Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Would you believe that there was this English band during the peak of the British Invasion that had material every bit as good as the biggest British groups of all time and you never heard of them until now? Well it is 100% true and the name of the band was The Creation. Listening to their material now and it is a real head scratcher why they remained relatively unknown in The US until now. Well, I guess it really isn’t that much of a mystery. Probably a victim of bad management and poor career decisions.
Actually, there has been buzz around this band for the past five decades in the UK. It is easy to understand why. They sound like a cross between The Kinks and The Who and their songs are outstanding. They have that psychedelic undercurrent in their songs with some heavy blues influence and a bit of doo wop backing vocals. Their songs are edgy like The Who, maybe a little edgier in some instances. I definitely hear that Yardbird influence as well.
If you think about the first person to use a violin bow on the guitar, you would naturally attribute this to Jimmy Page. That honor actually belongs to Eddie Phillips, who was the guitar player for The Creation. He was quite an innovative guitar player in other ways as well. He seemed to be the pioneer of the distorted, feedback laden punk style of guitar that would emerge ten years later.
The band broke up in 1968 after numerous roster changes and a lackluster reception in the US. Action Painting is a 2 CD – 46 song collection of their material from 1966 to 1968. There are also four songs on this collection by The Mark Four, which was the predecessor band to The Creation. This collection isn’t just an historical marker, it is a compilation of fantastic music. It is essentially new music, since for most part, it will be heard for the first time. It doesn’t have that overplayed quality like songs by The Who, Kinks, Beatles, and Rolling Stones. This still has that fresh sound due to underexposure. From that standpoint, it is good for the listener.