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Aug 20 2011

Popular Culture (Music) 20110819: 10cc

Sometimes I wright about bands that are not my favorites, but that had several nice songs.  10cc is one of them.  I own not a single record of theirs, but always thought that they were pretty good.  Not spectacular, but pretty good.  I am a casual listener, and until I began my research I did not even realize that they from the United Kingdom.

I should have known because of the song Rubber Bullets, but they use them here as well.  They were really pretty good, and at their best could express emotion extremely well, to the point of causing tears now and then.  Nothing like The Who, but still pretty good.

What I intend to do tonight is just to give a short survey of 10cc, not a deep analysis like I do with The Who.  I am sure that many of you are bored with my long and ponderous explication of the work from The Who, so this is sort of a break from it.  Also, I am changing my convention for names of bands, albums, and songs.  As before, the name of the band will always be in bold, and the name of the album in italics.  Starting now, the names of individual songs will be in italics, but with “quotation marks before and after” to do a better job of distinguishing the songs from the albums.

Since I am not doing an in depth treatment of 10cc, I shall only include songs that I like personally.  We shall go through a very brief history, but then just enjoy some of what I consider to be their best works.  Fair enough?

The musicians who eventually become 10cc had lots of interactions with each other and other musicians long before 10cc became a band in their own right, around 1972.  There are lots of stories about how they got their name, one of more outrageous ones that each band member could ejaculate 10 mL, whilst the normal volume is a little less than half that.  No one really knows the story behind the name, but it is pretty well accepted that their producer, xxxxx, tagged the name on them.

Here is the list of the original band members, circa 1972:

Graham Gouldman — bass, vocals, and master writer

Gouldman was a songwriter long before he was a recognized musician.  You might remember the song that he wrote, and The Yardbirds released, “For Your Love”.  He wrote or co wrote many of the hits that 10cc had, including “Not in Love” and “Rubber Bullets”.  By the way, he was born 19460510, and is still with us.  He is the only member of the band still with it since formation.

Eric Stewart — guitar, keyboards, vocals

Stewart was born 19450120 and is also still with us.  He, along with Gouldman, wrote most of the band’s big hits, including the ones mentioned under Gouldman’s bio.  He was the second longest lasting member of the band, leaving only in 1995.

Lol Creme — guitar, keyboards, vocals

Creme (his first name is actually Lawrence, but was nicknamed Lolagon, hence Lol) was born in 19470919 and also still lives.  He, along with Kevin Godley, see below, left the band in 1976 and became a duo act.

Kevin Godley — drums, vocals

Godley was born 19451007 and is also still with us.  This one of the few bands of the era to have all original members surviving to the present.  Godley and Creme left in 1976, and mentioned above in the piece about Creme.

I should mention another band member who goes almost as far back as these four, and that is Paul Burgess, born 19500928, who was the backup tour drummer since 1973.  He, too, is still with us and remains a member of 10cc for their occasional work.

Since this is just a short survey, I do not intend to be all inclusive in musical selections, but rather just feature a few that I happen to like.  The first one that I want to play is “Donna”, a piece by Creme and Godley.  Here is the studio version (it charted at #2 in the UK and not at all in the US):

Here is a live version from July 15 of this year.  I like the studio version much better.  What say you?

The next song that I like very much is “Rubber Bullets”, by Creme, Godley, and Gouldman.  It reminds me very much of the style of the Beach Boys or Jan and Dean.  Here is the studio version (it charted at #1 in the UK and #73 in the US):

Here is a live version from 1973.  Embed is blocked, but here is the link.

All of the studio versions were from their first album, 10cc, released in 1973.

“I’m Not in Love”, a Gouldman and Stewart song, was a big hit for them and charted at #1 in the UK and #2 in the US.  10cc had finally been recognized in the US by then.  It is from their album The Original Soundtrack.  Here is the studio version:

Here is what probably is a synched version from The Top of the Pops from December 1975:

The last song of theirs that I really like is quite a pop number, but is still pretty good.  “The Things we do for Love” was released in 1977 on their album Deceptive Bends, the first album after Creem and Godley left.  At that time the band were at six members, with the addition of Rick Fenn (vocals, guitar), Tony O’Malley (vocals and keyboards), and Stuart Tosh (drums and vocals).  Burgess took over the main drumming as mentioned earlier.  By the way, they are all still breathing.  The song was written by Gouldman and Stuart.  Here is the studio version (which charted at #6 in the UK and #5 in the US):

Here is a live version from 1995:

This the end of our little survey about 10cc.  I hope that you enjoyed it.  As I said, they are not my favorite band, but certainly had some very nice work.  I believe that “I’m Not in Love” can hold its own with many excellent songs from many bands.  If you have other insights about the band or want to embed some of your favorites, please feel free to do so in the comments.

Next week we shall discuss something other than music in Popular Culture, and the week after shall return to The Who with Meaty, Beaty, Big, and Bouncy.

Warmest regards,

Doc, aka Dr. David W. Smith

Crossposted at Daily Kos,

Docudharma, and

firefly-dreaming

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