Oasis boss quits label in search of new discoveries

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THE MAN who discovered Oasis by accident, signed them on the spot and steered them to being Britain's most successful rock band, is to leave Creation, the record company he founded 17 years ago.

Alan McGee announced yesterday that he and business partner Dick Green, with whom he ran Creation, had reached a deal with Sony, which co-owns the label, to leave next year. Mr McGee said they were planning to go around June to "pursue a number of new ventures".

Creation has been one of the most successful independent record labels British music has known, handling the careers of bands including Primal Scream, The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, as well as Oasis.

The announcement is likely to fuel speculation that Oasis, the label's major asset, could leave Creation as well, despite denials from the band's managers.

Mr McGee, 39, a Glaswegian, has always been the figurehead of the organisation, with a deft hand for self-publicity. He was a vocal and financial supporter of the Labour Party before the general election but fell out with the Government last year and withdrew backing.

He said yesterday: "Creation Records has been our life for 17 years ... It's the end of a decade, a new millennium, and life begins at 40. I feel like trying my hand at some new things. I still intend to be involved with music but there are other areas I am keen to investigate."

One of these could be the purchase of the BBC's troubled Greater London Radio station. This month Mr McGee was invited by Sir Christopher Bland, BBC chairman, to discuss a pounds 20m offer he had made for the station. Since the BBC announced plans to transform GLR into a "speech-led news and information service", protesters including Chris Rea, Neil Finn, Ian Drury and Nick Hornby have been up in arms.

Mr McGee sold 49 per cent of Creation to Sony in 1993, the year he discovered Oasis in a small Glasgow club after being dragged along by his sister.

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