This wonderful documentary tells the story of the U.K.-based label which gave the world “indie” music at its defined best and a slew of bands that have now become legendary.

One of the things I liked about this film is that it’s linear and clear and tells the story in a straightforward,  no-bullshit manner.  The timeline is laid out and the stories of the bands, along with the label’s rise to surreal heights (and lows, before its inevitable crash) follow one after the other in a way I found highly informative and enjoyable.

Certainly, seeing many of these bands – especially in their formative years – was a treat; some I’d never seen footage of before.  Others gave me a warm feeling of nostalgia – like Sugar and Teenage Fanclub – and interestingly, while there are many anecdotes on the ups-and-downs of being a Creation recording artist, no one delivers the predictable complaints about their record label or the label’s head.

Small wonder – Alan McGee, the label’s founder, was a musician and leader of his own outfit, the wonderful Biff Bang Pow (by the way, if you don’t already know, he took the name of the label from the band The Creation and the name of his band from one of the The Creation’s most well-known songs); he was a natural for the business and he was fearless, which may help explain how he was able to parlay this indie label into becoming one of the most vitally important outlets for some truly innovative music in the last 25 years.

I urge you to check out Upside Down:  The Creation Records Story; it’s well-done, entertaining and you’ll fall in love with this music all over again.

About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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