Alan McGee

Alan McGee

Refimprove|date=July 2007Infobox Musical artist
Name = Alan McGee

Img_capt =
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Background = solo_singer
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born = Birth date and age|1960|9|29|mf=y
Died =
Origin = flagicon|Scotland Glasgow, Scotland
Instrument = Guitar
Genre = Alternative rock
Occupation = Singer, songwriter, guitarist
Years_active = 1983–1991 as musician
1984–present as record label boss
Label = Creation, Poptones
Associated_acts = Biff Bang Pow!
URL = [] and []

Alan McGee (born 29 September 1960) is a Scottish music industry mogul and musician famed for founding the independent Creation Records label which ran from 1983 to 2000.


Early years

Born in Glasgow on 29 September 1960, attended King's Park Secondary School during his teens and moved to London in the aftermath of the punk movement, forming the band Laughing Apple who released 3 singles in 1981/2. In 1983, McGee founded Creation Records (named after cult 1960s band The Creation) and also formed a new band, Biff Bang Pow! (named after one of The Creation's songs), which would continue until 1991. 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 label in late 1984.

Creation Records

Creation Records was one of the key labels in the mid-80s indie movement, with early releases featuring artists such as Primal Scream, The Jasmine Minks, and The Loft.When The Jesus And Mary Chain moved to Warner Brothers in 1985, from McGee's profits as their manager Creation was able to release seminal singles by acts including Primal Scream, Felt, and The Weather Prophets. 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. McGee calls the Sony years as the beginning of the end of the "real" Creation Records. One that was driven by mavericks Tim Abbott, Dick Green and McGee himself, not by Sony accountants and marketing managers. To this day he claims he hated the 90s and preferred the 80s as he hated Sony with a passion forever more.

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, who considered him a figurehead of youth culture and courted his influence to spearhead a media campaign prior to the 1997 General Election. McGee was largely responsible Fact|please give a reliable source for this assertion.|date=September 2008for changing government legislation in relation to musicians being able to go on the "New Deal" which gave musicians three years to develop and be funded by the government instead of having to take other jobs to survive. Omnibus even went on to make a documentary on McGee and Creation in 1998 for BBC One. McGee was awarded by the "NME" 'Godlike Genius' award in February 1995 (John Peel won it the first year in 1994) and Creation Records was awarded 'independent label of the year' every year between 1995 and 1998 by "Music Week".

As Oasis mania continued they went on to sell nearly 54 million records by 2008, 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. The final album released by the label was Primal Scream's 2000 release "XTRMNTR", which went gold in the UK.Fact|please give a reliable source for this assertion.|date=September 2008The final single was the third released from the album itself. Two books were written in the wake of Creation Records one by David Cavanagh which Mcgee calls the accountants tale and one by Paulo Hewitt, Mcgee then closed Creation Records for good selling the rest of the shares to Sony in 2000 for an overall price that was staggered through the 90s of around 35 million US dollars. Following Creation's closure, McGee developed into property - buying houses, flats, a farm in Wales and even an office block in Primrose Hill. McGee also got into buying art as a hobby because he liked the way a painting looked but, as by chance, McGee had luckily bought paintings by the next generation of upcoming painters: Keith Vaughan, Howard Hodgkin and Roger Hilton. Again as in Music in Property and Art, Mcgee had become successful by default. As a final insulting gesture to Sony Music and the Labour Government who he had now fallen out with, one of McGee's last acts as Creation Records boss was to use £20,000 of Creation's money to fund Malcolm McLaren, in what was known in the media as "Malcolm for Mayor", to run for Mayor of London. Up until the point Ken Livingstone decided to stand for Mayor, McClaren had garned an estimated six per cent of the capital's vote in street polls which may potentially have given McClaren a political role in Livingstone's team to run London. This put McGee on the front page of The Sun three days in a row and upset Tony Blair and 10 Downing Street.Fact|please give a reliable source for this assertion.|date=September 2008McClaren immediately stood down when Livingstone did finally decide to stand for Mayor. McGee had by 2000 had enough of the Labour Party and declared more interest in football as he is a boyhood fan of Rangers F.C.. McGee immediately founded a new label called Poptones in homage to John Lydon and Public Image Limited. It was the end of an era for all concerned.

Poptones Records/Alan McGee Management/Creation Songs

With Poptones, although it was written off by Paul Lester of Uncut after eight days of opening as a label, McGee found platinum success within the second year with The Hives and managed under Alan McGee Management, The Charlatans, Dirty Pretty Things and Ed Larrakin's new band The Pan I Am. He also has recording studio in Glasgow with Mogwai and publishes under Creation Songs which McGee never sold to Sony to this day Oasis, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver,Teenage Fanclub, Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines.Poptones is now being run down as a record label by McGee after the digital age has now come to pass.

McGee managed The Libertines on Rough Trade up until their split in 2004 and now manages Carl Barât's new band, Dirty Pretty Things, for Vertigo after Barât and Doherty split as a working partnership. Dirty Pretty Things reached number three in the UK with their debut album "Waterloo to Anywhere" and which went near platinum by the end of 2006. Dirty Pretty Things released their second album, Romance At Short Notice, in June 2008.

Alan Mcgee retired from music management after 25 years on 12th Sept 2008.

Death Disco and The Queen is Dead

McGee also runs the international club night Death Disco and two other London club nights, The Queen is Dead. McGee also DJ's around the globe under the moniker of Death Disco, having residencies in New York, Budapest and Los Angeles. Another notable residency is the monthly Death Disco Budapest in Hungary, which since it's launch in 2005 September became the centre point of the scene in the two million pop. capital. McGee returns ever since to play in Budapest, Hungary each month, and he also appeared on festivals and became involved in the Hungarian music scene helping the career of bands such The Puzzle to make their stir in the UK. Mcgee says he will always do Death Disco because he remembers when he was young and having to pay to play in London in the early eighties. Death Disco has seen The Libertines, The Killers, BRMC, Kaiser Chiefs, Glasvegas, Razorlight, The Hives and many others come out of the Death Disco scene of bands.McGee says he has got bored with the music business but not new bands as he enjoys there energy.

Recent years

McGee was made a Companion of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, in recognition of the work that he has carried out with students.Fact|please give a reliable source for this assertion.|date=September 2008


External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Alan McGee's Myspace Page]

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