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The Complete UK Recordings

10cc

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Album Review

Varese's double-disc set The Complete UK Recordings is a welcome, even necessary, addition to 10cc's catalog, collecting everything the band recorded for Jonathan King's UK Records in the early '70s. That is, it contains the entirety of their first two albums — 1973's 10cc and 1974's Sheet Music — along with non-LP singles and B-sides, alternate versions, and single mixes. Given that these two records have floated in and out of print on CD over the years (including a version of the debut on Snapper that had the tracks sequenced as if it were on shuffle play), and have never had a full-fledged U.S. release, this is a valuable reissue, and the two records have never sounded this good, nor have they been presented with much care as they are here. While the alternate single mixes are largely of interest to dedicated fans (and they're the target audience for this, after all), the other non-LP material holds its own with 10cc and Sheet Music, which are the band's two strangest and weirdly inventive records. While the albums that immediately followed Sheet Music — in particular The Original Soundtrack and Deceptive Bends — were more accessible, this pair of LPs prove that 10cc were fearless from the outset, willing to fall on their face and happy to indulge in pure ridiculousness. It's not for every taste, even for those who like the band's soft rock hits, but for those who like their pop progressive and spiked with silliness, these two 10cc albums are essential listening, and the best place to hear them is on this exemplary reissue.

Customer Reviews

Broken men who lie low, waiting for miracles...

The first two 10cc albums, "10cc" and "Sheet Music" contain some of the most original, daring and incredibly inventive pop/rock music of the '70s. These four guys were/are massively talented musicians who pooled their abilities and creativity to come up with harmonically complex, melodically ingenious and lyrically hilarious songs for about 5 years. Some of my favorite recorded moments come later on "Original Soundtrack" and "How Dare You", but these recordings show such brilliant innovation at a time when songs from folks like Captain and Tennile and America ruled the airwaves. If radio programmers had the balls and ability to play the best music available, at least 6 of these songs would have been huge hits. After Kevin Godley and Lol Creme left the band when "How Dare You" was completed, the subsequent recordings had some shining moments (Feel The Benefit from "Deceptive Bends" and Old Mister Time from "Bloody Tourist" spring to mind), but never matched the energy, inventiveness and brilliance of these tracks. Not for pop lovers who don't like a challenge, these songs will take those of us who crave musical mastery on a ride that few art rock bands can ever do. Just try to find a better vocal than Kevin Godley's part on "Old Wild Men". You will have a tough time beating that one. Buy this, find Original Soundtrack and How Dare You (not on iTunes), and enjoy. They were the best.

Biography

Formed: 1972 in Manchester, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Deriving their name from the metric total of semen ejaculated by the average male, the tongue-in-cheek British art-pop band 10cc comprised an all-star roster of Manchester-based musicians: vocalist/guitarist Graham Gouldman was a former member of the Mockingbirds and the author of hits for the Yardbirds, the Hollies, Herman's Hermits and Jeff Beck; singer/guitarist Eric Stewart was an alum of Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders; and vocalists/multi-instrumentalists Kevin Godley and Lol Creme were...
Full Bio

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