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10cc - The Original Soundtrack CD (album) cover




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3.77 | 142 ratings

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5 stars Not only was this the breakthrough album for 10CC internationally, but it was the beginning of my obsession with the band when I was quite young. For that reason, I love this album, mostly for personal nostalgic reasons, and I have avoided reviewing this album because it would be somewhat slanted. But, when it comes down to it, most reviews are slanted toward personal preferences anyway, right?

Though I was obsessed with this band for a while, I was also disappointed since I based my love for the the band on this album and their debut, self-titled album, which are their best. "Bloody Tourists" comes close, but after that, except for a track every once in a while, the other albums never did anything much for me no matter how hard I tried.

At the time of the release of this album, the band was pretty much broke. However, they had one song that saved them from total popularity failure, and that was "I'm Not in Love", which has always been a personal favorite of mine and still is. It was this song that convinced the record label to back up the album, and, as we all know, was the thing that saved the band from totally becoming forgotten. The other songs for the album were already recorded, so the album was released within a week of the promise of backing up the album. Thank goodness!

The album starts off with a operetta, a three movement suite called "One Night in Paris", a totally progressive song that tells the story of a British traveler experiencing prostitution in Paris, a somewhat satirically funny track that could very well have been the thing that inspired Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". An excellent start to this album, and it made the critics and public sit up a listen. Following this is "I'm Not in Love", that lush and beautiful ballad that almost everyone knows. For me, it brings back memories of my pre-teen years, lying on my bed in my bedroom with my transistor radio on my pillow playing this song and watching the summer breezes billowing the curtains and my first experience of where music could take me if I let it. This is followed by "Blackmail", another satirical song that has a cool beat and features some of the experimental signature guitar sound of the band with a backdrop of art pop funkiness.

The fun continues onto the 2nd side with another favorite of mine, "The Second Sitting for the Last Supper", a stab at religion and a multi-layered, yet rocking track that still shows the many side of the band; their pop singing sound that has a level of complexity to the song structure, with vocal styles that reflect the faux exuberance of the chorus that always leads into a hard rocking guitar solo and riff. This is what the band does best, when it mixes so many styles into one song and make it all seem so natural. "Brand New Day" eases up a bit with a more theatrical, symphonic sounding track, again with that layer of sarcasm in trying to make the redundancy of living one day after another into something interesting, but you can almost see it all acted out on a stage. "Flying Junk" wears it's Beatles inspired sound on it's sleeve, but it is just complex enough to make it interesting. It's a mid-tempo rocker featuring a nice guitar solo in the instrumental break, a bit of a dark feeling with meticulously placed chords and simple embellishments throughout. "Life is a Minestrone" is the hilarious political and societal comment that became the second single from the album, one that was somewhat known around America, but not as huge as "I'm Not in Love" probably because of the lyrical content not being as relatable. The chorus flips the somewhat complex bridge to a basic boogie style, and these meter changes might have been too much for most of the pop audience. Even so, it's a great song. The last track is the very- retro sounding "The Film of My Love", that sounds like a lounge song from the early 60s, something that you might hear serving as a theme song from an old movie, with the words "over and over" being repeated over and over again. Funny, but probably not the best way to end the album.

This album is definitely the most progressive of the band's albums. It also proves that art pop can be progressive as it takes the style made famous by The Beatles and takes it up a few more levels, and even manages, most of the time, to keep it sounding relevant. I'm not exactly sure if the American public understood the satire in 10cc's songs or the complexity of their pop style, but it never became the classic album that it deserves to be. I wish the ending wasn't so weak, but I understand the humor behind it all. Even with that though, I still consider this an art rock masterpiece that so often gets overlooked because it has that pop edge to it, but if you really listen to the music, you can hear the brilliance and the dashes of progressive music behind most of the songs on this album.

TCat | 5/5 |


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