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Godley & Creme

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Godley & Creme Freeze Frame album cover
3.35 | 37 ratings | 10 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. An Englishman In New York (5:50)
2. Random Brainwave (2:40)
3. I Pity Inanimate Objects (5:22)
4. Freeze Frame (4:42)
5. Clues (5:24)
6. Brazilia (Wish You Were Here) (6:06)
7. Mugshots (3:52)
8. Get Well Soon (4:30)

Total time 38:26

Bonus tracks on 2010 reissue:
9. Silent Running (4:00)
10. Wide Boy (3:31)
11. Submarine (4:01)
12. Marciano (3:25)

Line-up / Musicians

- Kevin Godley / vocals, drums, percussion
- Lol Creme / vocals, bass, xylophone, vibes, Gizmo, bass pedals, electric & acoustic guitars, piano, percussion, harmonica, Moog, electric piano

- Rico Rodriguez / trumpet & tuba (1)
- Phil Manzanera / electric & acoustic guitars(2,5,6)
- Paul McCartney / backing vocals (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Hipgnosis

LP Polydor ‎- PD-1-6257 (1979, US)

CD Polydor ‎- 831 555-2 (1987, US)
CD Polydor ‎- UICY-94541 (2010, Japan) With 4 bonus tracks

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

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GODLEY & CREME Freeze Frame reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I still keep my vinyl, and I play regularly each and every year since 1980, some more recurrently than others. Even though I'm only partially familiar with 10cc's post How Dare You catalogue and with GC's catalogue, I might as well be so bold as to state that 10cc's best music after the original quartet's demise was created by the visionary duet of Lol Creme and Kevin Godley. The duo's third effort caught the attention of many with the videoclip to 'An Englishman in New York', which is now regarded as a classic of late 70s- early 80s British pop-rock. I was too young to grasp the whole artistic concept, but sure it was amazing to watch those mannequins filling a plastic orchestra and a couple of stylized dramatizations of NY's stressed life. The whole version comprises what may be the best set of lyrics ever written by Godley-Creme: everything from the tension between the traditional and modern sides of the Jewish community, the Russian mob and Nam veterans on the dole, to rapists, mad consummerism, conservative groups boredring on racialism,... is covered here in a very Sinfield-esque fashion. The track's obviously fake big band mood and catchy melody makes it for a big opener. Things turn definitely more somber with the pairing of tracks 1 and 2, one of the most adventorous pieces in the album. 'Random Brainwave' is a tale of thought control that is set on a basis of dual acoustic guitars (shared by Creme and Phil Manzanera): upon these emerge keyboard and guitar layers, plus a brief, abrupt psychedelic-funky interlude. 'I Pity Inanimate Objcts' goes to far more places, with the same dual guitars (all by Creme), this time going for a simulation of Eastern raga. The guitar leads (apparently processed across a synthesizer) provide a cutting edge for the insttumenta ldeliveries, but the most astounding thing is the cleverly neurotic use of sundry distorted pitches for the vocal parts. Since the lyrics seem to portray a parody of philosophy, I interpret the use of these demented pitch switches as the ultimate mockery at cheap existentialism and cry-baby mysticism. The digital gasping in the choruses is also quite weird. 'I Pity...' is something that perhaps wouldn't have been out of place on any of Peter Hammill's 78-80 albums. The title track bears a more accessible feel, catchy and rocky, with a featured presence of pleasant synth ornaments, but still keeps loyal to Godley & Creme's penchant for extravagant musical ideas: the lyrics portray the origins and development of a series of interconnected massive phobias, and the arrangements include the use of processed continued syllables, as if the word at the moment was freezing in time. There are two other 10cc-related songs: 'Mugshots' and 'Get Well Soon'. The former is a new wave song with added reggae-like touches, basically catchy but not exempted of odd tricks. The latter, which close down the album, is a mid-tempo song also filled with tropical atmospheres (mostly because of the meticulous percussive section): with the honorary presence of Paul McCartney as backing vocalist, this song makes a sceptic statement against commercial, using Radiol Luxembourg as the chosen specific target. Tracks 5 and 6 are the other ones with Manzanera as special guest. 'Clues' is a psychedelic pop-rock piece that kind of predates what The Police would do in many songs from Ghost in the Machine and onwards. The guitar riffs, phrases and ornaments are patently eerie, the drum kit fills spaces all over, and the tuned percussion resources era inevitably mesmeric. 'Brazilia (Wish Yoou Were Here)' is the longest song, and also, the least structured as a song per se: it sounds more like a basic jam with wicked twists incorporated to take the listener by surprise. It starts with a 7/8 soft jazz-fusion motif, with lyrics spoken, hummed or processed through engineered multi-layered vocals. The shifts of mood and pace conjure images of calypso and samba (well-ordained and weird at the same time) before the main jam returns for the final half a minute. What else can I say about an album that played such a big role in my childhood's initiation into record collecting? Well, sweet memories aside, I think with time I've become objective enough to be capable of pondering Freeze Frame as a great piece of art- rock. It sure would fit in any prog rock collection, since it shows Godley and Creme exploring their unabashedly extravagant sense of art in pop-rock music.
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hard to be too critical on Godley and Creme when overall they always were the more risk taking of the 10cc outfit of Godley, Creme, Stewart and Gouldman. Whilst the latter two members always stuck to successful formulae and engineered a hugely effective band throughout the 70's, the Godly Creme unison were always champing at the bit the break barriers, take risks and even at the expense of pissing off their other two 10cc members broke with tradition and ultimately the band to forge ahead. They were also the forerunners of dimensional video songs which had that early 80's stamp of 'dated' approval.

Freeze Frame is a distinctly good album, yes references to the old 10cc output but nevertheless a great album on all counts. Creme for me the best vocalist out of the 10cc stable. There is no debate as to Godley and Creme's contributions to the best Prog related era and equally they left their other band members behind when embarking on a new direction. Freeze Frame endorses this point.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Cold as ice

Two years on from the ambitious but ultimately flawed "Consequences", and Godley and Crème have reached their third album. Here the duo decide to revert to the recipe which worked so well for their former band 10CC, with a selection of sophisticated pop songs.

The opening "An Englishman in New York" puts a jaunty melody to some highly contentious and cynical lyrics. The song sounds like something lifted straight from "Sheet music" or "The original soundtrack", but listen closer and you'll hear lyrics such as "They're picketing synagogues and claiming that Hitler was King of the Jews". I don't doubt for a minute the sincerity with which the words are written, but for me they leave a sour taste while juxtaposing with the sonic mood of the piece.

"Random brainwave" and "I pity inanimate objects" effectively form a two part track which explores more progressive territories, the distorted vocals being used in the form of an additional instrument; the lyrics are all but indecipherable. Phil Manzanera makes his first appearance on the album here, playing guitar and contributing to the song-writing. For me the track does not work, but one has to admire the effort which has gone into it.

The title track returns to a more melodic style, the song being similar to the opening "An Englishman in New York". This is though one of the most accessible tracks on the album.

Things turn rather strange again for "Clues", a sparse rhythmic number with semi- chanted vocals. "Brasilia" maintains the understated sound, a feeling which is rather at odds with the textured layers we expect from G&C. Lyrically, the track appears to be an attempt to highlight the coldness of Brasil's capital, observing "Show me Brasilia and I'll show you no Mardi Gras". Ironic really that G&C should focus on this given the coldness of this album.

"Mugshots" picks up the pace and the volume again, but the constant repetition in a deep south drawl of the song title is to my ears simply an irritation. The album closes with "Get well soon", an ode to Radio Luxembourg (who broadcast pop music to the UK at a time when it was hard to find on domestic radio). The song describes listening to the station while ill(!) and parallels this with the station's ultimate demise. For those of us who were there at the time it provokes fond memories, but for others the point may be missed. Paul McCartney is credited with providing backing vocals on the song, but you'll be doing well if you can actually identify them.

Once again, I find with Godley and Crème that they are either unwilling or incapable of adding genuine emotion to their music. There is no doubt about the talent on show here, or about the attention to detail which has gone into each song. There is though something very clinical about the whole experience which serves to act as a barrier between the artist and their audience. It is almost as if Godley and Crème are building their own Wall while challenging the listener to find fault with the album, confident that it will not be possible to do so.

The absence of any of the duo's best known singles renders the album as a whole unfamiliar and aloof. Fans of 10CC may take pleasure from the familiar harmonies and styles, but even they may have difficulty in making any real connection with this album. Credit where it is due though to G&C for not simply attempting to make an album of hit singles.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
2 stars The spawn of 10cc Godley and Creme came to my attention with their awesome single An Englishman in New York and here is the full length album version and its utterly brilliant. The film clip is mesmirising too and one of the best things to churn out of the late 70s TV rock programs. I memorised the lyrics over the 80s and then I got hold of this release on vinyl.

Nothing else came close. Not one song can be recommended over the aforementioned single. In fact it is more forgettable than 10cc's music. 'I Pity Inanimate Objects' only can be recommended if you like weird vocal peformances that chill the soul. Nothing on Side 2 is worth listening to - it is so full of mediocre throwaways, I can do better on my Yamaha synth!

It is absolute drivel from end to end after the explosive An Englishman in New York - yet that track is so damned good it is incredible to think the band could come up with the tripe on the rest of the album. I don't know know how to rate this as An Englishman in New York is one of the best things I have had the pleasure to listen to, but as a prog album it does not cut the mustard on any level. It is such a waste of talent and I think you are far better recommended to get An Englishman in New York on a compilation and leave this to fester in the music hall of fame of mediocrity. Collectors may love, but it is not the best the band has to offer.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars After the amazing L album, I was expecting another great release from Godley & Creme. I was somewhat disappointed by this album. It starts out pretty on the right track. An Englishman In New York has a similar feel to the previous album. It is a quirky, extremely well produced track, with the weirdness I have come to expect from this duo. Random Brainwaves is another nice track. Eerie and dark, with again, beautiful production. Then there's I Pity Inanimate Objects, where Godley & Creme use a pitch shifter to create a totally bizarre vocal sound, long before that god-awful Cher song and just about every pop tart in the business made the sound trite.

The rest of the album goes downhill. While the production is still nice, the songwriting starts to lose the innovation that was a trademark for these 10cc refugees. At least there is a lot of innovation in the arrangements & mix.

Still, it's not a bad album to own.

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars Not at all what I was expecting. I really thought I was going to hate this album.

The first thing that strikes you is the memorable but not particularly good sleeve by Pink Floyd graphic designers 'Hipgnosis'. Visions of dysentry springs to mind!

Just like the predecessor 'L', 'Freeze Fame' sounds ahead of it's time which is surprising, because by this point they'd been around long enough to be the old 'fuddy-duddies' I expected them to be. Particularly Kevin Godley with that dodgy beard.

'An Englishman in New York' (not to be confused with the dreary Sting tune) has superb production, a great tune and some very weird non sequitur lyrics like: "The Hissing of omelettes, the breaking of eggs, don't shoot till you see the white's of their legs" Brilliant and inspired! - that's my kind of thing!

The highlight on 'Freeze Frame' is 'I Pity Inanimate Objects'. That's GOT to be a prototype sampler put through a keyboard in order to achieve those insane vocals, surely? Their 'Gizmo' device goes into overdrive on this track as well, making the guitars sound more like violins. A very strange track.

The vocals on the title track 'Freeze Frame' sound freakishly like Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode! Thankfully I quite like him, so I'm happy enough with this track.

'Brazilia' is a dreamy, bass heavy tune with lots of layered reverbed, and effected vocals

An incredibly fresh and experimental pop album that defies the year in which it was released. That, combined with some really great harmonic vocals make this one album I'm very glad to own.

'Muuuuuugshots' is another weirdo, all over the place tune, but sounds great with those deep vocals.

Last and not least is 'Get Well Soon' with it's references to Radio Luxembourg which makes me quite nostalgic, remembering my first wee transistor radio which I listened to in my bunk bed in 1981. Ahh - memories of Adam and the Ants.... It's not often I write such long reviews - I'm usually quickly tearing albums to pieces - but this is excellent and only marginally short of being a masterpiece.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Previous G & C album "L" was really great. Unhappily, with this release duo turned more to pop direction (even if again their pop is different from what you could expect).

This album is more down tempo, less experimental, without any avant elements, but with accent on multi layered sound. As a result, music there sounds very similar to 10 CC releases of similar time. Duo's songwriting abilities are still strong enough there, some you can hear nice melody here and there. Vocals harmonies are usual for them as well. But in all, album sounds a bit faceless, without strong songs and any direction.

Still not so bad listening ( mostly because even from very average material musicians know how to make quality music). But far not so interesting as previous one. Participation of Phil Manzanera and Paul McCartney (on back-vocals on one song) doesn't help much.

My rating is 2,5, rounded to 3.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars 3.5 realy

Kevin Godley and Lawrance Creme are well known musicians to prog connaisseurs, they being part of 10CC some years. Also they are known by developing an instrument that could replicate string arrangements and sounds named by them Gizmo, this instrument can be attached tot he guitar and can create polyphonic sounds. Quite intristing , because this instrument was used on some pieces from 10CC period and more and more used as a solo musicians after departute from 10CC. Third album under Godley and Creme name, released in 1979 and named Freeze frame, is a an original album, at least to me. I never or almost not many times had the chance to listen to such diverse and very strange and original in same time album lately. The gizmo, sax , keybords are very strong here, quite original if you ask me, for that period when everybody was or disco or punk, these two guys make a diffrence in musical market. The strong and elegant voice of Godley interluded very well with Creme's instrumental sections creating some intristing arrangements, not realy pop, not realy very progressive, always bordering, maybe clouse to art pop with prog elements. Helped on some pieces by famous Phil Manzanera and even Paul McCartney apeared on last track as backing vocals. O course the hit from this album was An Englishman in New York , but to me besides this great tune, I Pity Inanimate Objects and title track are simply great, quite unusual music I listen from what I listen every day, great and very intristing in the end. So, I don't know if this is among their best, maybe to some fans is less intristing then previous one, but to me is on same level. Not a masterpiece but a very worthy album even if you are not familiar with this kind of aproach to music, can easy trace the excelent moments of these two musicicns. 3.5 is best rate for this album.

Latest members reviews

3 stars It is time for me to say something about Kevin Godley & Lol Creme's third album "Freeze Frame" which was released the year of 1979, thirty-six years ago. It is the third album in three years so the couple was very productive. They also changed their style a bit all the time. "Consequences" wasn' ... (read more)

Report this review (#1395552) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Wednesday, April 8, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Not *quite* in the same league as it's predecessor, this is nonetheless a counterpart of sorts. 'L' was an album that furrowed it's brow, rolled up its sleeves and tinkered with the nuts and bolts of music itself (the *definition* of true progressive music?), hammering home the dazzling results ... (read more)

Report this review (#165386) | Posted by playitstrange | Sunday, March 30, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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