern Abbey

Listen: Vacuum Cleaner / Tintern Abbey

Both sides of the record are often compiled on psyche compilations, and it seems many have confused ‘Vacuum Cleaner’ as being the A side, given ‘Beeside’ sounding like a clever play on words I’m guessing.

Not sounding unlike a Shel Talmy production, I suppose in a pinch, it could pass for The Creation.

For the record, drummer John Dalton is not the same John Dalton who played bass with The Kinks for centuries.

The Who

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Listen: Happy Jack / The Who WhoHappyJack.mp3

Pull this out and give it a spin. You’re bound to say, “Man I have not heard this in ages”. Well, my guess is you’ll say that. I loved all the singles up through and including ‘Pictures Of Lily’. Then came ‘I Can See For Miles’. Something about that one, it was good but didn’t hit dead center. Was a first real understanding of my body’s reaction to music. ‘I Can See For Miles’ may have been the record that set the template for an A&R career years later: if I didn’t love it – chances were good it’d be a huge hit. Hey, as long as you know how to read the indicators, that’s all that really matters. ‘I Can See For Miles’ was in fact their only ever US Top 10. Hard to believe I know.

Back then, The Who weren’t much different than The Small Faces or The Move when it came to US radio. You never heard them. Yeah radio was much better in the 60′s, but still fairly narrow. These bands just didn’t get national airplay – if they were lucky, regional exposure was usually the extent of it and then maybe a crossover….leads me to an interesting memory about The Who.

I and my Anglophile friends religiously bought every single by The Who. My teenage girlfriend and I missed our junior prom the night I got ‘Substitute’ it was so good – we just played it over and over and fiddled about, as someone once coined. It was the plan anyways.

There were a few shops around town that would get two to five copies of the non hits, or hopeful to be hits – like Walt’s Records or Smith’s Records or that huge record department in WT Grant’s on Salina Street in Syracuse. So starting with ‘I Can’t Explain’, we bought ‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere’, every single right through and including the immaculate ‘Substitute’, ‘I’m A Boy’, ‘The Kids Are Alright’ and this one, the psychedelic ‘Happy Jack’, which actually did crack the Billboard chart peaking at #24 in ’67. A few years later when TOMMY was released, everyone noticed a rock opera similarity between that and it’s predecessor, The Pretty Things S.F. SORROW, still we listened to them both regularly during several weekend Parcheesi matches. The Who finally made a return visit after opening for Herman’s Hermits a few years earlier. Even though in my opinion the glow of those earlier singles had dimmed down noticeably, of course I went along. TOMMY admittedly wasn’t bad.

After the show, a few of us waited around for autographs, brought albums, singles, the works. I wasn’t quite as fussed and brought nothing, but seriously, was there something better to do in Syracuse as a teenager than possibly say hello to The Who? When my best friend Denny went up to Pete Townshend proudly with his MY GENERATION album to get signed, the guy turned his nose away, dismissiveley refusing to sign anything. He proceeded to make his way toward their station wagon with band members including Keith Moon and Roger Daltry already inside waiting. Even Keith Moon jumped out of the car to oblige, looking at Pete with a ‘you asshole’ glare, I couldn’t resist. So I spoke up.

“Pete, you know those few copies of the older singles you used to sell in towns like this prior to your hits, we were were the kids that bought them.” As the car pulled away, plain as day, I recall him hanging out the window, wearing a coat that looked like a piece of ghastly ornate drapery, middle finger on both hands projecting at me and shouting “you got a show for your $6 prick”.

Hmm. Not really, you didn’t play any of the aforementioned songs I came to hear. Not one. Still it was rude, certainly embarrassing and I never bought another record by The Who. Big deal, basically my bitterness toward he and unfairly the other guys in The Who went unnoticed and I’m sure Pete Towshend never lost a wink of sleep because of me.

About thirty years later, his keepers were doing the rounds of labels trying to hawk a new, not very good Pete Townshend album. I was at Columbia then but decided to pass on the record, or more specifically on him, his talent to write those gems long ago withered in my opinion. Still, it was a very hard call. You’d be a fool to not want to work with Pete Townshend. Honestly, he is a higher form of life but I’d experienced his temper. Once bitten, twice shy.

‘Happy Jack’ really is a terrific single.

New York Dolls

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

NYDollsMystery, New York Dolls, Mercury, Shadow Morton

Listen: Who Are The Mystery Girls? / New York Dolls NYDollsMystery.mp3

It shouldn’t have been possible – that being when The Dolls reformed a few years back, they’d be any good. Let’s face it, only two of them were left by the time the reunion gained any momentum, and the whole point in ’74 was being young and outrageous. But surprise surprise, I saw them at Randells’ Island with a slew of bands (Iggy & The Stooges, The Strokes, The Pretty Things, The Electric Prunes, Bo Diddley, The Creation) all presented in a one day festival setting by Little Steven, and they tore it up.

Seriously, David Johansen, so thin he made an Olympic runner look heavy, but with absolutely no muscle tone, a skirt type pant combination, pearls, red nails and long hair not unlike Harry Dunn out of The Hullaballoos. What more could you ask for? Now, just as in ’74, when they were sandwiched between Mott The Hoople and 3rd on the bill, Aerosmith, opening the show with ‘Who Are The Mystery Girls?’ nearly caused a riot – it was so powerful. On that day, August 14, 2004, The New York Dolls unquestionably put on one of the best live shows I’d ever seen.

Boney M

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

BoneyMRivers, Boney M, Atlantic, Sire

Listen: Rivers Of Babylon / Boney M BoneyMRiver.mp3

BoneyMBrown Boney M, Atlantic, Sire

Listen: Brown Girl In The Ring / Boney M BoneyMBrownGirl.mp3

If ever there was a double sider, this one qualifies. Probably by accident, Boney M’s massive worldwide success, their cover of The Melodians’ Jamaican hit ‘Rivers Of Babylon’ was coupled with ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’. Who knew? The A side was such a smash in the UK (#1) that even the flip took hold, got played and charted on it’s own right (also #1). It was a time when Boney M could do no wrong, German accents and all, one of many consistent ‘phenomenas’ in England. When they get themselves worked up, they really get themselves worked up.

Boney M was everywhere – and seemingly all walks of musical taste liked them. I know I did.

BoneyMRasputin Boney M, Atlantic, Sire
BoneyMRasputinUSA Boney M, Atlantic, Sire

Rasputin /Boney M BoneyMRasputin.mp3

Their NIGHTFLIGHT TO VENUS album contained both ‘Rivers Of Babylon’ and ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’ as well a bunch of other classics: the title track, a version of The Creation’s ‘Painter Man’, ‘He Was A Steppenwolf’ and ‘Rasputin’ (which became the followup reaching #2). One of those huge selling albums, like we don’t really have much anymore, the ‘Painter Man’ track became a single, charting at #10, a whole year after the double A whammy peaked.

BoneyMPainter, Boney M, The Creation, Atlantic

Painter Man /Boney M BoneyMPainter.mp3

Somewhere in that team, good taste prevailed. Not only did they cover The Creation, they had a go at The Smoke’s ‘My Friend Jack’, Bobby Hebb’s ‘Sunny’, The Yardbirds’ ‘Still I’m Sad’ as well as Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich’s ‘Zabadak’.


Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

rockpileteacherusa, The Creation, Rockpile, Dave Edmunds, Dave Edmunds' Rockpile, Columbia, Nick Lowe
rockpileteacherukps, The Creation, Rockpile, Dave Edmunds, Dave Edmunds' Rockpile, Columbia, Nick Lowe" title="rockpileteacherusa, The Creation, Rockpile, Dave Edmunds, Dave Edmunds' Rockpile, Columbia, Nick Lowe

Listen: Teacher Teacher / Rockpile RockpileTeacher.mp3

A hybrid version of Dave Edmunds’ Rockpile from 1970. Actually, Dave Edmunds had just broken up Love Sculpture and John Williams, that band’s bassist, came along to play on his solo album, which was preceded by, and also included, the single ‘I Hear You Knocking’. That single in the UK credits the artist as Dave Edmunds’ Rockpile, yet in the US, as with the UK and US album, it’s simply credited to Dave Edmunds. Add to that, Terry Williams (no relation to John) plays drums on the aforementioned recordings.

Ten years later, Terry is still playing with Dave and now, Nick Lowe is as well; and their band is called Rockpile. Confused? Then re-read the above.

Well this was probably their biggest hit, and despite the proven pop songwriting talents of both Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds, ‘Teacher Teacher’ was actually written by Eddie Phillips and Kenny Pickett, flawless higher forms of life behind The Creation, as both members and songwriters. Glad to know they earned some money in the end. They sure could write a tune.

Kaiser Chiefs

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

kaiserruby, Kaiser Chiefs, Overseer, The Herd, The Creation, Andy Bown
kaiserrubyback,       Kaiser Chiefs, Overseer, The Herd, The Creation, Andy Bown

Listen: Ruby / Kaiser Chiefs KaiserChiefsRuby.mp3

One of the best UK singles from this millennium, no lie. The background vocals are lifted, or influenced, beautifully from The Creation. Whether by design or simply by growing up hearing all but formula AOR music on the radio – it doesn’t matter. Great call.

I picture it here, even though I despise colored vinyl. I mean, seriously, I really hate it. Add to that, a sticker on the outside plastic sleeve (above top) affixed crooked. Makes my skin crawl. Records should be as God made them, black. But if it’s the only way to get a 7″ of ‘Ruby’, I will adjust. There’s always Lexapro.

Drummer Nick had the best haircut in rock, identical to Andy Bown’s of The Herd until this recent US tour. Not to worry, it should grow back fine. Turns out we know each other from years ago, when I signed Overseer to Columbia. Nick worked at the studio in Leeds where the album was made, and shared a house with Rob Overseer as well. Small world.

And I must say, nicer guys you won’t meet.


Monday, July 7th, 2008

Free Me / Cast

Listen: Free Me / Cast

I hadn’t realized Cast scored eight UK Top Ten’s between ’96 – ’99, and more chart success into ’01. I always thought this to be a pretty under appreciated record, but indeed it reached #7. Very good. Well deserved.

I suppose it’s a bit too early in their curve to hear the press singing praises just yet, but then again I don’t read most of it, well any of it to be precise, so they might be. Except RECORD COLLECTOR and MOJO, but haven’t spotted a Cast mention in ages. John Power was the guitarist for The La’s, and it’s all politically correct to like them so…

I’ve been very lucky, ever since Howard gave me that Elektra job, I’ve gotten to visit the UK many, many times. Always liked hearing Cast on the radio there, it just was a natural soundtrack. But I’ll never forget when this came on one morning. You know those moments when a song is an everlasting imprint of a time and place on the brain? I remember that moment, right down to the weather, what I’d just eaten for breakfast and the hotel room I was in while listening to Radio 1′s Breakfast Show, readying myself for work. It sounded modern and perfectly ’60′s at the same time. I had to have the record that day. I immediately called my pal, Jim Lahat, at BBC London and asked if he had a copy. Bless him, he always made sure I got everything, still does. He said, don’t worry, it’s in your pile, adding ‘why do you want it anyways?’. He’s a riot like that. We were seeing each other later at our usual haunt, EAT & 2 VEG, which, by the way, a is killer vegetarian joint just down Marylebone High Street from his office. And Jim outdid himself, getting his Polydor guy to bike over one of the promo-only vinyl pressings they’d done as a surprise. Jim has a heart of gold this way, always doing generous things for friends.

So ‘Free Me’ has great memories attached to it. Despite endless plays, I still can’t put my finger on exactly who this reminds me of, let’s say The Who and The Creation for sure. Anyways, it’s a classic.