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




Prog Related

3.73 | 115 ratings

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4 stars This is 10cc's best and most prog-related album in my view, and the one that should be most enjoyable for people on this site. If you don't mind your progginess coming in 4 to 5 minute chunks with clever, cynical lyrics then this should definitely hit the spot.

Highlights include the jazz-rockish title track featuring some excellent guitar work from Eric Stewart, who emerges as the instrumental star of the album. This segues into another standout Lazy Ways - shimmering production, dreamy lyrics about doing not much at all, a great moog sound and some Led Zep-type riffing.

I Wanna Rule the World is one of their best comedy numbers - another being Sand in My Face off the debut album - about the World Domination fantasies of a bullied geek and a megalomaniac schoolgirl: "Everyone's going to be free, but they'll have to agree to be free. They'll have to agree to be less free than me, 'cos I'll rule the world you see".

Art for Art's Sake has an atmospheric intro and mid-section that reminds me of Wish You Were Here period Pink Floyd. It illustrates the band's talent for packing a song with several catchy hooks and closes with another excellent Stewart solo. I'm Mandy Fly Me is one of the most proggy hit singles you'll hear with its wistful verses about the eponymous air hostess and a multi-acoustic guitar driven instrumental break (containing more great electric soloing).

Things take a bit of a downturn on the latter part of the album. Rock 'n' Roll Lullabye presumably reflected the band members' lives at the time with lyrics about getting a recalcitrant tot to fall asleep, but the music is plodding and uninspiring. Ditto for Head Room, which is about sexual awakening and comes across as puerile and smutty but not very amusing. It must be my age because I did find this funny when I was 14. The album finishes back on a high note with Don't Hang Up, another lushly produced slice of 70s pop about lost love reminiscent of Abba and ELO.

10cc were the first band I really got into and probably paved the way for my love of prog with their consistently thoughtful and inventive output. They got a few critical brickbats for being clever clogs art school types, but that shouldn't deter any self- respecting progger. Nothing wrong with being a smart arse if you can back it up with musical invention and quality song writing. After this album Godley and Creme decided to leave the creative and lucrative harbour of 10cc behind, committing commercial suicide with the release of their expensive triple concept album Consequences - now that's a gloriously daft and prog sort of thing to do!

I'd normally award this five stars, but since it's "prog-related" and not strictly prog it gets a solid four.

| 4/5 |


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