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10cc - The Original Soundtrack CD (album) cover

THE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

10cc

 

Prog Related

3.64 | 85 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars There's an Oscar in this

For me, 10CC are a band who flatter to deceive. They write pleasant pop songs, then wrap them up in apparently complex, but ultimately straightforward arrangements. Sometimes this works well for them and they come up with irresistible hit singles. On other occasions it is less successful and they are left with a track for one of their albums. From time to time, they may come up with something which is not liable to be commercially successful in its own right, but is nonetheless highly credible, but such instances are relatively rare.

The first track on "The original soundtrack" is one of those exceptions. The three part "Une nuit a Paris" is one of the few truly structured pieces 10CC have recorded. Admittedly when you break it down, it is little more than three consecutive pop based songs, but they are put together to form an excellent suite. The piece takes the form of a stage show script with various characters and a narrator. As such it is predominantly vocal with brief instrumental links.

Thereafter, the tenets mentioned above generally apply. On the plus side, we have the singles taken from the album. Of these, "I'm not in love" is the finest. This tale of a lover in denial is almost entirely made up of processed voices, the closing instumental section in fact being a multi-tracked vocal extravaganza. As I recall, this was the first time such a technique had been used in this way, the sound the band created being unique at the time of its release. The songs has gone on to become recognised as one of the masterpieces of pop. "Life is a minestrone", the other single from the album, is a more conventional pop rock song. The food related lyrics are either delightfully witty or nonsensical, depending on your affection for the band.

"Second sitting for the last supper" sounds like is has come straight from the Paul McCartney songbook until you listen more closely to the lyrics. McCartney was never that cynical.

With 10CC, the talent and cleverness can misfire as often as it strikes a chord. Here, "Blackmail", "Flying junk" and "Brand new day" are cases in point. Ironically, "Blackmail" does have a superb instrumental outro.

My favourite track though is the soppy "The film of my love" which is filled to the brim with film references and puns. The wonderful melody is supported by a lush instrumental backing, the song having a simultaneously retro and contemporary feel.

"The original soundtrack" finds 10CC pretty much at their peak. For the most part, they have tempered their tendency to be too clever, and come up with a fine album of carefully crafted pop.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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