In the late 50s, Creed was working as A&R at ABC-Paramount, where he would found the Impulse! label in 1960. Later, he joined Verve, A&M, formed his own CTI and the rest is history.
Sub-titled "Don't Dare Listen To This Music Alone," "Shock" had his cover art conceived by Matt Schutz, with front cover and liner pics by Tony Triolo. David Drew Zingg signed the liner notes, and Kenyon Hopkins wrote the arrangements and most of the compositions. There are also amazing versions of "Gloomy Sunday," "Spellbound" and specially Alec Wilder's "It's So Peaceful in the Country". Creed Taylor, who was 29 at that time, assembled an all-star cast, featuring Phil Woods (lead alto sax), Jerome Richardson (second alto & flutes), Ray Beckenstein (soprano & bass sax), Ray Alonge (French horn), Barry Galbraith & Mundell Lowe on guitars, Milt Hinton on bass, Osie Johnson on drums, and percussionists Joe Venuto & Brad Spinney.
For the follow-up "Panic," Creed and Kenyon Hopkins repeated both the same musicians (Phil Kraus was added to the percussion section) and formula, including amazing renditions of "You're Driving Me Crazy," "Heartaches" and "Out of This World." The album design was done by the Viceroy company, with liner notes provided by Jerry Lanning. An excerpt: "Creed Taylor, who hosts this more-than-slightly-askew soirée, is a blithely imaginative young man...Mild and unassuming to the naked eye, he has constructed here an album which, to the naked ear, may sound a trifle strange. It is not, however, merely a trifle strange."
(Creed Taylor & Kenyon Hopkins during the "Shock" sessions)