Saturday, October 12, 2013

Creations Founder Alan McGee Starts New Label

Mr. California Toothpaste
The last we heard from Creation Records' founder Alan McGee was that he had "retired" from the music business altogether, after a creative swell that made him one of the key figures in the Britpop movement of the 1990's.

The idea was that McGee was going to leave to focus on raising his young daughter.

But now it appears that McGee is returning to the industry that both broke and bankrolled him. Details of the new venture that is detailed in the press release below.

In other news, McGee's old money pit Kevin Shields recently spoke of his time on Creation, along with some very Orwellian comments on the British government's involvement with the Britpop movement of the 90's that seems far-fetched on the surface. "Someday it would be interesting to read all the MI5 files on Britpop." Shields mentioned in a recent interview with The Guardian. "The wool was pulled right over everyone's eyes there."

The reality is that Shields may be on to something.

McGee was a big contributor to the labor party and even worked in shaping Tony Blair's administration regarding Britain's "New Deal" towards the country's out of work youth. McGee's influence caused Blair to allow musicians to receive government assistance while eeking out an existence in a band or other creative endeavor.

But once the Labour Party got what they needed from McGee-a hip facelift for stogy old political movers-they shoved McGee from relevance about the same time that the entire Britpop movement began drying up and bands like the Spice Girls became the mainstream poster children for "Cool Britannia."

Shields also discounts any potential sympathy concerning My Bloody Valentine's drain on McGee's finances, declaring "You know, people shouldn't sign bands like us if they don't want to take on that responsibility. It's like getting a pack of big dogs and not feeding them. We were taken on ... carelessly. I just wanted to focus on music but McGee and Green hadn't encountered someone like me before, a person that they couldn't control."

No doubt that these kinds of stories are the ones McGee probably doesn't want potential upstarters hearing, but then again, these are the words of someone who took 17 years to come up with a follow up to Loveless and then tried to charge double the price for America to hear it. Where's the MI5 file on that?

Instead, we only have the press release announcing McGee's new venture:

Alan McGee, the legendary indie mogul responsible for signing Oasis, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, and many other great bands to his Creation label before setting up Poptones, has announced his newest project, 359 Music. The label is a partnership between he and Iain McNay / Cherry Red Records, who will be handling the UK and abroad. MVD, who is celebrating 25 years of business this year, will take care of marketing and distribution in North America. McGee has given an open invite for artists to submit their music for consideration, and has promised to personally listen to them all.

McGee states: "Recently I found myself reinvigorated by new music again after being 5 years away from music living in rural Wales, and from which there has been much talk about how I will return to music. As recently talked about in the press, my original plan was to do a deal with major label backing in Japan. But when it came down to it I realised that I didn't want to come back to music through a major music label - that's not what I want to be part of. That's when I had a chat with Iain McNay from Cherry Red and we quite quickly put our heads together and developed between us a much better deal for 359 Music which will be a joint venture with Cherry Red.

The first ever person to ever approach me about music when I was 19 was Iain McNay from Cherry Red. That was 1980 and 33 years later Cherry Red still continues to send me publishing cheques for songs I wrote then. To me that just proves nothing but honesty and diligence. To me it makes sense and it excites me - it's where it all started and where I will have my, more than likely, last record label.

My vision for 359 Music is a launch pad for new talent and some ignored older talent. We intend to release on average a dozen new bands per year every year - maybe more if I find a lot of new talent I like. Hopefully some of the artists will stick around and make numerous albums with 359 but some will go on to other things and that is just nature of the musical beast.

Due to technology the world is much smaller these days and 359 Music will be run from rural Wales by phone and computer and the day to day engine room will be run by the Cherry Red team in London. So basically the day to day logistics of 359 Music will be handled by Cherry Red Records and the A&R signing policy and creative decisions will be my domain.

There is no agenda of 'let's be the biggest like Creation Records' - if in 5 years' time people who I respect and who love music can turn round to me and say 359 Music has put out some great music then that to me will be success. There really needs to be an outlet for new music artists that have been shut out by the system and I hope 359 Music will be that outlet.

So there you have it - 359 Music. I am extremely happy to be working again with my friend Iain McNay and to be again involved in the Cherry Red family after 33 years'"

Iain McNay adds: "Alan and I go back a long time, over 30 years in fact. Cherry Red celebrate their 35th birthday next month and we just continue to grow and grow. We released 623 albums (all on CD) last year, mostly catalogue but with an increasing number of new recordings. I only know of two other labels that have survived the late '70s Independent breakthrough intact in the UK; that's Ace and Beggars. I like to think of the three of us as the 'A,B and C' of British Independent labels.

I have always admired Alan's passion and belief in the music he loves. His maverick side will sit well with Cherry Red's committed Independent stance. I have no doubt we will have a great adventure together. One thing is for certain, working with Alan McGee is never going to be boring..."

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