Helios Creed – X Rated Fairy Tales

Helios Creed – X Rated Fairy Tales (Subterranean Records) 1985. When I was 20, I ingested waaaay too many lysergic chemicals and listened to way too many Helios Creed albums. X-Rated Fairytales was considered one of his “worst” back then. The Am-Rep stuff was generally easier to locate than the two records on Subterranean and the consensus was that if you were to search out the Subterranean stuff it would be best to find Superior Catholic Finger instead.

Y’see in those heady early-90′s days of grunge….the first Helios Creed album suffered from the taint of New Wave. I remember we actually used to complain about the keyboards on it. Because as we all knew then, keyboards detracted from the authenticity of ROCK!

You couldn’t really blame us. Despite what VH1 is currently trying to sell you, the 1980′s were actually a vaccuous wasteland of Phil Collins-styled hellish torment. It all started well enough with the initial first wave of rap and post-punk experimentalism whathaveyou. But as popular culture got its grubby hands on the medium to market goods to young people (pop music), the decade became increasingly oppressive and fake.

On the other end of the spectrum you had Hardcore Punk shoving its version of cold hard reality down your throat followed by Alternative which as we all know eventually got co-opted by the dark forces in the 1990′s. In the “striving for authenticity in the age of fakeness” era between post-punk and Nirvana (1985-1991), keyboards were just a no-no.

Now however, we live in the enlightened post-modern era. The anti-keyboard rhetoric of the late-1980′s seems very er….silly. And after sitting through the latest 20th-generation-Pearl Jam clone band on your local “modern rock” station, grunting its way through another bodice-ripping angstfest, keyboards now sound kinda…er, cool.

Anyway….anyone with half a brain can tell you that X-Rated Fairytales is not a new wave album at all. Its a Cock-Rock Album from the Planet Bizarro. Shit! Listen to “The Descent”. You know what that sounds like? Pylon? Fuck no. Aldo Nova baby. It sounds like Aldo Nova on fucking ACID. You think I’m shitting you?

How about the title song “X-Rated Fairy Tales”? BPeople maybe? fuck no…it sounds like “Dust in the Wind”. “Dust in the Wind” ON FUCKING ACID. “Johnny”? Who knows what “Johnny” sounds like. Who cares? Its soooo friggin dorky its brilliant.

Y’see, Helios Creed’s later stature as “legitimate guitarist who must be taken seriously” as well as his prior status as “co-architect of Chrome” robs us of the ability to enjoy the campy pleasures of X-Rated Farytales, which is best if not taken too seriously.

The Descent
Un-Human Condition
X-Rated Fairy Tales
Blood Red
Mystery Room
Sex Voodoo Venus
Money Man

By the way…the two Subterranean albums by Helios Creed (X-Rated Fairytales and Superior Catholic Finger) were released a few years ago as one disk on Cleopatra. I believe it is out of print but there are a bunch of used ones floating around on the internet. The cover sucks though.

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7 Responses to Helios Creed – X Rated Fairy Tales

  1. johnakni says:

    Screw the shoegazers! Helios creed uses way more fx than all of those guys combined from that era. You have to almost that some of the mid-90′s Helios Creed albums were sucky since some them were all keyboard and no guitar. Are any of the new albums any good?I saw a concert form the 1992 tour which was way better than the official live album from that epoch. I bootlegged it twice:once with a regular tape recorder and a second time with a broken tape recorder.

  2. ian says:

    Thanks for posting this. The title track DOES indeed sound uncannily like “dust in the wind”, but in a way i prefer the seedy melodrama of this to the gothier prog leanings of the other tracks from the album i’ve listened to.

    I know Helios Creed’s glam shadow looms large on Chrome’s output – and i accept it was the 80′s, afterall – but having listened recently to a couple of tracks off Chrome’s pre-Creed “the Visitation”, i find myself wanting to hear more. There was a Richard Hellish vibe to the John Lamdin/Gary Spain/Mike Low/Damon Edge line-up on that album that seems to have gone up the chimney as soon as Helios Creed and Damon Edge co-opted the proceedings in the wake of Mike Low’s departure.

    I kind of like the unpolished edges a good deal more on Chrome’s first album. A bit more rust and less crystalisation ; and still lysergic nonetheless.

  3. I love this album. It was a product of its time. Yes, it is hard to believe that is the same Helios Creed that we see today, long hair and moustache. I think the keyboards give it a very 80′s feel. but in a good way. Not all the tracks are memorable, but there are a few gems like “The Descent”, “Un-Human Condition,” “Blood Red,” not to mention the title track. I once owned this album in its vinyl form, pink, grey, and black splotches. The rhythm section is very tight throughout this album, with a heavy groove feel. I don’t think he used this same lineup ever again, and so that also may be a factor in the “unique” quality to this foray into sleazy cock rock, albeit with the HC stamp of spacy sonic assault and self-deprecating humor.

  4. Aidan Carlan says:

    I am that keyboard player, Thanks for the reprieve! The mob that came to see us were mainly from the hardcore punk fraternity, there was much stage diving and general mayhem, I don’t think the keyboards had anything to do with “new wave”, I am English and was bought up on Hawkwind and Pink Floyd, and I think that is more what Helios wanted.

  5. Joe says:

    Wow Aidan! Thanks for writing in. Nice insight into the thinking behind the album. Later Helios obviously is pretty overt with the Hawkwind influence so I can totally see where you are coming from!

  6. Bill says:

    I played drums with a lot of bands, “back in the day”. At the time, Chrome was a big part of the underground Bay Area music scene. There was some kind of record label advance and the rumor was, Damon and the advance moved to France leaving Helios high and dry.
    Helios and I were good friends at that time and he asked me if I could come over and play. That’s how it started. him and me jamming in the garage. No bass, no keyboards , no songs. He booked some studio time in Oakland and we recorded a couple of demos. Sex Voodoo Venus was one of them. We tracked live with him on bass and me on drums, everything else was over dubbed later the same day.
    We found a bass player and started headlining live shows.
    After two bass players, I brought my friend Mark Duran in on Bass and we picked up Aidan on keyboards.
    The album X- Rated Fairy tales really is the songs, pretty much in order, that we played at live shows.
    Subterranean Records signed us and we went into Hyde Street Studios to record. We tracked live in the studio, drums, bass, and rhythm guitar.
    We were on a shoestring budget and all the basic tracks were recorded in one night, Midnight to 7:00 A.M.
    As I recall, I was sick as a dog, medicated on pain killers and penicillin.
    Everything else, guitar solos, keyboards, vocals, backwards cymbals, backwards guitar, was recorded and mixed in about a week.
    The band toured a bit and played a lot of live shows. One by one, as the old story goes, the original line up left for various reasons.
    Still, occasionally, in a round about way, I receive random communications from “H”.

  7. Rickamortis says:

    Wow cool. I’ve had this album (vinyl) since it came out. I think Blood Red is my favorite. Aiden is called John on my album? I have absolutely no problem with synthesizers. Love ‘em. play ‘em, fix and build ‘em. Love Helios too. I consider him a god. First time I saw him and met him, I was surprised at how few effects he was actually using to get such a whacky sound. He’s way cool!

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