Britpop royalty Alan McGee picks his favourite albums of all time
If you haven’t heard of Alan McGee then you should probably doing a little bit of reading up. McGee and his Creation Records are responsible, above all else, for bringing the world Oasis.
The music industry executive co-founded the independent Creation Records label, running it from 1983 until its closure in 1999. He subsequently founded the Poptones label, running it from 1999 to 2007. His most notable moments have come from managing or championing acts such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Oasis, and The Libertines.
We were thrilled then to find McGee had selected his favourite albums of all time for The Quietus so we have now pulled together a stunning playlist for your listening pleasure. It’s a simply brilliant listen.
He selects David Bowie‘s Ziggy Stardust and Diamond Dogs, the latter, he says is “arguably his best” and goes on to say “I know it’s particular to the human being, but to me, Bowie’s probably the strongest musical influence that I’ve ever encountered.” The music executive clearly enjoyed a glam phase during his formative years.
While McGee clearly has a penchant for the dirty disco sound of Glam Rock, he also found the snarling allure of punk rock too much to bear. He picks up the Ramones self-titled debut and proclaims, “That’s the quintessential punk album that all the English bands ripped off – The Clash’s first album totally ripped it off.”
McGee, as confrontational as he can be when backed into a corner, is still willing to select some of the music world’s iconic figures. “[Bob] Dylan I adore, and this is his best record. I think he got a warning around ’65/’66 that if he kept singing songs like ‘Masters Of War’ he would have an accident, and I think that’s really why he disappeared for a couple of years, I think he got a bit of a shock. And then he didn’t make a great album until Blood On The Tracks.” An album that finds its place on the playlist.
After that selection McGee does start to offer up a touch more of what we would expect, the alternative indie sounds that would shape McGee’s creative vision on for Creation Records, one such pick is The Jesus and Mary Chain’sPsychocandy. He said of the selection, “Slightly indulgent because I had something to do with it. But I just think William Reid is basically a fucking genius, an amazing, amazing guitarist. If you’d never got Psychocandy, you’d never have got The Stone Roses, and you’d never have got Oasis, and even now bands cite The Jesus And Mary Chain as a big influence.”
One of those bands would also find their way on to the list, but it wouldn’t be those Gallagher brothers. No, McGee would find room on the playlist for The Stone Roses iconic self-titled debut. McGee says of the LP, “That’s an impeccable record. Ian Brown’s a working class hero. Reni’s probably the best drummer in the world. Mani’s a force of nature. And John Squire, fucking hell man, he’s almost as good as Jimmy Page.” It’s hard to disagree.
While much of the man’s list is steeped in the bubbling and illustrious past of British music, McGee does find room on the list for a more modern British export – Arctic Monkeys and their AM record. He says, “I fucking love it. Alex Turner is the best writer since Noel [Gallagher], and ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ is a fucking pop classic.”
It completes a list of British standards and some of the best albums the world has ever seen. Should we be surprised? This is the man who saw Oasis for what they were worth, he’s got an ear better than most elephants.
Listen below to Alan McGee’s favourite albums of all time.
David Bowie – Diamond Dogs
Syd Barrett – Barrett
Dr. Feelgood – Down By The Jetty
The Outsiders – Calling On Youth
Ramones – Ramones
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks
Talk Talk – Spirit Of Eden
The Jesus And Mary Chain – Psychocandy
David Bowie – The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars