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10cc Hotlegs: Thinks - School Stinks album cover
2.58 | 19 ratings | 4 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Neanderthal Man (4:19)
2. How Many Times (3:57)
3. Desperate Dan (2:12)
4. Take Me Back (5:01)
5. Um Wah, Um Woh! (5:30)
- Suite F.A. :
6. 1st Movement: On My Way (7:10)
7. 2nd Movement: Indecision (2:45)
8. 3rd Movement:The Return (2:52)
9. Fly Away (2:43)
10. Run Baby Run (2:50)
11. All God's Children (4:55)

Total time 44:14

Line-up / Musicians

- Eric Stewart / guitar, bass, vocals, arranger & producer
- Lol Creme / guitar, bass, keyboards, recorder, vocals, arranger & producer
- Kevin Godley / drums, percussion, vocals, arranger & producer

- Mike Timony / organ
- Peter Tattersall / piano (3), engineer
- Mike Bell / saxophone
- Ian Brookes / trumpet
- Baz Barker / fiddle (2)
- Cheadle Hulme High School Choir / chorus vocals (6-8)
- Rod Morton / tambourine (3)

Releases information

Recording by Godley and Creme's pre-10CC band

Artwork: Godley and Creme

MC Philips - 7108031 (1970, UK)

LP Philips ‎- 6308047 (1971, UK)

CD One Way Records ‎- S21-17961 (1994, US)

Thanks to PROGMAN for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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10CC Hotlegs: Thinks - School Stinks ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (53%)
Collectors/fans only (21%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

10CC Hotlegs: Thinks - School Stinks reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars 10CC songs from Neanderthal times

Prior to the formation of 10CC there existed a band called Hotlegs, who had a hit single called "Neanderthal man". The song was considered to be a novelty hit at the time, consisting of one sentence being repeated ad infinitum. Little did we know then however that Hotlegs would metamorphose with essentially the same line up into the phenomenally successful 10CC. The only member of the subsequent quartet missing is Graham Gouldman, but even he was around., I'll come back to that later.

The tracks are pretty much all founded in the acoustic guitars of Crème and Stewart, with occasional additional instrumentation being added as required. The songs are all written by Godley, and Crème, with Eric Stewart also receiving credit on the majority. In some ways, this is the album many of us wished 10CC would make. It is largely devoid of the too clever for their own good lyrics and structures, the songs being simple, well crafted pop rock numbers.

We open with the single "Neanderthal Man", an irritatingly catchy song which may not have much to do with 10CC, but it is undeniably fun. "How Many Times" is a simple acoustic number with Crosby Stills and Nash like harmonies. Baz Barker adds some effective strings to the latter part of the song. "Desperate Dan" is a short piano based barroom romp. Good fun, but instantly forgettable.

"Take Me Back" is another delicate acoustic piece which offers a further glimpse of the music of 10CC, the vocals once again being particularly notable. The structure of the song is interesting, as it shows a willingness to draw a number of styles into a relatively short piece. "Um Wah, Um Who" is a rather unfortunate title for what is actually a pretty good pop song. It may not have the class of 10CC, but it also lacks some of the pretentious indulgences too.

"Suite F.A." is a three part, 13 minute suite written by Godley and Crème. It is similar in structure to the "One night in Paris" trilogy which appeared on "The original soundtrack" but with a greater emphasis on acoustic and orchestral sounds. There is no great complexity to individual parts, but mood does change frequently offering at least a hint of prog.

"Fly away" is an achingly beautiful acoustic number in the "Yesterday" vein with a fine vocal performance and a simple melody. "Run baby run" is a basic blues rock song of the type Canned Heat did so well. "All God's Children" which closes the album, is a lullaby like song with a sympathetic arrangement and some dreamy, Simon and Garfunkel like harmonies.

The version I have of this album is a compilation called "You didn't like it because you didn't think of it". The album has all the tracks from "Thinks school stinks" plus a number of other songs recorded by Hotlegs which did not appear on their sole album. The tracks are arranged in a different order, with the additional tracks mixed in with the original album songs, and "Suite FA" as the closing song. The sleeve is a rather good self portrait of the group by Godley and Crème.

One of the extra tracks, "Today" features all four members of 10CC, Graham Gouldman guesting on the track playing bass. The song shows that the transition to 10CC was complete, and actually ranks on a par with pretty much anything the quartet recorded under that name. The wonderful arrangement includes orchestration and a great synthesiser ending. For fans of 10CC this is a real lost gem. The track "You didn't like it because you didn't think of it", is for the first part an early precursor to the title track of "How dare you", before it changes completely into a pop blues. "The loser" once again has the sound of an early 10CC song, the upbeat rock melody being basic but functional. "Lady Sadie" is a poor mid-paced funky number which would have been best left undisturbed.

In all, an album which should be part of the collection of any 10CC fan. There is a wealth of indicators here of how the sound of that band came about, not to mention some fine songs in their own right too. Personally, I rate this album higher than the majority of the 10CC albums which followed.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars This is a giant step towards my early musical days and the discovery of some giant titles from the early seventies. Black Night, Paranoïd, Whola Lotta Love, See Me Feel Me, Alright Now, Are You Ready? as well as "Neanderthal Man".

How many times did I listen to this one? Countless. How comes that this pretty much basic song was so appealing to me ? I have no clue. It is irresistible.

Lyrics ? Here there are : "I'm a Neanderthal man, you're a Neanderthal girl. Let's make Neanderthal love, in this Neandrethal world". Looping for four minutes! Romantic, isn't it ?

This album is of course nothing from the other world. Several acoustic and naive songs which are not really announcing the later 10cc production. Because the four ones (Godley, Creme, Steward and even Gouldman) are hanging around during these sessions.

A song as "Take Me Back" is also superior when compared to "How Many Times", "Desperate Dan", "Fly Away" (truely folkish). Some psychedelia during "Um Wah, Um Woh" but the "vocals" are definitely NOT its major attractive. The worst being achieved with "Run Baby run". A useless country & western song. I just can't stand this one.

Some early "Floyd" mood will come back to your mind while listening to the closing number "All God's Children". Not super.

Due to its lenght, its division in several parts, "Suite F.A...." is regarded as a precursory work for "One Night In Paris". I would say that apart from some burlesque parts that are commonly shared between these two songs, I can not really be overwhelming about this one. Mostly acoustic and dull, I'm afraid. Maybe that the bombastic and pompous finale also has links with "ONIP". Maybe...

This album is just a curiosity for die-hard "10CC" fans. As such : two stars. It has not aged well either. Except for "Neanderthal" but I'm probably biased about this song for the reasons I have mentioned above.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Thinks: School Stinks is the sole album by pre- 10CC band Hotlegs. Graham Gouldman was not a part of Hotlegs as he was working in New york as a staff songwriter for Super K Productions ( Which all future members of 10CC had written music for). Hotlegs was just another one of Eric Stewart, Lol Creme and Kevin Godley`s band names under which they put out singles in the early seventies. But Hotlegs was a bit different as The Neanderthal Man single became a worldwide hit and sold more than two million copies. With that success in mind Hotlegs set out to record a full album.

The music on Thinks: School Stinks is no surprise if you´re familiar with 10CC. Mildly experimental pop/ rock songs with silly humour ( you decide if that´s a good or a bad thing). Neanderthal Man starts the album and quite frankly it´s a bit hard to understand why the single with this song sold two million copies. It´s very repetitive and silly ( Oh now I know why it sold two million copies!). Um Wah, Um Woh is not much better while I kind of enjoy How Many Times and Take Me Back. The album is very inconsistent and is a mix of silly and more serious songs. The only thing resembling progressive rock is the 12:53 minute long Suite F.A.: On My Way/Indecision/The Return. Mostly acoustic driven but with some string sections too. Allright but nothing more.

The musicianship is on a very high level but again that´s no surprise if you know the extremely high musical standards of 10CC.

The production isn´t the best but again some songs sound better than others.

Thinks: School Stinks is not the most recommendable album in the world, but for fans of 10CC it´s pretty interesting and not bad at all. A 2 star rating will be my final words.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This album is not 10cc, but proto-10cc. Three of the four original menbers of 10cc (Eric Stewart, Lol Creme and Kevin Godley) were in this group. The fourth original member (Graham Gouldman) guests on bass on one song. So I suppose this album belongs here.

First, the hit single from this album, Neandethal Man is just terrible. It's a simplistic rhythm, with one line sung over and over again (I suppose that was the joke of the song). But besides that, the album is splendid art rock, and fits right in with the 10cc catalog.

Highlights are You Didn't Like It Because You Didn't Think Of It, a piece that would fit well on any 10cc album, and even includes an early verse that ended up in Fresh Air For My Mama, and Take Me Back, that starts as one of those Kevin Godley falsetto light ballads, but builds into a nice orchestration. Suite F. A., a three movement piece approaches prog, but doesn't quite get there.

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