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10cc - Tenology CD (album) cover




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3.09 | 4 ratings

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3 stars This is the most comprehensive 10cc box set ever released. Four cd's, a DVD plus a 104-page book. Even though the musical contents could be discussed in a marathon depth review, I'll be relatively short. The physical size of the box is decent: the thickness of four centimetres is a bit more than necessary, but at least the overall size remains within the common measures of a book (as opposed to some boxes I've seen that are in a vinyl size despite containing cd's instead of vinyls). The hard-cover book features Paul Lester's long and well written article on the history and essence of the band, supplemented with a handful of band photos, and the lyrics for all songs of the entire set, with a nice background design of graphics and drawings in many various styles.

For compilations I am always quite demanding about the discographic information, and sadly in this matter Tenology leaves a lot to be desired. The book doesn't contain any information besides lyrics which feels a bit strange. The backsides of the discs' cardboard sleeves show the release year and the authors of each track, and gracefully also the track lengths. But the release information concerning the ALBUMS is entirely missing. I think the essay mentions studio albums in an off-hand way, not necessarily all of them and certainly not in a way to help keeping track while listening to the box set. Of course to an advanced 10cc connoisseur this hardly matters much. Those consumers preferring the album centred approach in compilations may get slightly frustrated by the fact that the SINGLES dominate the selection. The first and second disc contain mainly single tracks (and furthermore it's unclear which songs are not singles). The third disc gathers album tracks from 10cc (1973) to Bloody Tourist (1978), and the fourth disc is dedicated to B-sides and rarities.

The roughly 94-minute DVD contains Top of the Pops appearances, BBC's concert dating from August 1974, four other TV performances (1974 and 1982) plus ten promo videos. Many of them haven't stood the test of time very well.

As the essay also admits, the departure of Godley and Creme after How Dare You! (1976) decreased the artistic diversity and witty innovativeness of 10cc's music. Not much is written about the later years and albums concentrating on the craftmanship of Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman. With a box set of this size one would expect to learn more about the later and less essential periods too. The selection pretty much ends with the mentioned 1978 album best remembered for the mock-reggae hit 'Dreadlock Holiday'. That said, I found the post- 1976 songs far less interesting than the halcyon days of the quartet line-up.

A dedicated fan will already have the big majority of the contents which makes purchasing this box set rather unnecessary. However, the fourth disc containing B-sides is bound to offer many interesting new discoveries, some quite nice songs if some irritating ones too. Again, a pity that it's not mentioned which singles they originally appeared on. All in all, Tenology could have been an awesome dive into the history of 10cc, but I really would have preferred a clearer and more album oriented approach.

Matti | 3/5 |


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