Wednesday, June 23, 2010

10cc: It's Because...



The U.S. had its first real experience with 10cc in 1975, with a little radio hit called "I'm Not In Love," a "love it or hate it" monster. It certainly didn't represent the British band, whose two prior releases owed more to the glammy theatrics of bands like Queen and Sparks, than the soft, almost soulful sounds of the current hit.

Like most people, my first experience was the hit. But it was the album it came from, "The Original Soundtrack," that made me a believer. Nothing on the record sounds like "I'm Not In Love," which by the way, falls on the "love it" side for me.

What the radio version of "I'm Not In Love" was missing was a piece of music in the middle and a coda, about two minutes of music actually, that suffered a most inconsiderate cut for the single. The "big boys don't cry" lyric, which changes the sentiment of the song, underscored by one of the most subtlely brilliant bass lines, were left on the cutting room floor, along with a beautifully dramatic swell of vocals at the end, making a great epic, into a strange, clumsy and unlikely AM hit.


From the opening operetta on Side One, "Une Nuit A Paris," Lol Creme, Kevin Godley, Eric Stewart, and Graham Gouldman, collectively known as 10cc, precipitate a major jaw-dropping, with their impeccable vocals and no holds barred approach to making records, taking on characters usually reserved for a Renoir film. The hit follows, right before the clavinet-driven funk of "Blackmail." Side Two is just as strong with some Brian Wilson-inspired pop in the form "Brand New Day," and a finale right out of a Fellini film "The Film Of My Love."

I think "The Original Soundtrack" is a lost classic that everyone should own.

You know the hit, so here is "Une Nuit A Paris."



And as a bonus, "Channel Swimmer," the great Graham Gouldman b-side to "I'm Not In Love."

13 comments:

FD13NYC said...

Great lost classic indeed. Good posting it up Sal. Always been one of my faves of theirs. Actually made me dig out The Graham Gouldman Thing, which I'm listening to right now.

Could there maybe be a 10cc weekend mix on the horizon? (hint)

Christine said...

Well, you don't like Star Wars! :)

The Phantom Creep said...

Wow -- you think maybe Fountains of Wayne ever listened to "Channel Swimmer"

I'd never heard it, though; a big thanks! for posting.

steve simels said...

Is that "Grahame Gouldman Thing" any good? I just saw a free download of it somewhere, and I was tempted...

misospecial said...

thought i posted a comment last night...maybe i dreamed it.

love both songs. i second fd13nyc on a 10cc weekend mix. that would be sweet.

Sal Nunziato said...

You did, Miso. Why isn't it there? I dunno.

Sal Nunziato said...

I've tried over the years to like The Graham Gouldman Thing, but I just don't think it's that great. It should be, but it isn't. Maybe FD13NYC has a different feeling.

FD13NYC said...

Never thought the Gouldman Thing was that great myself, just good, in an oddity sort of way.

Anonymous said...

Saw 10cc at the Tower in Philadelphia in '75/'76. They put on a good show. Did they not leave performing and produce some bands or hits?

Sal Nunziato said...

2 members, Godley & Creme split in 1976 to go solo, expand upon their experimental music, and eventually become successful video producers. Gouldman and Stewart continued with 10cc for a while, as well as playing and touring both as members of other bands and occasianally as 10cc.

Michael said...

I was turned onto I'm Not In Love kinda late - in the mid 90x. OK, it was in a production class at Berklee (I now make web pages for a living :-) but my first love was always listening...). But I have thought of that song ever since as a kind of minor miracle. It's just so good.

Honored General said...

Any chance of putting the whole album up sometime? Many, many thanks if you do!

The PopCulturist said...

Graham Gouldman was in 10cc?!? Wow, was that a major blind spot in my rock knowledge! I may have known that once, but it sure was a surprise this time. Then again, I only knew Eric Stewart's name through his brief performance in the role of Denny Laine on Paulie's late '80s albums (including "No Values", one of the true unsung Macca masterpieces).

I don't strongly disagree with FD that the GGThing album may be more of a curiosity than an absolutely essential listen, but given your power pop predilictions Mr. Simels, I'd say it's well worth checking out. It's certainly completely inoffensive, and occasionally quite a delight. I'd be interested in your opinion if you do give it a listen!