This morning, Deadline reported that Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle has been named executive producer of Creation Stories, a new biopic about Alan McGee, who founded the influential British record label Creation Records in 1983. Ewen Bremner, known as Spud from Trainspotting, is set to play the role of McGee; the script is based off of McGee’s 2013 autobiography Creation Stories: Riots, Raves, and Running a Label, and co-written by Dean Cavanagh and Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh. Boyle himself isn’t directing — those responsibilities go to Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels actor Nick Moran — but the project is surely getting more attention with his involvement.
Creation’s roster of bands is immediately recognizable to any record head: The label was instrumental in launching the careers of Oasis, the Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream, Slowdive, Ride, Super Furry Animals, Swervedriver, and many more. Their largest commercial success came with the advent of Britpop, a more commercially acceptable response to the abrasive punk and shoegaze of the ’80s (some of which they’d helped release), when Oasis released Definitely Maybe in 1994 and one of the most widely sold albums of all time in 1995: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, which included the band’s smash hit “Wonderwall.”
Boyle’s film should be exciting for fans of these bands, as well as music fans in general, as the label is a monument to the success that obscure artists can have with the help of an intimate label like Creation. The genres they stood behind didn’t always achieve commercial success, but they did amass a devoted following, and their work has carried well into the future.
Despite its success, Creation was well-known as a bastion of chaos, where McGee and other managers made things up as they went along. McGee had a unique knack for marketing unknown bands as well as recognizing future success, but his infamous drug use amplified the uncertainty inherent to the industry. The label had accumulated a large amount of debt after funding MBV’s landmark 1991 album Loveless, which took two years to make, and resulted in McGee dropping the band. Shortly after, a large share of Creation was purchased by Sony, saving the label from bankruptcy. The drug use continued, and McGee claims to barely remember 1993, the year he signed Oasis. He eventually cleaned up and got sober, but the label’s drug-induced financial and social drama remains a crucial and compelling element of its history.