10cc

  • British art rock band formed in 1972 from Stockport England. The original line up was Eric Stewart (guitar, keyboards, vocals, songwriting), Graham Gouldman (bass, guitar, vocals, songwriting), Lol Creme (guitar, keyboards, vocals, songwriting), and Kevin Godley (drums, vocals, songwriting). Paul Burgess toured as the drummer, and became a member of the band when Godley left in 1976. Rick Fenn replaced Creme on guitar in 1977. Gouldman, Burgess and Fenn continue to be with the band today.
  • Godley, Creme and Gouldman were school boy friends. In 1965, they were part of the band named The Mockingbirds, recording 5 singles without success. This evolved to various projects by Godley and Creme, while Gouldman began to write hits for other artists. Meanwhile, Stewart was having success as the guitarist and later the vocalist for The Mindbenders. In 1968, Gouldman joined The Mindbenders, but the band soon split. All 4 began using the same recording studio for projects they were working on.
  • For several months, they produced bubblegum pop songs for producers that contracted with Gouldman to write throw-away songs for phantom groups. By 1970, Gouldman moved to New York to continue writing songs, while Godley, Creme and Stewart continued to record. They released the single Neanderthal Man, using the band name Hotlegs – it sold over 2 million records in Europe and reached #22 in the U.S. Hotlegs included the single on 1 album – Thinks: School Stinks – but it did not chart, as the other songs sounded much different than Neanderthal Man.
  • In 1972, with Stewart back in the UK, they performed on 2 albums by Neil Sedaka. Based on their success, they decided to form a band together. They pitched the song Donna to a record label, and were signed in 1972, and given the name 10cc. The owner of the record company chose the name based on a dream he had, where the band was performing a concert in London and the signage read “10cc The Best Band In The World.” Donna reached #2 in 1972 in the UK, as part of their debut album, the self titled 10cc, which was released the following year. Another single from the album, Rubber Bullets, was their first to chart in the U.S. (at #73), and it was their first #1 hit in the UK.
  • Their second album, Sheet Music, was released in 1974. It performed well enough in the UK to lead to a new record deal, and The Original Soundtrack was released in 1975. It was their breakthrough in the U.S., due to the success of the single I’m Not In Love, which reached #1 in the UK, and #2 in the U.S. The song was unique in its use of a vocal recording of the chromatic scale overdubbed to create what sounds like an ethereal choir of 624 voices. It’s really an amazing song.
  • The last album by the original line-up, How Dare You!, was released in 1976. A couple songs were top 10 in the UK, but the record sold poorly in the U.S. Godley and Creme left the band to create their own group, as they wanted to explore more progressive sounds, while Steward and Gouldman preferred pop music. Stewart and Gouldman continued as 10cc, and their next album was Deceptive Bends. It contained their final major hit, The Things We Do For Love, which peaked at #5 in the U.S.
  • In 1978, 10cc released Bloody Tourists, which contained the single Dreadlock Holiday. The reggae song reached #1 in the UK and other European markets, but only made it to #44 in the U.S.
  • In 1979, Stewart was injured in a car crash, and the band lost momentum. Three albums released from 1980 to 1983 were failures. The band split up until 1991. The original 4 reunited to release an album in 1992, and Stewart/Gouldman released a final album in 1995. In 1999, Gouldman reformed 10cc with Fenn, Burgess and others. They began touring regularly in 2002, and continue today.
  • I’m Not In Love continues to be one of my favorite songs of all time. It’s so mysterious, enchanting. And what is it with the woman in the song, whispering “be quiet, big boys don’t cry”? Here’s the video.

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