14 April 2008

Adorable - Sunshine Smile

Label: Creation Records
Year of Release: 1992

Whilst we were on the subject of arrogant, early nineties indie bands - which we were, remember? - it's worth pausing to have a solemn thought for Adorable, a band regularly touted as "The Next Big Thing of 1992!" by Alan McGee and at least one music journalist.

Sadly, it was not to be. Their mates Suede got all the attention instead, possibly not aided by the fact that they urged critics to "check Suede out" thereby deflecting all attention away from themselves in one misguided comradely act. By the end of their careers they were to be heard whining that they were the only act on Creation who didn't have a poster on the office walls. Their label in America, SBK, cared even less for their fate.

The song above, "Sunshine Smile", fared well in the indie charts and certainly deserved to crossover, seemingly embracing every single alternative guitar noise the early nineties had to offer, from Stone Roses chimes, to crunching grunge distortion, to fey, atmospheric shoegazey wispy sounds.

Cherry Red issued a "Best of Adorable" album entitled "Footnotes" back in January.


Paperback Tourist said...

Piotr Fijalkowski -- the singer -- now sells secondhand books on the seafront under Brighton's burned down pier. It's probably a more noble calling.

Paperback Tourist said...

And as for Alan McGee -- he's the kiss of death. Read this great book on 'Loveless'. It's a real eye opener.

23 Daves said...

I've read "My Magpie Eyes are Hungry for The Prize". He did come across as being a bit of a chancer in places throughout that, but the tone of the book seemed to sympathise with his predicament where MBV were concerned.

Also, as hard as it is to believe, I'm strangely indifferent to My Bloody Valentine. Yes, I know, gasp in horror now...

Roman Empress said...

Never heard of these lot.
Hurricane no. 1 were on Creation until around 98. They didn't amount to much in the end but they had hits, for what it was worth. Most Creation bands were lucky to get 1 hit. Whoever could sign Boo Radleys suffers from a lack of judgement too.

23 Daves said...

That's a bit hard on the Boos!

If you compared the chart career of Hurricane #1 to the career of fellow signings the Super Furry Animals back to back, you'd probably find there's not a lot in it. There were tons of flop Creation signings, though - One Lady Owner, 18 Wheeler, Heavy Stereo, Misha, etc. etc. (the list really does go on).

All that said, I still wouldn't criticise the label's strike rate in other respects, it has somehow managed to put out some of my favourite albums of all time amidst the more mediocre material. And Bill Drummond's "The Man", an album so absurd I don't think anybody else would have touched it.

Paperback Tourist said...

The 'Loveless' book tells a very different story to 'My Magpie Eyes...' Having talked to Kevin Shields -- as honest and reasonable a man as you're likely to meet -- I'm inclined to believe him. There was no 'predicament' with MBV. After all, McGee was happy to run up bills taking cabs between London and Wales to do drugs with Primal Scream. The only problem was that McGee didn't like 'Loveless'. He wanted another JAMC. He has pretty conservative taste really.

23 Daves said...

I don't find that hard to believe. There's often been a yawning gap between the image McGee projected of himself and the reality - the fact he voted Conservative prior to Tony Blair leading the Labour party speaks volumes, really.

FeedbackReport said...

I am one of those rare individuals that thinks Adorable were absolutely fantastic - as Daves says, it really was arriving too late for Madchester/Shoegazing and too early for Britpop that did for them; Sunshine Smile was a great single too.

There's a lot of horror stories about post-Oasis Creation that My Magpie Eyes only hints at. Not keen to go into too many details but I know of one band (no names but they have been mentioned in this discussion already) who despite having just released a critically acclaimed album that very nearly broke big, were forced to 'go pop' for their next release on account of the money they owed to the company (they were open about this with people they knew at the time too, so why it isn't more widely known is a mystery to me), and pretty much fucked their long-term prospects as a result.

McGee was never properly in charge after Oasis took off, the people who 'broke' Oasis during his extended illness were, and a lot of people who'd shown a lot of loyalty to Creation over the years were treated pretty shabbily.

23 Daves said...

I might have known that a mention of Creation Records would stir up a hornet's nest!

I think the reason they managed to maintain their "friendly cottage industry" image successfully with the press (despite being 49% owned by Sony) was due to the extremely good relationship they'd developed with them. Notwithstanding the ridiculous way "Be Here Now" was handled - which had little or nothing to do with Creation staff, and was more down to Ignition management policy - they seemed to have a much more personal touch. Even my limited dealings with them were mostly on extremely good terms. More the Press Office's work than McGee's, perhaps.

I have absolutely no doubt that McGee is enormously difficult to deal with, particularly if you get on the wrong side of him. The fact "This is a dictatorship, not a democracy!" was a much loved catchphrase of his says it all.

Interestingly, he is offended by "Magpie Eyes" and claims it's inaccurate.

Roman Empress said...

There's certainly some rampant discussion going down here.
I'm sorry to mention Hurricane again but it's the band I know most about really. I think their demise was more to do with the singer being a grade A cock, who was genuinely unlikeable, arrogant and misogynistic in a way that Mark Gardner never was.
It also had something to do with being villified for following up providing the music for the goals section of Match of The Day (some kudos for that in the 90s) with an advert for The Sun. Not a wise move, if you want to be taken seriously, but sometimes business means business. Bell may have been pressured into that by Creation, or maybe even his wife. Who knows and really who cares? But I don't think this had an awful lot to do with McGee (in this instance anyway).
Sorry to bang on.