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10cc - How Dare You! CD (album) cover




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3.73 | 115 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars I'm Mandy (a freckled, spotty, specky, four-eyed, weedy little creep)

10CC's talent for crafting appealing melodic pop songs developed through three appealing but often patchy albums to cumulate in this instantly enjoyable selection of pop classics.

Opening with the decidedly uncharacteristic title track, a guitar based instrumental, we have to await the superb "lazy ways" before we can indulge in the wonderful harmonies and killer melodies of the band. "I'm Mandy fly me", a huge hit single for the band, is one of the all time classic pop songs. A beautifully mysterious love song is woven around a one of the most memorable melodies, the icing on the cake being the haunting guitar riff and the frantic acoustic guitar middle section.

There are still the occasional over indulgences, such as the too clever for their own good "I wanna rule the world" and "Iceberg". In both cases, the patchwork vocal arrangements render the songs over indulgent and jarring.

Side two of the album is slightly the weaker. The hit single "Art for art sake" is the sort of sing-a-long pop rock which 10CC could produce at will; it is guaranteed to raise a smile, even a tapping foot, but demands little effort on the part of the listener. The closing "Don't hang up" is a more orthodox but nonetheless captivating ballad. In between, we have the album's two least distinguished tracks. "Rock'n'roll lullaby" is a "Donna" like swaying retro piece, while "Head room" is based around the sort of activity which results in 10CC.

At this stage, we have to be clear here. Crème, Godley, Gouldman and Stewart are highly gifted pop song writers in the same way that Bjorne and Benny are. The clever song arrangements may at times appear to disguise this, but the music here is sophisticated pop, pure and simple. That is not in any way intended as a criticism, this is an incredibly enjoyable album. It is difficult though, to find any relationship with prog whatsoever.

The appealing sleeve design borrows from several of the tracks, including the lovely "Mandy" apparently receiving an abusive phone call.

Then, suddenly it was all over. Godley and Crème left to play with their gizmo, releasing the radically different "Consequences" before reverting to the 10CC style. Stewart and Gouldman retained the 10CC name, but the magic evaporated.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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