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10cc - Bloody Tourists CD (album) cover

BLOODY TOURISTS

10cc

 

Prog Related

3.11 | 58 ratings

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chessman
Prog Reviewer
4 stars On this album, 10cc changed their sound somewhat. Gone are the heavy guitars and subtle sound effects we used to hear on their previous albums. Here we have more straightforward rock songs, the guitar more subdued, the piano more honky tonk at times. Nevertheless, this is a good album. The band has expanded here, with the likes of Rick Fenn, Stuart Tosh and Duncan Mackay filling out the sound of the trio Gouldman, Stewart and Burgess. The opener is one of their best known and most played songs, 'Dreadlock Holiday', ironically not a favourite of mine. However, it has all the classic lyrical wittiness associated with the band. Graham takes lead on this one, singing over a reggae dominated beat about a tourist in Jamaica having trouble with some locals. As Graham sings about one of the gang: 'Well he looked down at my silver chain, said "I'll give you one dollar". I said "You've got to be joking man, it was a present from me mother." Again, typical 10cc. The second track, 'For You And I' is sung by Eric Stewart, and is a beautiful ballad, with nice keyboards and a plaintive vocal. No satire here, just a nice love song. The ending is lovely. 'Take These Chains' is really quite standard fare for this band, a decent song but nothing spectacular. It starts with some nice slide guitar from Eric, before the acoustic guitars kick in. Just a nice mid-paced song. 'Shock On The Tube' is more like the old style 10cc, being a song about a chap on the tube, who can't believe his good fortune when a lovely girl sits down next to him. Then he falls asleep and dreams the rest: 'I was travelling home on the subway, when this vision got on at Maida Vale, as I casually eyed the classifieds, she sat down next to me. Every head in the carriage was wondering, I replied with a smile on my face, then I slipped into the arms of Morpheus, to daydream the rest of the way.' Brilliant, and backed by choir-like vocals. At this point the song changes to a fast rocking tempo with some fiery piano accompanying it. 'Last Night' is sung by Graham and is something of a sister song to 'Take These Chains' being a standard rock song, the middle eight being sung by Eric. Finishing the old side one we have the superb 'Anonymous Alchoholic' another nod towards the bands hilarious past. The hero of the song is off the drink, but goes to a party and is enticed to have one. Of course, this leads to more and he is soon on the dance floor with his boss's wife. He naturally makes a fool of himself, wakes up, finding his mouth tastes like 'oh oh oh oh old leather' (sung in an almost Paul Robeson-deep voice) and finding his boss has fired him, singing 'don't wanna see you again.' Depressed, he realises it's 'the end of the line, but it's Martini time, so he heads for the barrrrrrrrr'. This ends on a downward travelling note and finishes one of the best songs on the album, even allowing for the 'disco bit' in the middle when our hero is enjoying himself. It has to be said here, I consider the second half of the album to be much stronger. It opens with a rarity: a 10cc song not sung by one of the originals. 'Reds In My Bed' is sung by drummer Stuart Tosh, and a fine job he does too. The melody is infectious, the lyrics wonderful, and Eric sings the chorus backed with some nice acoustic guitar. Tosh sings another classic line here: 'I've got reds in my bed, I'm not easily led to the slaughter, but while the cold war exists I'll stay warm with the commissar's daughter.' Hilarious! Could be the best track on the album! However 'Lifeline' is another contender. This one is sung by Graham, has some nice acoustic guitar again, and is catchy. The first line sets the tone: 'Ten thousand miles away from someone, ten thousand miles away from you, who's your friend, on the end of a telephone line, a telephone line's like a lifeline.' Quite a poignant song, this one. It also has a far too brief burst of incisive guitar from Eric half way through the song. 'Tokyo' is another gentle song, sung by Eric, about the Japanese people; geisha girls etc. Very nice. 'Old Mister Time' is a classic and another contender for my favourite track. It is maybe the one song most like the old 10cc, and could have fitted on The Original Soundtrack easily. Eric sings this, and there are some wonderful backing vocals, nice electric piano and quite eerie lyrics, about an old man: 'The children called him the scarecrow. An old raincoat and baggy trousers and sneakers he found at the dump'. But there is more than meets the eye to this character. An excellent song. 'From Rochdale to Ocho Rios' is uptempo and, again, brilliant, with bright acoustic guitars and lyrics sung by Graham. It's a song about travel of course, like most of the songs on the album.Great lyrics here too, such as: 'Pack a shirt and some fresh pyjamas, that's all you need.' 'Everything You Wanted To Know About!!!' is a good way to end the album. All about a man who is shy with the opposite sex, so finds a prostitute, it has more amusing lyrics, such as, at the point when he goes up to the prostitute, Debbie and sings: 'I asked her would she like a cigarette and she said "let's go to bed, cause that's what you want!" At first he is embarrassed and a failure, but he has another go, and turns into a stud! The bonus track, 'Nothing Can Move Me' is a simple bluesy rock song, mid paced and unspectacular. This is, for me, the last of the consistently good 10cc albums. They were to turn towards more straightforward songs after this. I couldn't decide at first between three and four stars, but, in the end, it brought back such happy memories, I have to give it four!
chessman | 4/5 |

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