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Godley & Creme

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Godley & Creme L album cover
3.87 | 38 ratings | 7 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Sporting Life (7:29)
2. Sandwiches Of You (3:19)
3. Art School Canteen (3:04)
4. Group Life (4:15)
5. Punchbag (4:46)
6. Foreign Accents (4:39)
7. Hit Factory / Business Is Business (7:10)

Total time 34:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Kevin Godley / vocals, drums, xylophone, roto-toms, percussion, congas, triangle, clavinet, high-hat, tonal percussion, snare drum, bongos
- Lol Creme / vocals, piano, Rhodes, Kramer & acoustic basses, Gizmo, Farfisa organ, 12-string acoustic & other guitars, clavinet, drums

- Andy Mackay / baritone, tenor, soprano & alto saxes (6,7)
- Jonathan Handelsman / alto & soprano saxes (4)
- Paul Gambaccini / voice - Bad Samaritan (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Hothouse

LP Mercury ‎- 9109 611 (1978, UK)

CD Mercury ‎- UICY-94540 (2010, Japan) Remastered by Hitoshi Takiguchi

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GODLEY & CREME L ratings distribution

(38 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GODLEY & CREME L reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars Very few albums, even ones that I love very much, get a five star rating from me. But this one deserves it.

After nearly 20 years, I still listen to this one frequently, and enjoy every track. Even the least proggy songs on this are recorded with such inventiveness, that they thrill this listener's ears at every playing. Sounds come floating in from all directions, only to mesh perfectly with the music.

"The Sporting Life" begins with a man's jouney into madness, and ends with a toungue-in-cheek jab at the onlookers watching his attempted suicide. Off the wall, in bad taste, but beautiful to listen to.

"Sandwiches of You" is sort of a love song, with Lol Creme's manic guitar. and Kevin Godley's inventive percussion fills highlighting the mix.

"Art School Canteen" is an homage to the duo's English art school roots. It's the most subdued song on the album, with G&C expanding on the type of overlayed and overdubbed vocals originally used on 10cc's "I'm Not In Love".

"Group Life" and "Hit Factory/Business Is Business" are both jabs at the music industry. Incredible songs that go against my theory that as soon as a band starts recording songs about how bad it is to be a musician, they should hang it up.

"Punchbag" is a heavy, almost macho song about the life of a nerd in school.

"Foreign Accents" is an instrumental piece, a sax solo over a rhythm track made up of odd musical sounds.

My life was changed when I first heard this one. i hope yours will be, too.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars The consequences of rebellion

The quartet which comprised 10CC were all talented individuals who all contributed pretty much equally to the song-writing and performances. When they split into two factors therefore, it follows that we ended up with two largely similar outfits. Well no, not exactly.

Gouldman and Stewart, who retained the 10CC name, tended to look after the pop orientation of the band, while Godley and Crème were the innovators and experimenters. This became apparent when subsequent 10CC releases became even more pop orientated than those released by the quartet, while Godley and Creme's initial efforts enjoyed little commercial success at all.

If we skip the bloated and over-indulgent (even for 10CC) "Consequences", "L" is Godley and Crème's first normal release as a duet. While an element of normality is indeed restored, anyone expecting to hear another "I'm not in love" or "I'm Mandy fly me" is going to be severely disappointed.

Here we have just seven tracks, none of which would make an obvious single. The album is bookended by a couple of seven minute songs, the remaining tracks running to 3-4 minutes. Thus we have the apotheosis of "Consequences" in terms of running time, with around half an hour of music.

The opening "This sporting life" is an example of all that was wrong with 10CC. It is just too damn clever for its own good. A zillion and one themes are cut and pasted together to form a complete disaster of a whole. With the first two tracks managing to cover suicide and cannibalism respectively, the pair could hardly be accused of pandering to the mainstream and attempting to make a commercially appealing album. Unfortunately, their admirable resistance to demands for a return to the accessibility of 10CC is not matched by a surge of inspired song-writing.

Perversely, this in some ways is actually a very prog album. Only the lack of anything of note instrumentally other than the jazzy "Foreign accents" precludes it from such a connotation, the album being almost entirely vocal. It should also be said that this is a very cold, calculated album. There is not a drop of warmth or emotion to be found here, there is a clinical atmosphere from start to finish which leaves the listener feeling alien to the whole experience.

In short, I do not like this album much at all. I can, to a limited extent, appreciate the effort which has gone into it, but for me that effort is entirely in vain. Those who enjoy some of the indulgences of Frank Zappa may find something which appeals to them here, but I cannot in all honesty recommend this album to anyone.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Second G & C duet's album is a great one! Most experimental and innovative part of 10 CC, after they left he band, started their own career as duet. From every their work you can hear who was responsible for most attractive musical elements in 10 CC early albums' music. Later band's pop-direction is another evidence of the same statement.

This album is possibly one of the most successful duet's work combining their melodic song- writing with almost Zappian freaky experimentation and some Queen's bombastic moments.. The result is intelligent,well played and arranged tasteful art-pop. With even many avant-pop elements!

Being quite accessible, this album is excellent example of music, which is art-rock only in part, but at the same time isn't too mellow,over-polished or over-arranged. I wish many "pure" crossover prog bands will be able to sound as this album sounds!

And I know the reason - G & C are extremely professional pop band, because of their great artistic potential and experimental nature reaching many progressive rock's borders. And they are seriously ahead of many modern so-called crossover prog bands,because these bands very often are far from G & C by their musicianship level and artistic potential, they just want to be "proggy" on the wave of " prog fashion".

I believe Godley & Creme are almost forgotten nowadays, it's a shame!. I would recommend this,possibly their most interesting album for everyone with interest to tasteful ,melodic and professional music on the border of pop,prog and avant. On this album you will hear how good such music could be!

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars I'd always imagined Godley and Creme as a pair of boring old middle aged fuddy-duddy's with no real originality. This was probably due to the saturation radio play of 'Cry' in '85 with its famous acid trip video of morphing mugshots. Well, I was only 15 at the time, so cut me a bit of slack guys...

Bah! How wrong I was. Ignored and ridiculed for years, I finally took the plunge 6 years ago with the gargantuan overindulgence of the ultra original prog-comedy 'Consequences' - recorded with foul mouthed funny man Peter Cook.

For many 'L' will sound at points just a wee bit too whacked out and off kilter to be taken seriously. It's a very unusual amalgamation of commercial and experimental playfulness.

'L' is basically an eccentric and clever deconstruction of pop music strung together in a state of the art studio. Like all their other early recordings the lyrics are inspired and very memorable which stick to the songs like glue. They're very unusual and mostly completely off-the-wall.

'L' sounds very at home in the Prog Archives with its rapid chopping and changing within tunes. It has very little wrong with it at all in fact. It may have a crumby front cover - but you'll remember it that's for sure. The only reason this album fails a five star maximum is due to the entirely instrumental 'Foreign Accents'. I've no gripes with it, it's just that I want more of those wonderful vocals and crazy lyrics. A brilliant and original album that has me quoting verses of madness at work as people look at me blankly.

Review by HolyMoly
4 stars Godley and Creme scaled back their ambition somewhat, after releasing the glorious mess of "Consequences" (which I still gave 4 stars despite the "mess", just for being so out-there), concentrating their energies instead on putting as many of their ideas as possible onto a single LP. The result was "L", probably the closest they've come to making a true progressive rock album. Yet, it's still likely to divide opinion as to its value, even among prog fans. Eclectic genius, or overly clever tunelessness?

Well frankly, I think it depends a lot on how much you like Frank Zappa. His pieces often lay out a theme in a recognizable, usually stylized manner (e.g. lounge music, reggae, hard rock, whatever), and then scatter little sonic banana peels all over the place, causing the listener to slip and slide around, never really sure what will happen next. That's what happens on this album a lot, and if that kind of thing bothers you, you probably won't like this. It says to the listener, "Ha Ha! Caught you getting in the groove there - here, have some 32nd note trills in 7/8 time!" If you hate that, stop reading right now.

Still here? Good, so am I.

If the Zappa comparison holds, then the 7 minute opening track "The Sporting Life" is their equivalent of "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" -- it begins and ends with a slow, jazzy lament, and the middle of the song is a long procession of quick changes in volume, tempo, and style, giving the impression of someone going to sleep, having a weird chaotic dream, and then waking up again. It's actually very well put together, but the herky jerkiness of it might be off putting at first. Next, "Sandwiches of You", ostensibly the "single" off the album, is just as strange lyrically and instrumentally - jarring little guitar bursts peek through the spare, brisk drum-centered arrangement, though it features a catchy/annoying refrain and a fairly normal song structure overall. "Art School Canteen" leads us into mellow territory, with gentle crooning by Kevin Godley (he has such a lovely voice, doesn't he?), poking fun at art school students. They name-drop Zappa in this song too. "Group Life" sounds more like what Godley and Creme would do on future albums -- artsy, experimental dance-oriented music. Not my favorite track, but it's welcome as a breather after the last three quirky tracks.

Side Two opens with one of the more shocking songs here, "Punchbag", a wildly unpredictable batch of constantly changing rhythms and themes, with only the abrasive refrain of "Fourth Form! Punchbag!" holding it together. The lyrics are sung from the point of view of a bullied school kid (perhaps making this a sequel to 10cc's "I Wanna Rule the World"?). For the non-sympathetic listener, this song is the most likely to annoy. For the sympathetic listener, though, it's pretty impressive. Next comes possibly my favorite tune on here, the completely bizarre "Foreign Accents". I guess it's their take on "T'Mershi Duween" (an early 70s complex Zappa instrumental). The backing track throughout is a light shuffle featuring handclaps and an inviting saxophone lick. Over this, at seemingly random intervals, a harsh series of unison Zappa-like rhythmic puzzles enter and exit at will. The effect is pretty hilarious, and somewhat disturbing (what were these guys on?). The last track is a 2 song medley of "Hit Factory/Business is Business" - a relative weak spot on the album, trying to conjure up the image of an actual factory (complete with industrial noises) "making hits", before leading into the weird quasi blues of "Business is Business" - again, fun idea, but just a little too self-consciously weird for its own good.

I'm extremely glad that Godley and Creme had the guts to leave the "sure thing" of 10cc and strike out on their own experimental path. They really are fantastic musicians with talent to spare, and here they made one of the more eclectic prog albums from 1978 you're likely to hear (at a time when many of the big-name prog bands were either on hiatus or streamlining their sound). But like a lot of Zappa's more silly works, sometimes you can have a little too much of a good thing - "too clever for their own good" has probably been writ in many reviews of this album. I'm wavering between a 3 and a 4 here. I'll round up to a 4, because I'm in the "weird is good" camp.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I continue my journey through the world of 10cc and 1978 was the year of 10cc's Bloody Tourists and Kevin Godley and Lol Creme's second record "L". It was thirty-seven years ago bu the music is new in the meaning of new-thinking and vital. I liked "Consequences" but thought it was to hard to get ... (read more)

Report this review (#1395294) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Tuesday, April 7, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars a pure progressive rock album, and one of the finest. Godley & Creme where 10CC members before they left the band and started a vast career in many disciplines, evolving video clips, productions and instruments development as well as making their own music. The sub-genre, in which they t ... (read more)

Report this review (#161774) | Posted by ShW1 | Thursday, February 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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