Alan McGee, the legendary Scottish entrepreneur who discovered Oasis and founded the celebrated British label Creation Records, is back in the game.
McGee has teamed with British independent music firm Cherry Red Records to launch the new label, 359 Music.
McGee had walked away from the record business after his Poptones venture was dissolved in 2007, instead focusing on his DJing, writing and living the good life in rural Wales.
In a statement, however, McGee explains that his five-year stint in the country had him “reinvigorated by new music again” and from which “there has been much talk about how I will return to music.” Also, he cites his long-term friendship with Cherry Red’s chairman Iain McNay as a catalyst for starting another indie label -- though he admits he’d originally planned to do a deal with major label backing in Japan. “But when it came down to it I realized that I didn't want to come back to music through a major music label - that's not what I want to be part of,” McGee says. “That's when I had a chat with Iain McNay from Cherry Red and we quite quickly put our heads together and developed between us a much better deal for 359 Music which will be a joint venture with Cherry Red. The first ever person to ever approach me about music when I was 19 was Iain McNay from Cherry Red.”
McGee will forever be associated with Creation Records. The former Biff Bam Pow artist in 1983 launched Creation, which went on to have a conveyor belt of hits through the ‘90s with such artists as Oasis, Primal Scream and the Jesus & Mary Chain. McGee became a house-hold name in the U.K. and was courted by then Prime Minister Tony Blair, who invited the exec and Noel Gallagher to a party at 10 Downing Street in 1997.
In November 1999, McGee closed Creation and sold the remaining assets to Sony Music for £17 million ($24 million).
He then launched the Poptones label, which he floated on the London stock exchange back in 2000. Despite some commercial success with Scottish guitar band Cosmic Rough Riders and Swedish rockers the Hives, the label failed to swing into profit and was drastically pared back before being shuttered.
At the Bigsound conference in 2011, McGee gave a sometimes-spiteful keynote Q&A in which he admitted that he left the biz because "well, I don't like the music.”
The new 359 Music company is based in Wales, and McGee is inviting artists who want to be considered to send an MP3 to INFOAT359MUSIC@AOL.COM. He vows to personally listen to the tracks.