20

Jul 11

The Creation: “Making Time”

The Creation -- "Our Music Is Red . . ."

Maybe not quite how I would have described it, but taking psychedelics into account, we’ll let it pass…

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The Creation is now mostly a footnote in British rock history, but for a while in the mid-’60s they showed signs of achieving the same kind of success as their peers, The Who. They featured a similar raw guitar sound, and shared The Who’s producer, Shel Talmy. According to some accounts, Pete Townshend even tried to get their lead guitarist, Eddie Phillips, to join The Who as a second guitarist — if true, Phillips certainly missed out on a golden career opportunity. Because despite a number of songs that rival The Who’s work from that same period, 1964-67, The Creation came up against a number of obstacles, primarily stemming from poor choices made about which songs were released as singles and where they were released, that prevented them from ever achieving that level of success. It’s a familiar story that seems to have been repeated throughout rock history…for every success story, there are a number of potentially great bands that just never made it, for one reason or another. In the end, The Creation only ended up releasing one full album, 1967’s We Are the Paintermen.

The Creation were rescued from total obscurity, however, by the inclusion of their fantastic song, “Making Time,” at the beginning of the great 1998 Wes Anderson film, Rushmore, introducing Max Fischer (played by Jason Schwartzman) in his many extracurricular high school activities. It’s a hilarious montage, and “Making Time” makes it a very cool sequence, setting the tone for the rest of the movie. Wes Anderson has always had a great ear for choosing music for his movies.

“Making Time” features a great, gritty intro guitar riff, leading into a powerful song with the same kind of intensity as The Who’s great early singles. Vocalist Kenny Pickett sings with a voice similar to Roger Daltrey’s but a little nastier, sort of a cross between Daltrey and Reg Presley, singer for The Troggs (“Wild Thing”). Despite its greatness, the song would probably have been one of the great forgotten singles of the ’60s — but thankfully, its inclusion in Rushmore has helped prevent that from happening. In fact, it may have saved the entire group from complete obscurity; it seems more than coincidental that a CD compiling all of The Creation’s recorded output, “Our Music Is Red — With Purple Flashes” (apparently a quote from guitarist Phillips describing their music), was released that same year, capitalizing on the renewed awareness of the group. It’s an excellent compilation, with only a few weak spots — if you like “Making Time,” this is the place to go for more, as the original album is out of print on CD.

Here’s a clip of “Making Time” as it was used in Rushmore

2 Comments

  1. zot says:

    Another great song. There were so many good bands in England in that time that never made it, Factory, Timebox, Kaleidoscope and Tintern Abbey also come to mind. It must have been an amazing music scene over there for a few years.

    1. Dave Gershman says:

      I’m not familiar with those…I’ve only heard of Kaleidoscope. I’ll have to check them out…

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