Saturday, April 18, 2020

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: The Creation

THE CREATION-Painter Man/Biff Bang Pow US Planet 45-119 1966

British based American producer Shel Talmy launched his short lived Planet label in December 1965. By the time of the label's final release exactly a year label he'd released 22 singles in the UK, 7 of which were issued in the US.  The most famous act on Planet was of course the quartet known as The Creation. Talmy issued their debut single "Making Time" b/w "Try And Stop Me" in the States in in July of 1966 (where it was covered by an Abilene. Texas group called The Livin' End!) as Planet 45-116. Curiously it was issued with the same catalog number as it's U.K release which was a practice Talmy would use on all his releases. The band's second single, "Painter Man" b/w "Biff Bang Pow" was released here in November, a month after it's British counterpart.

For those not in the know The Creation were a British four piece that grew out of a quartet called The Mark Four. Their debut single "Making Time" was issued in both the UK and the US on Planet.

"Painter Man" is characterized by guitarist Eddie Phillip's use of a violin bow on his guitar (a technique later adopted by Jimmy Page in The Yardbirds the following year) amid a perfect mid tempo mod pop art beat with ringing guitars and high Who style backing vocals.

Guitarist Eddie Phillips flanked by lead singer Kenny Pickett.

The flip-side, "Biff Bang Pow" is the stuff of legends. My four year old son asked "Is this My Generation" when he heard it coming from my lap top and I think that's probably a pretty good assessment. The Nicky Hopkin's ivory tinkling and the high "oooo's" can't help but make you think of The Who but it stands in a league of it's own thanks to the sheer power and brilliance, Who comparisons not withstanding.

Both sides are available on a multitude of Creation compilations floating around out there.

Hear "Painter Man":

Hear "Biff Bang Pow":

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