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HOW DARE YOU!

10cc

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mystic fred
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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A hugely successful album on its release, "How Dare You" spawned two monster hits "I'm Mandy Fly Me" and "Art for Art's Sake". I remember I hardly had this off the turntable at the time. Each song is a gem, there is no filler on this brilliant album.

The first track on Side 1, the title track "How Dare You" is an excellent instrumental which was used in Jack Rosenthal's successful television play "Barmitzvah Boy", based around a thirteen year old Jewish boy's experiences during his coming of age ceremony. "Lazy Ways" is a lush song about "hazy ways and lazy ways" , some interesting arrangements here, and of course some studio and backing vocal chorus effects similar to "I'm Not in Love". The next song "I Wanna Rule the World" is almost a crazy megolamaniac's anthem! "Wannabeaboss wannabea Big Boss", or just could be about an ordinary teenage kid ready to take on the world, though there are dark messages within, including a Despot style rallying speech, and a nightmare teeny tot! "How you gonna do it - little by little, bit by bit ". The next track "I'm Mandy Fly Me", a huge hit in 1976, is based on a certain Airline's advertising campaign slogan "I'm........Fly Me...." featuring pretty air hostesses. In the story the narrator sees Mandy in the poster come to his aid during an air crash either real or in a dream sequence, and it seems Mandy doesn't exist at all...or does she?? "Iceberg" is a typical example of 10cc's quirky songwriting skills, ever feel you were being stalked by a maniac?? Puzzling song here ending in pig grunts (?).

Side 2 on the LP kicks of with the excellent song "Art for Art's Sake", which includes those dreamy backing vocals and leads into a stomping riff and echo effects, "gimme the readies, gimme the cash", a satire on art of course, and money talks. "Art for art's sake, money for god's sake..!!". "Rock'n'roll Lullaby" is a doo-wop style song similar to "Donna" about getting the kid to sleep, "it's daybreak in the land of nod so get to sleep you little sod..." (love it), the song includes a great blues guitar solo and big chorus fade-out. "Head Room" is a boogie-style/country-style rocker about a pre- pubescent boy discovering sex with all its connotations and "drawbacks"! The "telephone" theme of the album artwork comes home on the last track "Don't Hang Up" (and "How Dare You" to a degree) which is about events we all experience in a lousy relationship of a broken marriage, "lots to learn about women", they're not kiddin' !! The song features very watery piano effects and ends with ....don't ...hang..u.....drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Some may say this could be one of 10cc's proggiest albums and i can understand that, in many instances while listening I am reminded of other music that was around at the time such as ELO and Supertramp in style, definitely Prog-related IMHO, also an excellent album which stands the test of time very well indeed and I would happily rate it a masterpiece of rock five stars, but on PA Prog ratings a well deserved three stars!

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Send comments to mystic fred (BETA) | Report this review (#85783)
Posted Friday, August 04, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chris S
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3 stars Another very clever studio album by 10cc. Following hard on the heals of the highly successful ' Original Soundtrack ' album ' How Dare You' maintained the band's credibility in delivering consistently good material.The title track opens up with a bang and get's usual 10cc messages across. They remind me of the band Caravan in a way when it comes to lyrics. There is also no denying their similarities to the Beatles or should we say you can hear the Beatles strong influence on this band particularly on ' How Dare You'. ' I want to rule the world' is another great track, as is ' Iceberg' and the commercial ' Art for art's sake'. The classic four piece lineup of Godley/Creme/Gouldman and Stewart continued even though even at this midpoint of the 1970's there were already rumours abounding about conflict within the band.Good, but not necessarily essential. The diehard 10cc fan will already have this but not a bad place to start discovering the band if their music is new to you.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#86208)
Posted Tuesday, August 08, 2006 | Review Permalink
liam@cm-media
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.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#86454)
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
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Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

After the monumental Original soundtrack, everybody waited for 10 CC around the bend, but they not only answered present, but managed to pull another superb effort in this ugly art-sleeved record. The quartet of songwriters definitely managed to even better their art and not just for art's sake, but for commercial success. Their typical Englishness remains for much of this album as they are often close music-hall or cabaret music.

With a very symphonic title track as an opener (an impressive intro and a bit too present strings section), the mood is set for Lazy Ways which is much Queen-like (Seaside Rendez- Vous etc..) and the very funny pastiche Rule The World with its huge Frank Zappa influences. The rest of that side of the album is regular 10 CC, Mandy being slightly too calm. With the dazzling Art For Art's Sake, the group reaches yet another climax and for the progheads maybe THE climax. And even if my comments above are a wink at this song, believe me that the song is justifyingly titled. Two more typical tracks and then the album closes on the delicate, reflective, anguished Don't Hang Up, which ends as you might expect it.. with a tonality.

As you might just not consider 10 CC never being prog, should the proghead one day want to investigate the group, he might want to start with either this one or its two predecessors. With this kind of album though, 10 CC were giving Queen a run for their worth. But just after this successfully approached bend, there would be another where half of the quartet would leave? Having never been that much a fan, I never knew the reasons for this split at the top of their game.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#87306)
Posted Tuesday, August 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
chessman
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It has been a long, long time since I heard this album, but for Xmas I just got off a friend the remastered cd, so now I have refreshed my memory enough to give a review. When it was released, this was my least favourite 10cc album. There were some moments of brilliance, but also moments of inconsistency, I felt. Now, on hearing it again, I think the brilliance has won out, and I love the whole album! The opening title track is an instrumental and is an excellent way to start. Superb guitar and gizmo work, and the track has a feeling of spaciousness to it that is hard to describe. For some reason, it calls to my mind an airport lounge! 'Lazy Ways' was always one of my favourite tracks. A superb, mid paced song with nice vocals from Eric and strong acoustic and electric guitar work. 'I Wanna Rule The World' was one of those tracks I could never get into, but now I appreciate it more. Typical 10cc this: Lots of different voices, plenty of humour and interesting moments of melody. Has to be heard a few times to be really appreciated though. 'I'm Mandy, Fly Me' was a hit at the time, and is a great song. More great tempo changes, some nice slow bits, great acoustic guitar in the middle - what more could you ask for? And on top of it all we have Eric's wonderful vocals. it tells a great story too, but I won't spoil that for you. As usual, great harmonies pervade the whole piece. 'Iceberg' was another of those tracks I wasn't keen on originally, but now I enjoy it a lot more. This one is sung by Graham and a good job he does too. The track sounds disjointed, but actually gels together well. The song has an almost jazzy feel to it but never loses its sense of structure or melody, nice guitar from Eric here too. 'Art For Art's Sake' was another hit in the charts. Vocals are supplied by Lol this time and the usual biting satire is here in full force. Eric supplies a nice guitar solo at the end too. 'Rock 'N' Roll Lullaby' was another of my favourites, and still is. The tempo does indeed bring to mind a lullaby, the melody is catchy, and Kevin sings this one superbly. Another classic 10cc line here: 'It's daybreak in the land of nod, so get to sleep you little sod.' Wonderful stuff! And the harmonies here are amongst the best on the album, with the ending being particularly effective. A great track. 'Head Room' is also very good. The guitar work here has an almost countryish feel to it, but that doesn't detract from the interesting lyrics and laid back verse and chorus. Finally comes the mini epic 'Don't Hang Up' with a strong performance from Kevin on vocals. This is a slower song, and has the most wonderful melody. The middle bit has an almost spanish feel to it, with what sounds like castanets being played in the instrumental section. More great harmonies lead back to the original melody. Another great line here: 'When the barman said whatcha drinking, I said marriage on the rocks.' Sheer brilliance! The very ending, as Kevin sings 'don't say...' and gets cut off, leaving the dial tone to fade slowly away, is extremely effective. On this remaster there is a bonus track called 'You've Got To Get It While You Can' which I think was the b - side of 'Art For Art's Sake. (Which I own.) There is a line sung in this that the band use again on the Bloody Tourists album, on the track 'The Anonymous Alchoholic'. Namely: 'Everybody's having fun, so why be the one whose out in the cold.' The track is pleasant if none essential and brings a great album to a satisfactory close. Another four star effort.

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Send comments to chessman (BETA) | Report this review (#104938)
Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars I'm Mandy (a freckled, spotty, specky, four-eyed, weedy little creep)

10CC's talent for crafting appealing melodic pop songs developed through three appealing but often patchy albums to cumulate in this instantly enjoyable selection of pop classics.

Opening with the decidedly uncharacteristic title track, a guitar based instrumental, we have to await the superb "lazy ways" before we can indulge in the wonderful harmonies and killer melodies of the band. "I'm Mandy fly me", a huge hit single for the band, is one of the all time classic pop songs. A beautifully mysterious love song is woven around a one of the most memorable melodies, the icing on the cake being the haunting guitar riff and the frantic acoustic guitar middle section.

There are still the occasional over indulgences, such as the too clever for their own good "I wanna rule the world" and "Iceberg". In both cases, the patchwork vocal arrangements render the songs over indulgent and jarring.

Side two of the album is slightly the weaker. The hit single "Art for art sake" is the sort of sing-a-long pop rock which 10CC could produce at will; it is guaranteed to raise a smile, even a tapping foot, but demands little effort on the part of the listener. The closing "Don't hang up" is a more orthodox but nonetheless captivating ballad. In between, we have the album's two least distinguished tracks. "Rock'n'roll lullaby" is a "Donna" like swaying retro piece, while "Head room" is based around the sort of activity which results in 10CC.

At this stage, we have to be clear here. Crème, Godley, Gouldman and Stewart are highly gifted pop song writers in the same way that Bjorne and Benny are. The clever song arrangements may at times appear to disguise this, but the music here is sophisticated pop, pure and simple. That is not in any way intended as a criticism, this is an incredibly enjoyable album. It is difficult though, to find any relationship with prog whatsoever.

The appealing sleeve design borrows from several of the tracks, including the lovely "Mandy" apparently receiving an abusive phone call.

Then, suddenly it was all over. Godley and Crème left to play with their gizmo, releasing the radically different "Consequences" before reverting to the 10CC style. Stewart and Gouldman retained the 10CC name, but the magic evaporated.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#107542)
Posted Monday, January 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Matti
COLLABORATOR
Neo-Prog Team
4 stars 10cc may not be prog in the strict sense, but it was definitely well-done, innovative and original pop back in the seventies. And their best efforts have stood the test of time extremely well. This far How Dare You is the only album I've got (heard also some compilations), and presumably it was the best choice. There are no fillers here, and each track is crafted with perfectionism. No wonder that Godley & Creme have been respected producers too.

The opener is a bit noisy instrumental and my least favourite track. 'Lazy Ways' is just lovely, dreamy pop song with excellent vocals and bass playing. 'I Wanna Rule the World' is an amazing thing to hear for the first time. The protagonist is a young, overlooked boy who dreams of being a dictator of the world. 'I'm Mandy, Fly Me' is a hit, and a marvelous one. Also that song and just about every one on this album is 'progressive' in the way of sharp changes between song parts. That breathtaking, playful, ehm, fullness of the songs may get a bit tiring, and therefor I don't listen to this LP very often. But the 'art' of this pop makes me amazed when I do. The B side is not quite as great IMHO, but ends with a beautiful 'Don't Hang Up.' 3,5 stars.

PS: This is my 200th review, and 10cc is the 100th artist on my review list.

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#130285)
Posted Thursday, July 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
progrules
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I want to review something completely different now. And what could I do better than an album that isn't really prog but indeed prog related. In fact it's the only prog related album 10CC has made in my opinion, although I must admit I don't know all their albums. But 10CC is actually only slightly progressive and this comes quite a nice way in that respect so I'll give my opnion about this one.

I believe there are only 3 prog related tracks on the album among which my favourite 10CC track of all time, I'm Mandy fly me. This is one of the best "pop" songs I know in history ! A tremendous track with a great instrumental passage, I'll love it forever. The other two more or less prog related's are Art for arts sake (nice rhythm) and Don't hang up (emotional lyrics). Other significant tracks are I wanna rule the world and Iceberg and even the rest is not bad at all. Even for a progger. I already had the vinyl in my possession in the seventies so I think I'm entitled to give my review on this one. And it's funny that in 30 years my opinion about the album has hardly changed. So that means it's an evergreen (or something).

I really like this one and anyone who wants to make a sidestep to something like pop music for a change (no more than a sidestep, please !) this one is very recommended !

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#147879)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Very difficult task to follow-up such albums as "Sheet Music" and "The Original Soundtrack". The recipe is almost the same here, but less surprising.

"Lazy Ways" (Crème/Stewart) is of course fully in-line with their best work. Beatles-esque vocal arrangements and a wonderful melody. One of many of that kind in the 10CC repertoire. Their song-writing is excellent as usual.

We'll get some short opera-like songs as well. "I Wanna Rule The World" (Godley, Creme, Gouldman) features so many characters immortalized by so many different voices. The childish type of vocals at the end of the song seems to indicate a pleasant and light passage; but the lyrics (as usual as well) are totally devastating : "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 rule the world you see". I guess that this is what we call dictatorship.

The next song is not as dark. "I'm Mandy Fly Me" (Stuart, Creme, Gouldman) is another VERY melodic tune. Fantastic vocals again. The spirit is again very much similar to the Fab Four. A highlight.

Not all numbers are unforgettable like the instrumental opening number "How Dare You" and the jazzy/pastiche "Iceberg". Sounds pretty much as a grotesque farce. The different themes are countless here. To be able to change so often from mood in such a short song is one of their great skills. But at times, it is just too much (like in this song). Not easy to recreate "One Night In Paris".

This complex texture is also found on their hit-single "Art For Art's Sake" (Gouldman and Stewart). The inventiveness deployed here is fabulous. Great percussion work in an apparent and straight-forward song. Still, to be able to chart with such a song indicates the high profile of these great composers.

The parodic style of the fifties is again irresistible during "Rock'n'Roll Lullaby" (Gouldman and Stewart again). The band is truly impossible to categorize. Each song holds so many ideas, discoveries. One should try and count how many different sub-songs (some sort of songs within a song) they have written. We should be surprised with the numbers.

This ability is not only the prerogative of the Godley and Creme duo; they were responsible of three songs on this album. The title track and the last two "Head Room" and "Don't Hang Up". The latter being another of their mini-opera with countless ideas per minute. Brilliant.

This album does not hold so many well-known numbers as its predecessors, but nonetheless, the band released a good and pleasant album. It is also amazing to see how they switched from instruments according the song. The only one to be confined in the percussion and related instruments being Kevin Godley. The other trio juggling with bass, guitar, piano, organ, moog etc. The four of them being great vocalists.

This is why 10CC is a band with such an exceptional and unique sound. Three stars for "How Dare You".

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#152858)
Posted Monday, November 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album means many things for 10cc as a musical entity with a history relevant for the development of British rock: it's the swansong for the classic quartet line-up, it's the top opus for the delivery of their elaborated pop-rock offering, it's the album in charge of keeping up with the momentum initiated with their previous two studio albums, it remains one of their most powerful works in terms of rock sonorities and cohesion among their own varied style. Although the chasm open between the two writing pairs (Creme-Godley, Stewart-Gouldman) was evident for the development of the repertoire, the performances, arrangements and sound production surely made it their best group effort. Personally speaking, it's my favorite 10cc album ever. It is only adequate that their cleverest repertoire had to be packaged in their best album cover. But let's go and take a look at the repertoire itself. The opening namesake instrumental is a funny yet somewhat intriguing journey into exotic Mid-Western and Latin ambiences (at certain moments I can tell what seem to be little quotations of Geroge Harrison's 'Within You, Without You'), mixed with alternated psychedelic and funky adornments provided by the guitar solos and clavinet phrases. It's like a musical journey that never seems to develop completely, not even as a jam, but the reason for that is that it's functional as a prelude to 'Lazy Ways', and it works very well so. 'Lazy Ways' bears a very Wings-esque feel, but it also includes a number of slight mood variations, mostly on eerie multi-tracked acoustic guitars that emulate the mind's transition into sleep. Both melody and sound production help the track to portray the laziness referred to in the lyrics. Also highly Wings-esque, albeit with an enhanced elaboration of contrasting moods, is 'I'm Mandy, Fly Me', one true 10cc classic (besdies a hit single). The middle section includes an agile section of strummed acoustic guitars and zithers, plus some fabulous (albeit too short) guitar leads. Here we find again the topic of being lost in our dreams and fantasies, this time in a more poralized fashion. Caught in the middle is the extravagant 'I Wanna Rule the World', a manifesto of future revenge from a bullied, nerdish schoolboy who swears one day will be a Hitlerian dictator. The dominant Zappaesque elements bring a special heat for the song's general R'n'B structure. Cabaret jazz music? 10cc never forgot about it, as it is shown in their bizarre tale of a serial rapist-murderer called 'Iceberg'. The candid vocal harmonies emphasize the band's sarcastic ideology, while the creepy intro and closure clearly portray what kind of danger is being faced by the protagonist's next victim. The album's second half kick off with the album's second hit single, 'Art for Art's Sake', a sort of BTO-meets-Beatles song with some psychedelic and funky tricks served in as resources for variation. Pleasant and catchy as it is, and with an amazing closing guitar solo by Stewart, all in all, it does not match the panache of 'Lazy Ways' or 'Mandy'. The following two tracks are the most simplistic ones. 'Rock'n'Roll Lullaby' is a stylish, clean blues-rock that ironizes about the show business stars' conceited selfs; 'Head Room' is a bluegrass-meets- country song dedicated to sexual initiation. The B-side's master song is the album's closure 'Don't Hang Up', a deconstructive ballad of broken love and unaccepted reconciliation. The drunkard's pathetic claims and memories and the estranged lady's stubborn refusals are graphically portrayed with a clever succession of sad corny melodies, Cabaret chorale, a loud Flamenco-fusion interlude and romantic movie's ambiences, all the way through toward the abrupt phone call's end. This song signifies a very interesting way to close the best chapter of 10cc's history. Although this is a non-prog album by a non-prog band, I label it as an excellent addition to the collection of the proghead with a sensibility for clever, multi-layered pop-rock. "Clever multilayered pop-rock": this describes the very essence of 10cc at their best.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#155791)
Posted Monday, December 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Soft rock'? No, the first time I heard this album I was surprised that the instrumental opening number and the ditto middle section of 'I'm Mandy Fly Me' were pure, unadulterated symphonic prog. Those two tracks were part of an astonishing A-side which features a sequence of songs that follow each other just as naturally as, say, the material on the A-sides of SGT. PEPPER or A NIGHT AT THE OPERA.

Some reviewers have compared 10cc's songwriters with Bjorn and Benny from Abba, but I beg to differ: 10cc's best efforts (of which HOW DARE YOU's A-side is one) are far more varied than Abba's singalong songs; they overflow with jokes and sudden mood changes. The standard comparison with Queen isn't particularly apt, either. Queen's massive choruses remind me of classical opera and oratorio; 10cc's choruses (and their four-part harmonies) are more closely related to the music you hear in pre-1960s Hollywood musicals. (For this reason, I guess, 10cc are also close in spirit to the vocal tracks on Zappa albums like ROXY AND ELSEWHERE or SHEIK YERBOUTI.) Moreover, when members of Queen (particularly Freddie Mercury) sing solo, their vocals are usually camp and fraught with sexual innuendo. 10cc's solo vocals are more polite and restrained - like old style English 'music hall'. There's an essential difference between Freddie singing 'Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon', and 10cc intoning the far more timid (yes, IN SPITE OF its lyrics) 'Headroom'...

So, let me sum up: HOW DARE YOU's original A-side is a highly inspired sequence of music which I really advise you to get hold of if you enjoy civilised, theatrical tune-smithery. The B-side is a different matter. Its middle tracks sound rather insipid and annoying. Its opener, 'Art for art's sake', isn't too bad, but after a couple of spins you'll tire of it. The final track, 'Don't hang up', is as brilliant as the first half of the album. (The CD bonus track, by the way, is totally forgettable.) When all is said and done, what does HOW DARE YOU have to offer? About 25 minutes of top-drawer music. Many so-called 'great' albums will give you far less.

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Send comments to fuxi (BETA) | Report this review (#171169)
Posted Friday, May 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars How Dare You is the fourth album from 10CC. After The Original Soundtrack which proved to be a commercial breakthrough, because of the single I´m not in Love, 10CC were eager to follow up the succes and How Dare You proves to be a worthy follow up to The Original Soundtrack. In fact I think How Dare You is a better and much more entertaining album than The Original Soundtrack.

The album starts with the instrumental title track which is actually very enjoyable. It´s not because it´s complex or challenging, but more because of the melodic qualities and the superb production. Other great tracks would be I Wanna Rule the World, I'm Mandy, Fly Me, Iceberg and Art for Art's Sake. The latter with an actual hard rock riff. I´ll make sure not to forget the intricate and beautifully crafted Don't Hang Up. The feature I enjoy the most about 10CC´s music is there vocals though. Beautiful mulitlayered vocals and intricate vocal lines means that every song is quite the experience even though the basic formula is vers chorus. Commercial music like this couldn´t have survived on a prog site without intricate instrumentation though and there are lots of exciting instrumental parts. They don´t stand alone most of the time though but are generally played while the vocals dominate. One thing I shouldn´t forget when reviewing this album is the great humour that 10CC is known for. These lyrics are very cleverly written and sometimes reminds me of the biting sarcasm of Frank Zappa.

The musicianship is outstanding. Everything flows easily even though 10CC play some pretty challenging things underneath the commercial exteriour of the songs.

The production is otherworldly. 10CC simply had some of the best productions of the seventies.

How Dare You is a very good album and it actually reminds me a bit about my favorite 10CC album Sheet Music. At least it sounds closer to that one than to The Original Soundtrack IMO. I think How Dare You is an above average album and I´ll rate it 4 small stars. Recommendable to people into commercial music with a twist.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#175806)
Posted Monday, June 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
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Symphonic Team
2 stars Art for art's sake?

How Dare You! opens with an instrumental which tells you something about the album, namely that the level of instrumental skill is slightly higher here compared to earlier albums and that there are more guitar solos and other instrumental passages allowed. The songs are not as completely vocal driven as on earlier albums.

The sarcasm, sillyness and the humour is still very much here, but the lyrics are still slightly better and more sophisticated than on previous albums. The arrangements are a bit better as well. The production value is high, and the sound is good.

There is also much less of the annoying boogie-woogie, rock 'n' roll that plagued previous albums (Rubber Bullets anyone?).

From a Prog perspective there is little, if anything, to enjoy here.

This is possibly 10cc's best album, and a good place to start if you want to explore this band. Still, like all 10cc albums, this is for fans and collectors only. Needless to say, 10cc is not a band I like very much.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#190032)
Posted Friday, November 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
snobb
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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Melodic, multi-textured well balanced soft - rock / art-pop. Almost as all 10 CC albums of their earlier period, you have here the music you expected.

If you dont like mid-tempo melodic songs with strong pop touch, better even don't start with 10 CC at all. But from another hand, how many groups of that time had so perfectly balanced and precisely played and recorded music?

I always get esthetical pleasure listening this album. Clever humor, sangvinic songs, perfec musicianship. Yes, it's far from prog-rock in ortodox sense, but it's very near to very good music of it's time.

I can compare that music with Roxy Music, but Roxys always had strong theatric decadance smell both together with some psychodelic spices in it. There you hear oposite thing - clever ,always cynic, but well balanced sound ( even enthusiastic, if that combination is possible with cynism).

Recomens to all lovers of bright melodic music in art clothes. One of good 10 CC albums.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#238632)
Posted Friday, September 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Evolver
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Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
5 stars In my opinion, this is one of the finest crossover prog album ever recorded. Unfortunately, it was the last 10CC album to feature the full original band. Lol Creme and Kevin Godley left after this one, to maket their "Gizmo" invention and record the weird and wonderful "Consequences".

The album begins with the instrumental How Dare You, a cool rhythmic piece, with some of the best guitaring on any 10CC album. Lazy Days takes it down just a bit, with a nice pop tune. Then there's I Wanna Rule The World, a bizarre but exciting little piece, with some theatrical vocals that would put "The Wall" to shame.

I'm Mandy, Fly Me begins with a snippet from Clockwork Creep hinting a bit at the plot. The song is one of those where the guys juxtapose dark lyrics over some very light music, a technique they've used since their early albums (think Rubber Bullets). Iceberg, the jazziest song from the band, begins with the singer lamenting his girlfriend's lack of emotional response to him, and brilliantly unfolds into his madness.

Art For Arts Sake sounds like it could be a companion piece to The Wall Street Shuffle, another tale of greed. And Rock 'N' Roll Lullaby, a fifties styled ballad, attempts to scare children to sleep ("The sandman's gonna get you!)

Head Room is a one joke song with sexual innuendo. And Don't Hang Up is alamost a companion piece to Iceberg. It's a symphonic styled song, with some clever lyrics, with again the protagonist at first sounding just lovelorn, until we discover he's a stalker ("It's me that's been diggin' your shadow. It's me that's been shadowing your dog.")

It's too bad the band went downhill after this.

4.5 stars - rounded up.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#507444)
Posted Monday, August 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is one of the most loved 10CC albums, full of catchy, witty songs. There are some beautifully lush moments as well, such as the smooth 'Lazy Ways'."Don't Hang Up" is particularly moving too as is the better known "I'm Mandy, Fly Me", with its rather crafty lyrics. It has always been somewhat underrated I think. The disturbing 'I Wanna Rule The World' is here too, and shows 10cc at their most eccentric. Some tracks aren't quite as strong though, like 'Head Room' and 'Iceberg', but they aren't bad by any means. The album version of "Art For Art's Sake", one of the band's top rockers, is longer than the single edit and all the better for it. Eric Stewart's guitar playing is especially notable, and the musical prowess of the group is apparent throughout. Very good record! Charmingly irritating to very witty, lyrically, and musically - as always with 10cc, they were (indeed along with Queen) one of the most inventive and creative British group of the mid-'70s. Well worth getting hold of! Three and a half stars.

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Send comments to Frankie Flowers (BETA) | Report this review (#560760)
Posted Tuesday, November 01, 2011 | Review Permalink

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