10cc: The Original Soundtrack

IT’S VERY difficult to express a feeling of disappointment in such a medium as this. Like probably many of you, I’d been looking forward to this album on the strength of the other two, but this effort comes across to me as retrogressive.

It’s too complicated, and where previously a bunch of ace singles were packaged together into an album, this attempt at a concept falls over. The first two LPs were capable of being nibbled as a series of snacks, but when you have the full meal, indigestion is the result, The golden rule relating to the perfection of the three minute single has been unfortunately forgotten in a soup-like mixture dominated by uninspired instrumental passages, over orchestrations and tunelessness resulting in the death (by drowning) of the brilliant simplicity which previously pervaded the group’s work.

Specifically, ‘Une Nuit A Paris’ does not work, because while 10cc mimic Americans to the extent that it’s a large part of their appeal, to do the same to the French with second feature accents, is less interesting, and more significantly, unsuccessful, There’s a group on Epic called Sailor, who have already done this, so where’s the innovation which we’ve grown to expect? Apparently, this first tripartite track is the basis of the plot, but it seems to vanish as soon as the track is over, Next comes ‘I’m Not In Love’, which is a nice low key song, until you realise that it seems to have been going on for several days. An edit might make a single. ‘Blackmail’, the other side one track, is a good idea, but short on execution, with the tuneless aspect showing through, and another over long outro.

Side two starts off with a very strange thing called ‘The Second Sitting For The Last Supper’. I understand that some, if not all, of the group, are of a faith which does not include the New Testament in its philosophy, so what are they trying to prove? That all Gentiles are loonies for believing that J.C. will come back? Apart from that, and the unnecessary tastelessness of the idea, the song is too long and rather tedious, ‘Brand New Day’ sounds like a Moody Blues B-side, which is all right if you happen to like the Moody Blues, but unexpected coming from who it comes from here, ‘Flying Junk’ presents very reasonable sentiments in a better than average way, but again is a bit tuneless, while ‘Life Is A Minestrone’ is a good song, but a little too ornate at times, I gather it’s the single; and if so, I don’t think it will be a hit, and nor will any of the others on the record.

Finally, ‘The Film Of My Love’ is a good idea lyrically, but Gouldman sings it like a Eurovision song as performed by the vocalist in Joe Loss’s Ham. Pal. Ork., and the backing vocals a la the Stargazers do nothing to dispel that feeling, Altogether, this sound like a record made in a hurry, with too much pastry and too little meat, if we can return for a mo to that jolly good food motif in the first paragraph, it seems to me that 10 C.C. have sacrificed their art for money and a fold-out sleeve, but all will be forgiven if they start working on the next one now, and revert to their impregnable previous stance.

© John ToblerZigZag, August 1975

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