Definitely the best review by Richie Unterberger lol. And rightly so. So i will not say more about the album/compilation. Here only a short bio about the band lol:
They could've been contenders -- hell, they should've been contenders! That's the first thought that passes through one's head as one hears the early singles by the Creation -- and, indeed, how they weren't contenders is astonishing. They had it all, the in-house songwriting, the production, the voices, and the sound that should've put them right up there with the Who and ahead of the Move and Jimmy Page, among others. Their lead guitarist, Eddie Phillips, was even asked by Pete Townshend to join the Who as their second guitarist. But thanks to an unaccountable weakness in their British sales -- as opposed to their German chart action, which was downright robust -- and some instability in their lineup, they were never to enjoy any of the recognition they deserved, and a right turn from psychedelia into soul at the wrong moment took whatever wind they had out of their sails (and sales). And the final few months of their history, filled out by the work of a revived band that never quite got it together in the studio, and singles derived from early outtakes, did nothing but confuse fans and admirers, who couldn't be sure "which" Creation they were dealing with on record.
The band's history began in 1963 with a group called the Blue Jacks in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, to the north of London. The band had just gotten a new lead singer, Kenny Pickett (who'd previously driven the van for Neil Christian & the Crusaders), and with the addition of a new lead guitarist, Eddie Phillips, they changed their name to the Mark Four. The latter band got signed to Mercury Records' British division in 1964 but the resulting two singles failed to sell. Even as British audiences were finding their work quite resistible, however, German audiences were greeting their performances at the Big Ben Club in Wilhelmshaven with rousing enthusiasm. It was during their extended residence in Germany that the band chanced to cross paths with a local band called the Roadrunners, who had attracted amazing local club attendance with their use of guitar feedback in their songs. Eddie Phillips made note of the effect and started working out how he might assimilate it into his playing.
The Mark Four got a second crack at recording success with Decca Records, which resulted in a single of "Hurt Me (If You Will)" b/w "I'm Leaving." It also failed to sell, but it did establish the beginning of a new sound; on that record, Phillips introduced his own approach to guitar feedback. It was all a little too wild for Decca, which stuck the song on the B-side, but it was a beginning, of sorts. It also coincided with an ending, as the band's rhythm guitarist, Mick Thompson, and their bassist, John Dalton -- soon to join the Kinks, replacing Peter Quaife -- quit. The Mark Four finished their history with a temporary lineup and one last single in early 1966. During the weeks that followed, Pickett and Phillips, along with drummer Jack Jones, held the group together and began rethinking their precise image and direction -- for a brief time, future superstar bassist Herbie Flowers even sat in with them. By the spring of that year, the group had evolved into the Creation, with ex-Merseybeats bassist Bob Garner filling out the lineup, and they had also signed with an ambitious young Australian-born manager -- then closely associated with Brian Epstein -- named Robert Stigwood.
The group finally saw some slightly significant chart action at home in the fall of 1966 with "Painter Man," a cheerfully trippy pop anthem -- with a feedback-oozing guitar break -- that made the Top 40; predictably (and one can see where this story is going), the same record hit number one in Germany. The B-side, "Biff Bang Boom," opened with a "My Generation" guitar riff and jumped into a pop/rock idiom with a psychedelic edge that could have earned it airplay on its own.
By the start of 1967, however, the Creation had hit a crisis point, as Kenny Pickett quit over creative differences and frustration at the need to continue touring in Europe, where their audience was seemingly rooted. He was eventually replaced by Kim Gardner, late of the group the Birds. Their sound at that point was still intact -- Phillips was still there on guitar, which was a huge part of what they were about musically and sonically. At this point, with whatever momentum they'd built up in jeopardy, the group took a totally unexpected turn into blue-eyed soul with "If I Stay Too Long," which was a good enough showcase for Gardner (supported by some reverb-soaked backing vocals and an organ) but offered little from Phillips except some emphatically played chords; it was as though the Who, having established themselves on the charts and the radio with "My Generation" and "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere," had suddenly issued their version of "Please, Please, Please" as a 45 rpm -- it confused people who knew the Creation, and was mostly ignored by established fans. Much more like their established sound were "Can I Join Your Band," which somehow only got issued in France, and the U.K. single's B-side, "Nightmares."
That might've been the end, once and for all, of the group's history, but for four excellent (and very early) sides, probably demos by the Pickett/Phillips lineup, with Herbie Flowers sitting in on bass -- including a fine soul side, "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," and a killer rendition of "Bonie Maronie," kitted out in a manner not that different from "Hey Joe" or "Biff Bam Boom" -- that turned up in Germany in 1968. This time, however, the group was really gone, the members going their separate ways -- Phillips into soul singer P.P. Arnold's band, among other activities; Gardner became part of Ashton, Gardner & Dyke ("Resurrection Shuffle") and Tony Kaye's group Badger; Dalton and Thompson tried reuniting under the name Passtime, and Kenny Pickett, after enjoying some success as a songwriter and performing in a variety of contexts, returned to being a roadie, this time for Led Zeppelin and other bands; and he eventually re-formed the Creation in the first half of the '90s.
Enjoy and cheers,