rock nyc’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration: Deceptive Bends in Review
(Back in 2006 I broke up with my girlfriend and I wrote a novel called “Me In Honey” in response. The concept, among other things, was to write about what the characters were listening to at any given moment… a musical by other means. My friend Robert Nevin and suggested that I really wanted to write about music and there was no reason not to do so. There was no reason not to, so here we are. And here is Robert’s June 27th, 2009, review of the Manchester band 10cc’s masterpiece of prog pop – IL)
I think most people stopped at “The Things We Do For Love”, and why not? It is a perfect pop song; double hand claps, ethereal oohs and aahs, a well-produced guitar break and of course, the cleverly crafted lyrics.
But to stop there is to miss why Godley and Creme could leave, and Steward and Gouldman could pick up without missing a beat (sorry ’bout that). Working with only a session drummer, a studio full instruments ranging from Moogs to maracas, and down to their last few miles of audio tape, the two put together an album full of pop masterpieces.
Yes, I’m calling this a PERFECT pop album.To get to “Things” you have to start with “Good Morning Judge”. If you didn’t know Stewart is a fine slide guitarist, let this be your intro.Ballads? Easy money! “People in Love” was the third single off the album. The theme is typical lonely guy pining as only Stewart can write ’em. Even “Marriage Bureau Rendezvous”, perhaps the weakest track on the album displays smooth harmonies and the usual 10cc lyrical craftsmanship.
With “Modern Man Blues” we get the opposite end of the spectrum. The chorus goes “So glad that woman’s gone!” And so it goes. Even quirky ditties like “Honeymoon with B Troop” (“Sitting with a tent pole, what a bloody Jamboree!”) and “You’ve Got a Cold” refuse to be filler. If the funny, rueful lyrics don’t catch you, the bouncy hooks and top notch musicianship will.
I, at one time, had this album in all possible media: vinyl, cassette, 8-track and CD. The re-released version contains three additional tracks, two of which were b-sides of singles. Funny thing is, by sheer coincidence I dug out their 1983 album “Ten out of 10” on cassette this morning and listened to it on the way in to work. It’s really not half bad. I also have an earlier album called “Look Hear?” which I like a lot. I think the post G&C version of 10cc was the better of the two incarnations. Sometimes you don’t need brains to make great pop music.