The Creation - Action Painting

(Numero Group, 2017)

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"The Creation are the definition of a cult band. They only existed for a brief spell—formed in 1966, fell apart in 1968— but during those months, they bore a sound that could’ve made them stars. Adding to the Creation’s mystique is the fact that they weren’t widely heard at the time. In their native Britain, they eked out only one hit, “Painter Man,” which scraped the Top 40 at No. 36. But that’s better than they managed in the U.S., where they essentially didn't exist; their four singles stiffed and the haphazard 1967 LP We Are Paintermen never even materialized in America.

Eurodisco outfit Boney M took their cover “Painter Man” into the UK Top 10 in 1979, but that had little to do with the cult of the Creation that was already well underway. The first true flowering of Creation awareness arrived in 1978, when the Jam conspicuously framed a Creation 45—“Biff Bang Pow,” the flipside of “Painter Man”—in their collage of inspiration and self-celebration in the inner sleeve for All Mod Cons. By the early ’80s, Television Personalities were covering their songs and the band’s chief advocate Alan McGee formed a label called Creation and named his indie band after “Biff Bang Pow.” Fan devotion doesn’t come much clearer than that.

By that point, Edsel released How Does It Feel To Feel, the first in a series of Creation compilations created for British Invasion, freakbeat and psych collectors. Many similar collections have appeared over the last three decades, but Numero’s new double-disc Action Painting is the first Creation compilation designed to appeal to listeners who might not already know them. It’s for people who may be aware of the band through the indelible impression “Makin' Time” made in Wes Anderson’s 1998 film Rushmore, or perhaps Ride’s cover of “How Does It Feel To Feel” in 1994, or maybe they just trust Numero’s curation of the forgotten corners of our musical past." - Stephen Thomas Erlewine for Pitchfork