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LPs from the Attic: The Creation — “Our music is red – with purple flashes”

August 2, 2010

The Creation -- Our Music Is Red With Purple Flashes

If I stay too long, it's because I love you

The Creation — “Our Music is Red–With Purple Flashes” (Diablo Records U.K., 1998)

I got hip to Britain’s The Creation after hearing catchy “Making Time” used to great dramatic effect in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore. The song, from 1966’s Our Music Is Red – With Purple Flashes, has a charming defiance that framed Max Fischer’s extracurricular eccentricities perfectly.

Loving the movie, and being drawn to the raw Brit Invasion vibe of the tune, I bit and picked up the Our Music comp. As I worked my way through the album, I was relieved that this wasn’t another one-hit wonder situation, with “Making Time” being the only consistent single on offer. The band, through more than one incarnation, wrote strong tunes throughout its short lifespan (“Biff Bang Pow,” “If I Stay Too Long,” “Life is Just Beginning,” sole hit single “Painter Man”).

But, I was also disappointed by the band’s calculated similarity to The Who. Producer Shel Talmy, who worked with just about everyone in the U.K. in the mid-to-late 60’s, clearly wanted The Creation to sound like them, having seen success when working with them early on. While this comparison amounted to some minor recognition, such clear bids for wider popularity also forced some bad moves (disaffected, cringe-worthy covers of “Like a Rolling Stone,” and “Hey Joe). This kind of shoehorning limited The Creation’s ability to develop into a more original-sounding group and surely contributed to their destruction. But, if you like sharp guitar-work and early freakbeat energy–if you like The Who and early Kinks records, especially–you’ll find The Creation to be worthy Mods in their own right.

Side question for fans of The Creation: Jimmy Page, who also worked as a hired gun on Talmy sessions in the early/mid 60’s, is widely credited with being the first guitarist to use a violin bow. Did he steal this technique from Eddie Phillips? Hit Jay up in the Comments.

  1. T. Stump permalink
    August 5, 2010 1:20 am

    When are you going to accidentally trip over The Easybeats epic offering It’s 2 Easy? For reasons I’ll not understand, the CD re-issue, featuring 11 bonus tracks, moves the record from “good” to “They’re real, and they’re SPECTACULAR!”

    When prompted about the Britpop rivalry, Liam Gallagher once said “No, we’re the Beatles AND the Stones, and Blur are the fcuking Monkees!”

    When I listen to extra tracks like “Made my Bed (Gonna Lie In it)” or “Friday on My Mind”, I think that Liam could have been talking about the Easybeats, who – for all intents and purposes – WERE the Beatles and the Stones. Just listen to that guitar breakdown on “Mandy” – holy freaking earthquake. That might be the baddest moment in rock.

    But then, you could always say “I call your ‘Easybeats’ and raise you one ‘Kinks’!”


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