Every week HEADWARMER. will go in search of the forgotten classics; albums that sniffed at the success they deserved before disappearing beneath mounds of mainstream mediocrity. This week Matt Crooker heads back to the very origins of Brit-Pop and digs out a real gem from the immense back catalogue of Creation Records (RIP)
2. ADORABLE – ‘Fake’
(Creation Records – 1994)
I miss Creation Records so goddamn much. I miss knowing that Alan McGee is out there, identifying greatness. I miss the promise of a new Creation single and the hope for the album that follows. I miss knowing that the label’s pedigree allowed for odd choices and false starts that held, at best, some flashes of genius and, at worst, an amusing swan dive. I don’t want this to turn into a sour lamentation but the loss of Adorable still stings a little.
Their first single ‘Sunshine Smile’ so encapsulated the epic rock formula that McGee championed that it stands as primer for the label’s expansive roster. Simple, memorable lyrics sung by a cocky and charismatic front man over waves of guitar effects and driving rhythm. Shit . . . how do so many bands get it wrong? It’s right there! That’s the rock recipe! The album that followed, Against Perfection, stands as a rough diamond filled with confidence and vision. It seemed like all engines full ahead . . . so what happened to the sophomore? In a word, Oasis. The titan created by their first single and the ensuing debut eclipsed Fake and just about everything else in the British rock landscape.
So let me plead a case for Fake, after the fact. It isn’t the instant classic that Definitely Maybe was/is but it’s good songs are on par with anything the Gallaghers had on display. ‘Feed Me’, ‘Vendetta’, ‘Man In A Suitcase’, ‘Lettergo’ and ‘Kangaroo Court’ are lost anthems from the burgeoning Brit Pop bonanza. Songs that deserved to be air guitared and sung along to in boozy pubs. Fake is refined and a little world-weary without succumbing to cynicism. Adorable are often compared to The Psychedelic Furs and it’s down to more than the elegant rasp in the vocals – each band was able to fuse the finest elements of their time into something rich and penetrating. Far from fake.