Alan McGee

From Academic Kids

Alan McGee is a British music industry mogul famed for founding the independent Creation Records label which ran from 1983 to 2000.

Born in Glasgow in the early 1960s, he had originally hoped to become a musician before moving to London in the aftermath of the punk movement. Whilst working for British Rail he began managing a band called The Jesus and Mary Chain who became an underground sensation when McGee issued their first single on his slender label Creation, named after the cult 60s band.

When The Jesus And Mary Chain moved to Warner Brothers in 1986, from McGee's profits as their manager Creation was able to release seminal singles by acts including Primal Scream, The Pastels and The Loft. While these records were far from chart successes, McGee’s enthusiasm and uncanny ability to woo the weekly music media ensured a healthy following, especially since he’d projected a notorious image of The Jesus And Mary Chain that often courted violence and loutish behaviour.

Following an unsuccessful attempt to run an offshoot label for Warner Brothers, McGee regrouped Creation and immersed himself in the burgeoning dance and acid house scene. The legacy of which saw him release era-defining albums from Creation mainstays Primal Scream and new arrivals like My Bloody Valentine and Teenage Fanclub. For all their artistic health however, these records were not huge commercial hits and, with McGee’s escalating drug use Creation had run up considerable debt that was only held off until he sold half the company to Sony Music in 1992.

At almost precisely the moment it looked as though Creation would collapse into receivership, the recently signed Manchester band Oasis began selling albums in huge quantities as they epitomised the cultural Britpop movement of the mid 90s. The success of Oasis was unprecedented for an act on an independent label, and their second album, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory soon grew into the biggest selling British album of the decade. This brought previously unimaginable exposure to McGee, whose position was noted by the revitalised Labour Party that considered him a revolutionary figure of youth culture and courted his influence to spearhead a media campaign prior to the 1997 General Election.

As Oasis mania continued, Creation continued issuing acclaimed albums by other artists, none of which came anywhere near the success of the Manchester band and rumours of McGee’s dissatisfaction with what his once proud ‘indie’ label had become began to circulate. In late 1999 it was announced that Creation Records would close as McGee funded a new label called Poptones that has so far saw only limited success.

McGee is currently managing The McGee


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