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ALAN MCGEE

The legendary Creation founder, who worked with My Bloody Valentine, Ride and Primal Scream before discovering Oasis and managing The Libertines, gives Ben Wardle the inside track on 12 albums that have shaped his career in music…

MY LIFE IN VINYL

So much more than ‘the man who discovered Oasis’, Alan McGee is a record-business groundbreaker. He sits at the top table along with game-changing A&R legends such as Island’s Chris Blackwell, Interscope’s Jimmy Iovine, and the late Ahmet Ertegun who set up Atlantic Records in 1947. Like them, McGee combines visionary ability to spot talent with a streetwise, no-nonsense business sense.

From its humble beginnings with singles by McGee’s own band, Biff Bang Pow!, to orchestrating the fusion of rock and dance with Primal Scream, to seeing him shaking hands with the Prime Minister, McGee’s ‘bedroom’ label Creation Records’ rise, as well as his parallel career as a music manager, have been well documented in books and on film.

When we speak to him, McGee is in buoyant form – enjoying managing his current roster, which includes Black Grape, The Bluetones and Cast. Amazingly, he no longer owns any vinyl, preferring to stream all his music, but he was happy to sift through the virtual tower of records he’s been involved with in his four decades in the business, and pick out the ones which best tell his story.

Alan McGee, pictured in 2013 – McGee is currently running Creation Management with Simon Fletcher
Alamy

FELT

FOREVER BREATHES THE LONELY WORD

Creation

September 1986

“I’ve rediscovered Felt this year. I stopped Creation Records 18-plus years ago and I hadn’t played any Felt since, but this Christmas in Wales I played some and my 17-year-old daughter, who has got great taste, said: ‘What’s this, dad? I like this one’. We put out four albums by Lawrence [Felt’s mononymous mainstay], but this is truly the best one. I’d been friends with Lawrence since 1984. I was 23 and he was 21, and he was a big star to me and Bobby Gillespie and people like that. In 1985, he left Cherry Red and said he wanted to be on Creation. We couldn’t believe it! We were a bedroom label and he’d been on an actual record company.

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