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10CC

10CC - 8

Johnny, Don't Do It/Sand in My Face/Donna/The Dean and I/Headline Hustler/Speed Kills/Rubber Bullets/The Hospital Song/Ships Don't Disappear in the Night (Do They?)/Fresh Air for My Mama

Just occasionally an album that should be badly out of date sounds really fresh despite the ravages of time. So it is with 10CCs first album which has always been one of my favourites. If you don't end up singing along with this album, then there is something seriously wrong with you. 10CC have always been one of the most idiosyncratic British bands - always original, always clever in a ultra quirky way. I remember buying the vinyl album when it came out from a small independent shop in Norwich called Mouse Music which is long since gone. I took it home and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now returning to it after 36 years it seems just as fun and vibrant as ever. It spawned  four hit singles including the classic The Dean and I and covered so many genres from doo wop to pseudo death songs (Johnny Don't Do It). Here was a band cutting across styles with some beautifully irreverent music.

 

 

Sheet Music - 6

The Wall Street Shuffle/The Worst Band in the World/Hotel/Old Wild Men/Clockwork Creep/Silly Love/Somewhere in Hollywood/Baron Samedi/The Sacro-Iliac/Oh Effendi

10cc always had a self effacing nature and nowhere did that show better than on Sheet Music - the album at least two of the band claim to be their best, which I guess in many ways is fair comment and you can see where they are coming from. I never looked on the opening track as one of their stronger songs, but on closer inspection it is an extremely well crafted piece. The Worst Band in the World has them at their impish best and gives way to a bunch of strange jungle type music that morphs into Hotel. At times the album is almost too clever for its own good and that's the only reason I rate it behind the first album. It's almost as if Sheet Music is a companion to 10CC but not as much fun - the band kind of trying to grow up without perhaps thinking about the consequences.

 

Original Soundtrack - 6

Une Nuit A Paris/I'm Not In Love/Blackmail/The Second Sitting of the Last Supper/Brand New Day/Flying Junk/Life is a Ministrone/The Film of My Love/Channel Swimmer/Good News

With the Original Soundtrack, 10CC seemed to be in danger of disappearing up their own exhaust. Perhaps the ideas were wearing a bit thin. Perhaps they were struggling to find impish dazzling lyrics. So in answer to any problems they came up with a bit of overblown theatre in Une Nuit A Paris and then followed it with their most loved piece I'm Not in Love. I have never been a fan of the latter but can see understand the clever way in which this piece of mood music has been put together. I do like Brand New Day but Life is a Ministrone is contrived with that awful line "death is a cold lasagne suspended in deep freeze. The Film of My Love is an enjoyable music hall style piece and the album wraps up with the very laid back Good News. For all that there is something missing from this album and I've never quite been able to put my finger on just what.

 

How Dare You -

How Dare You/Lazy Ways/I Wanna Rule The World/I'm Mandy Fly Me/Iceberg/Art for Art's Sake/Rock n Roll Lullaby/Head Room/ Don't Hang Up/Get It While You Can