Monday, January 4, 2016
Starting The Year Off "Weird"
I recently watched a terrific BBC documentary on one of my favorite bands, 10cc. All four original members were on board for interviews, and in the all-too-brief running time of 60 minutes, I learned something. These guys are lot better than I thought they were and I've been a huge fan since Day Three. I'll explain.
Though each member had been around the block and back by 1974, having written hit songs and playing in hit bands in the 60s, producing others, recording together as Hotlegs and then twice under the name 10cc. I wasn't paying close attention until their third release "The Original Soundtrack" And it wasn't because of the hit single. WNEW-FM, probably Scott Muni, played the opening track "Une Nuit A Paris," an 8 minute suite not unlike something off of Queen's "A Night At The Opera," with mulitiple parts and characters, operatic vocals and harmonies, and I was floored. Once I bought the record, I discovered "I'm Not In Love," a song that has now become a monster, and the rest of the LP, which seamlessly covers just about every musical genre known to man.
I went back of course, and purchased their first two records and everything after, until they turned into a bad, faux-reggae band sometime in 1978. But up to and including 1978's "Bloody Tourists," there was no band quite like 10cc. Talk about "chutzpah."
40 years after the release of their 4th record, "How Dare You," I am still completely rattled by a song that appears on Side One, "I Wanna Rule The World." (See video above) This isn't just "Lumpy Gravy" weird. This is a frightening 4 minutes that seems to be an overture of some sort, with a dozen themes, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, all from some possible demented theatre piece.
Let's face it, there are some weird artists and weird songs out there. But I can't recall, in the short time I tried recalling, a weirder song by a band who was so capable of producing a pop hit as sunny as "The Things We Do For Love."
So excluding obvious choices like Zappa, Beefheart, the Ass Orbiters, etc., can you think of a band or individual who has had huge AM radio success, like 10cc had with "I'm Not In Love" and "The Things We Do For Love" and also released music as bizarre as "I Wanna Rule The World?"