10cc - Where should I start?

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If I confessed an interest in investigating the career of 10cc, what album or albums might be the best ones to start with?

bimble (bimble), Friday, 9 April 2004 04:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

sheet music is my favourite. all members still on board, moving from straight pastiche to pop perfection. slightly smug though.

there's another thread somewhere.

mullygrubber (gaz), Friday, 9 April 2004 04:48 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The early stuff reminds me of Frank Zappa (esp. Donna). I've always found it odd that they were signed/pioneered by Jonathan King

Jez (Jez), Friday, 9 April 2004 09:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The first two are by far the best--"Sheet Music" is a minor classic of whatever it is they did. "The Original Soundtrack" and "How Dare You" contain some nice songs but it's all a bit congealed for my taste. They were basically a good singles band. I do listen to "Sheet Music" occasionally and it's a pretty good Beatles thingie, but when I want to listen to Beatles-derived pop music from 1974 I just put on "Radio City."

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Friday, 9 April 2004 14:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It seems there's some truth in saying they are best remembered for some astonishing singles... "The Wall Street Shuffle", "The Dean and I" and "Donna" are gorgeously inventive with sublime tunes and that multi-part splendour. "I'm Not In Love" is absolutely immense.

I've only got "The Original Soundtrack" myself, and while it's a good album, its singles are clearly the best things on it, though "The Film of My Love" is a fine cinemascope finale. "How Are You?" also, has this great album track called "Bad Days" IIRC...

One would have liked to see an album, perhaps, with as much complex emotion and insight throughout as in "I'm Not In Love"... they could very easily become quite hidden behind the parodist's screen, and while that worked sublimely with the above 3 early singles, it can be wearing and the phrase 'diminishing returns' seems apt for how they progressed.

"Sheet Music" and the debut are albums I plan to listen to at some stage, but having heard all the singles, they are subconsciously lower on my 'to-buy' mental list. Do the wholes of these 2 records match up to the singles I mention...?

Tom May (Tom May), Friday, 9 April 2004 14:44 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I heard a track off of "How Dare You" and then added the album to my list. A friend of mine actually had the album and he made a copy for me. I just listened to it for the first time two days ago. About five songs into the album I stopped it, took it out of the player, and threw it in the trash.

metfigga (metfigga), Friday, 9 April 2004 14:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...
I secretly think How Dare You's their best, actually.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 2 December 2004 23:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Avoid Dreadlock Holiday, which may be my least favourite song of all time.

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Thursday, 2 December 2004 23:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Really? I think it's quite funny myself.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 2 December 2004 23:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I think it used to be listened to on long car journeys when I was a kid. It makes me feel sick when I hear it.

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Thursday, 2 December 2004 23:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

IMO, their best period was from "Sheet Music" through "How Dare You", three albums in a row filled with some of the best and most intelligent and sophisticated pop music ever made.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 2 December 2004 23:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Lazy Ways" from HDY is fuckin' great.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 3 December 2004 03:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"I'm Mandy, Fly Me" is a great song.

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Friday, 3 December 2004 04:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

twelve years pass...

i got "The Original Soundtrack" recently and have really enjoyed it. it's almost like a Nilsson record, has that Beatles-in-the-70s vibe. "One Night in Paris" is such a cool psychedelic pop song. of course "I'm Not In Love" is so nice to listen to, with those deeply layered vocals.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 14 September 2017 14:40 (eight months ago) Permalink

the production on The Original Soundtrack is so sick. that muffled heart beat kick drum on "I'm Not in Love". the buzzy tremelo of "Blackmail" which sounds like a Devo-Spark collab.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 14 September 2017 16:38 (eight months ago) Permalink


AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 14 September 2017 16:38 (eight months ago) Permalink

"I'm Not in Love" wasn't taken seriously by most of the band at first. they thought it was a nothing of a song and happened to remake it in order to experiment with the poly vocal technique.

Stewart spent three weeks recording Gouldman, Godley and Creme singing "ahhh" 16 times for each note of the chromatic scale, building up a "choir" of 48 voices for each note of the scale. The main problem facing the band was how to keep the vocal notes going for an infinite length of time, but Creme suggested that they could get around this issue by using tape loops. Stewart created loops of about 12 feet in length by feeding the loop at one end though the tape heads of the stereo recorder in the studio, and at the other end through a capstan roller fixed to the top of a microphone stand, and tensioned the tape. By creating long loops the 'blip' caused by the splice in each tape loop could be drowned out by the rest of the backing track, providing that the blips in each loop did not coincide with each other. Having created twelve tape loops for each of the 12 notes of the chromatic scale, Stewart played each loop through a separate channel of the mixing desk. This effectively turned the mixing desk into a musical instrument complete with all the notes of the chromatic scale, which the four members together then "played", fading up three or four channels at a time to create "chords" for the song's melody. Stewart had put gaffer's tape across the bottom of each channel, which meant it was impossible to completely fade down the tracks for each note; this resulted in the constant background hiss of vocals heard throughout the song.


now that background hiss fuck up - that error - is largely responsible for this song having an incredibly magical nostalgic sound to it that has made it a global hit 40 years on.

it's important to fail in art. look at what they created from that failure.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 14 September 2017 16:44 (eight months ago) Permalink

the production on this record is sooooo good. those arrangements. they have so many tracks going on at once and yet it's very dynamic and you can make everything out.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 14 September 2017 16:45 (eight months ago) Permalink

adam, have you read this? https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/classic-tracks-10cc-not-love

brimstead, Friday, 15 September 2017 00:39 (eight months ago) Permalink

start with the Tori cover of I'm Not In Love

Week of Wonders (Ross), Friday, 15 September 2017 04:39 (eight months ago) Permalink

Jeez, I never heard that version before, very cool. Kudos to her for her song selection on "Strange Little Girls", too!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 15 September 2017 12:09 (eight months ago) Permalink

thanks for posting that article, that was a great read!

someday im going to have to put myself into debt and get a U67 tube mic. the second that came up i was like, oh shit, they had the secret weapon!

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 15 September 2017 13:03 (eight months ago) Permalink

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