Over a quarter of a century since it began and a decade after it folded, this is the definitive film about Creation Records, one of the world's most successful and colorful independent labels. This is the story of the rock n roll dream and its accompanying nightmares. Millions of sales on both sides of the Atlantic, near bankruptcy, pills, thrills, spats, prats, success, excess, pick me ups, breakdowns and of course some of THE defining music of the late 20th Century. This is the definitive and fully authorised story of the UK's most inspired and dissolute label, from the Jesus & Mary Chain at the Living Room to Oasis at Knebworth.Written by
Fairly informative documentary on this legendary record label, though rather limited in its choice of subjects
Creation Records was a UK independent record label active in the 1980s and 1990s that was at the center of several legendary movements in popular music, namely shoegaze, acid-house-influenced pop, and Britpop. UPSIDE DOWN, released in 2010, is a documentary by Danny O'Connor looking back at the label's rise, heyday, and eventual decline.
The documentary is centered around freshly-shot interviews with people recounting the history of Creation Records. The label's founder and all around colourful character Alan McGee is featured most, as McGee's initial obsession, increasing drug use, and mid-1990s crash offered the documentary's maker a clear dramatic arc. There are, however, abundant interviews with members of the Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Ride, Swervedriver, My Bloody Valentine, Teenage Fanclub, Sugar, Oasis, and Super Furry Animals. Other talking heads are McGee's fellow label co-founders and Creation office staff, and a few music journalists. A major lacuna is Slowdive: the only sign we see of this highly acclaimed band is the cover of their album SOUVLAKI. The interviewed musicians are also entirely male; the sole female artist interviewed is Heidi Berry, who only says two sentences (neither about her own music). It is strange that neither Slowdive's Rachel Goswell or MBV's Bilinda Butcher were interviewed to give a slightly broadened perspective on the label than all these lads.
The documentary will prove informative enough to someone completely new to all this, but if you are a viewer who is already familiar with some of these bands and passionate about them, there is little information here that you probably haven't already picked up elsewhere. For example, McGee's issues, the fact that My Bloody Valentine nearly bankrupted the label, and the label's merger with Sony had already been pretty hashed out in UK pop journalism. That said, there is a lot of great archival footage here that you may have never seen before, like some scenes of people off their heads in clubs during the mythical days of acid house in the late 1980s.
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