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10cc - Bloody Tourists CD (album) cover




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3.27 | 113 ratings

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4 stars Even though two of the main songwriters for 10cc (Godley & Crème) left before the release of "Deceptive Bends", the band still continued and ended up releasing their 2nd top 10 international hit "The Things We Do For Love" and had a bit of success with that album also. The band had a successful tour following this and ended up putting two of the tour members in as regular band members, Tony O'Malley and Stuart Tosh. The band was now a 6-man line-up. They also released a live album in 1977 which also was somewhat successful, so they were ready for their next studio album.

"Bloody Tourists" was released in 1978, but new member O'Malley was ended up being replaced by keyboardist Duncan Mackay for the recording of this album. The original half of the band, Gouldman and Stewart, would write almost all of the music for the album, even though they had proven on "Deceptive Bends" that they were not necessarily the strongest half of the original foursome. However, this time around, they would put together a better album with stronger songs than the previous one.

This is proven immediately with the tongue-in-cheek humor returning most brilliantly in the reggae-tinged "Dreadlock Holiday" which would become their 3rd international top 10 hit. It seems that the songwriting duo might have learned some things and spent more time with the songs this time around. This song was inspired by actual events that happened to Stewart and also Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues singer). Interestingly, the single didn't do so well in North America, even though I remember hearing it on the radio and loving it. The band suspected the reason it didn't do so well is that some radio stations in America refused to play reggae of any kind, which could be true. Either way, it is a fun song. "Just You & I" comes next and was the 4th single that the band released from the album. This song and the other singles didn't do so well as they didn't really chart anywhere interestingly enough. However, this track is a great follow up to the opening track, a bit slower in the verses with an upbeat chorus with an infectious hook and a nice, almost haunting instrumental break. It had everything it needed to be a hit, but my guess is that by this time most people probably had the album.

"Take These Chains" begins with more guitar, which was noticeably missing on the previous tracks, but comes back here to provide nice introduction and rhythmic jangle through the track. Tempo changes keep it interesting and yet it is quite accessible and bright throughout, almost seeming like ELO at some points. "Shock on the Tube" has a pensive beginning and a Beatle-esque style once the faster rockish tempo kicks in. This also reminds me of some of the earlier 10cc songs and that is a good thing, especially with the smart guitar solo break in the middle and the almost honky- tonk sounding piano riffs that drive the song forward. "Last Night" tends to lean more towards a less interesting more pop-centric track, co-written by Rick Fenn and Gouldman. It's okay, but not really that memorable and would fit better on the previous album with it's more mediocre style. The album threatens to drag at this point, however, it is quickly saved by the next track. This side ends with "The Anonymous Alcoholic", the longest track on the album at over 5 minutes. It's a cool, moderately slow blues number with some great guitar and low register vocals to match the tone of the songs topic, presented with the trademark 10cc humor. They even make fun of the disco craze in the middle section as our drunken hero in the lyrics tries to show off on the dance floor. Again, one is reminded of 10cc in their better days. After the extended middle section, we return to the original slow, crawl as reality sets back in for the alcoholic to come to a hilarious ending.

Six more tracks fill the 2nd side of the album. So, yes there is a threat that things might end up becoming mediocre. It starts off with the 2nd attempt at a single "Reds in My Bed" co-written and co-sung by Tosh and Stewart. It's quite obvious why this one didn't score so well as a single as it is quite forgettable and doesn't really hit the mark along with the fact that it is lyrically heavy and not strong enough melodically. "Life Line" goes for a more acoustic style and is a nice track that provides bit of variety to the album plus a return to a soft, reggae-vibe in the chorus. "Tokyo" is more of a soft ballad, a love song of sort to the titular city. It's not as accessible as some of the other tracks, but that is the thing that is appealing about it. There are some nice dreamy keyboard and guitar interplay in the instrumental break, plus it hints at progressive style. "Old Mister Time" is co-written by Mackay and Stewart, the third and last track on the album co-written by the new members of the band. It seems that the songs co-written by the other members of the band are the weaker ones, but thankfully they don't drag things down too much. That being said, this is the most interesting of the three as it is also a bit more complex. But, again, it just doesn't hit the mark and actually drags a bit. This is all saved by the excellent "From Rochdale to Ocho Rios" with somewhat tropical beat, funny lyrics and a sing-a- long chorus that should have been one of those concert favorites. The steel drums are a nice touch, but a little bit more of an exaggerated tropical beat would probably have been the thing to send this track over the top. Finally, the closer is "Everything You've Wanted to Know About!!! (Exclamation Marks)". More tongue-in-cheek humor about misinterpreting signals between the sexes.

For me, this would be the 3rd excellent album from the band. Not quite as great as their self-titled album or "The Original Soundtrack" album, but definitely one of their best and it shows Stewart and Gouldman's songwriting talents much better that "Deceptive Bends" did, though the thing that brings the album down a notch is the three songs that are co-written by the "other" members of the band. As much as I respect the band, though, none of their other albums do much for me (except for the two previously mentioned albums and this one), but this is one that I love even though there is very little progressive style in it, it's still very enjoyable and fun and one I would recommend. 4 stars.

TCat | 4/5 |


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