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BLOODY TOURISTS

10cc

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chessman
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars On this album, 10cc changed their sound somewhat. Gone are the heavy guitars and subtle sound effects we used to hear on their previous albums. Here we have more straightforward rock songs, the guitar more subdued, the piano more honky tonk at times. Nevertheless, this is a good album. The band has expanded here, with the likes of Rick Fenn, Stuart Tosh and Duncan Mackay filling out the sound of the trio Gouldman, Stewart and Burgess. The opener is one of their best known and most played songs, 'Dreadlock Holiday', ironically not a favourite of mine. However, it has all the classic lyrical wittiness associated with the band. Graham takes lead on this one, singing over a reggae dominated beat about a tourist in Jamaica having trouble with some locals. As Graham sings about one of the gang: 'Well he looked down at my silver chain, said "I'll give you one dollar". I said "You've got to be joking man, it was a present from me mother." Again, typical 10cc. The second track, 'For You And I' is sung by Eric Stewart, and is a beautiful ballad, with nice keyboards and a plaintive vocal. No satire here, just a nice love song. The ending is lovely. 'Take These Chains' is really quite standard fare for this band, a decent song but nothing spectacular. It starts with some nice slide guitar from Eric, before the acoustic guitars kick in. Just a nice mid-paced song. 'Shock On The Tube' is more like the old style 10cc, being a song about a chap on the tube, who can't believe his good fortune when a lovely girl sits down next to him. Then he falls asleep and dreams the rest: 'I was travelling home on the subway, when this vision got on at Maida Vale, as I casually eyed the classifieds, she sat down next to me. Every head in the carriage was wondering, I replied with a smile on my face, then I slipped into the arms of Morpheus, to daydream the rest of the way.' Brilliant, and backed by choir-like vocals. At this point the song changes to a fast rocking tempo with some fiery piano accompanying it. 'Last Night' is sung by Graham and is something of a sister song to 'Take These Chains' being a standard rock song, the middle eight being sung by Eric. Finishing the old side one we have the superb 'Anonymous Alchoholic' another nod towards the bands hilarious past. The hero of the song is off the drink, but goes to a party and is enticed to have one. Of course, this leads to more and he is soon on the dance floor with his boss's wife. He naturally makes a fool of himself, wakes up, finding his mouth tastes like 'oh oh oh oh old leather' (sung in an almost Paul Robeson-deep voice) and finding his boss has fired him, singing 'don't wanna see you again.' Depressed, he realises it's 'the end of the line, but it's Martini time, so he heads for the barrrrrrrrr'. This ends on a downward travelling note and finishes one of the best songs on the album, even allowing for the 'disco bit' in the middle when our hero is enjoying himself. It has to be said here, I consider the second half of the album to be much stronger. It opens with a rarity: a 10cc song not sung by one of the originals. 'Reds In My Bed' is sung by drummer Stuart Tosh, and a fine job he does too. The melody is infectious, the lyrics wonderful, and Eric sings the chorus backed with some nice acoustic guitar. Tosh sings another classic line here: 'I've got reds in my bed, I'm not easily led to the slaughter, but while the cold war exists I'll stay warm with the commissar's daughter.' Hilarious! Could be the best track on the album! However 'Lifeline' is another contender. This one is sung by Graham, has some nice acoustic guitar again, and is catchy. The first line sets the tone: 'Ten thousand miles away from someone, ten thousand miles away from you, who's your friend, on the end of a telephone line, a telephone line's like a lifeline.' Quite a poignant song, this one. It also has a far too brief burst of incisive guitar from Eric half way through the song. 'Tokyo' is another gentle song, sung by Eric, about the Japanese people; geisha girls etc. Very nice. 'Old Mister Time' is a classic and another contender for my favourite track. It is maybe the one song most like the old 10cc, and could have fitted on The Original Soundtrack easily. Eric sings this, and there are some wonderful backing vocals, nice electric piano and quite eerie lyrics, about an old man: 'The children called him the scarecrow. An old raincoat and baggy trousers and sneakers he found at the dump'. But there is more than meets the eye to this character. An excellent song. 'From Rochdale to Ocho Rios' is uptempo and, again, brilliant, with bright acoustic guitars and lyrics sung by Graham. It's a song about travel of course, like most of the songs on the album.Great lyrics here too, such as: 'Pack a shirt and some fresh pyjamas, that's all you need.' 'Everything You Wanted To Know About!!!' is a good way to end the album. All about a man who is shy with the opposite sex, so finds a prostitute, it has more amusing lyrics, such as, at the point when he goes up to the prostitute, Debbie and sings: 'I asked her would she like a cigarette and she said "let's go to bed, cause that's what you want!" At first he is embarrassed and a failure, but he has another go, and turns into a stud! The bonus track, 'Nothing Can Move Me' is a simple bluesy rock song, mid paced and unspectacular. This is, for me, the last of the consistently good 10cc albums. They were to turn towards more straightforward songs after this. I couldn't decide at first between three and four stars, but, in the end, it brought back such happy memories, I have to give it four!
Report this review (#86503)
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well what can be said about this fine album. Actually this was generally panned by the critics but it received negative criticism in the main because of the musical changes eveident at that time as in Punk, New Wave etc. ' Bloody Tourists' is a rich tapestry of equisite songpieces, a conceptual masterwork and overall an exceedingly well created album. There is the usual humour, smut and alocoholic/weed related incidents to give this more entertainment value than a month of Eastender's episodes.

' Dreadlock Holiday' leads the way with a typical reggae pastiche about Jamaican splendour as in plants but also shaded by the unsavoury experience of being mugged!' Shock on the Tube'another great smutty classic about seducung the bird across the way whilst the trip is underway. All great imaginitive lyrics with equally solid music to back it up The simplistic " Last Night' is typical 10CC and the brilliant ' Anonymous Alcoholics' ends side one of the old vinyl.

Side two for me has the better and more sophisticated material with " Reds In My Bed', the beautiful ' Tokyo" and the sardonic " Old Mister Time", thought provoking stuff. Personally I believe this was a much better effort than Deceptive Bends and also their pinnacle in terms of creative output. Highly recommended 4 stars.

Report this review (#86951)
Posted Sunday, August 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

After having kept their fans waiting with a live album, the remaining duo produced another album that would yield the usual hits. Yet somehow, what had appeared on the previous studio effort now became evident and produced side-effects. As the quartet were writing in partnership (using almost every single imaginable combination), the remaining duo was obviously stuck with each other, not only reducing the possibilities, but also starting to stretch out their talents as the sheer number of songs needed for an album was also meaning that the lesser ideas were now kept also. Somehow, a part of the press started accusing them of being too calculating (not as intuitive or inventive enough) and mechanical (which was partially true), but what if the original quartet had remained together? Would somehow the group's "formulas" eroded anyways and the same conclusions arrived?

Although the albums starts really strongly with the major hit Dreadlock Holidays (one of the first proofs that white men could also write reggae as this superb hit was treated with much Zappa-esque humour), the album sinks fairly quickly into a dull series of typical 10 CC tracks. Not that those tracks are any good, but by this time, the 10 CC formulas were wearing thin and their recipes growing stale. From the first side (outside the opener), only For You And I and Last Night are pleasant and would only be fillers in previous albums. Interestingly almost all tracks are collab between the duo.

The second side of the album is filled with tracks that are penned by either Gouldman or Stewart, either solo or with another writer, and this spells trouble. It is now plainly evident that 10 CC's inspiration was waning and although they will be doing many more studio albums, the proghead can safely assume that the better days of the band were gone by the turning of the decade. 10 CC is still existing nowadays (with only Stewart remaining), as I saw them live in the summer 05 and they were damn good too, being able to produce all of their classic songs faithfully.

Report this review (#87385)
Posted Wednesday, August 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars "You spend half your life in transit, but that's just the way God plans it"

Having been left holding the baby when Godley and Crème departed, the remaining Stewart and Gouldman apparently sank much of their remaining inspiration into "Deceptive bends". As a result, a change of style and a severe dip in musical quality was perhaps inevitable.

"Bloody tourists" is the classic definition of a mixed bag of an album. On the plus side, Eric Stewart has more space to display his vocal prowess, the tasteful ballad "For you and I" being one of the highlights of the album. His "Tokyo" is also a reasonable song, but it is in many ways symptomatic of the album. This John Lennon like composition has surprisingly prosaic lyrics, and a melody which cries out for better production. "Shock on the tube" is a reasonable song, but is little more than an inferior rehash of "I'm Mandy, fly me". "Reds in my bed", co-written by Eric Stewart and drummer Stuart Tosh, is a mid- pace, melodic piece of light pop, and probably the best song on the album.

Unfortunately, the downsides are much more pronounced than the up. The hit single "Dreadlock holiday" is a dreadful cod reggae song, with banal lyrics. The happy holidays music continues on "Take these chains", a song which suffers from weak instrumentation as much as it does a poor melody. "From Rochdale to Ocho Rios" is more of the same too, more's the pity. "The anonymous alcoholic" is a spectacularly unamusing tale of a drunk at an office party. The song's awful lyrics are only surpassed by the poor melody.

The entire album consists of short, pop based songs, there is no attempt whatsoever here to do anything remotely adventurous. The desire to continue to enjoy singles chart success has apparently dominated the song writing completely. That in itself would be perfectly acceptable were it not for the fact that the material is weak, and the performances disappointing.

Report this review (#124973)
Posted Thursday, June 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Europe was invaded with reggae in 1978. I felt into this music as well and I was really enthusiastic about some ands like "Steel Pulse" and "Culture". This fact didn't escape such clever song writers as Stewart and Gouldman who wrote "Dreadlock Holidays" and which will be a mega-hit. Some might dislike it but I have always appreciated it.

This album is not as creative as usual (but remember that half the band quit some two years before). There will be some nice and Beatles-esque ballads ("For You And I") but their incredible and incomparable style is partially gone, I'm afraid. 1978 not being very much favourable for this type of bands either.

"Shock In The Tube" is a more classical 10CC song. Varied, complex and mini-opera oriented. One of the most creative of this album (which won't hold a lot of this type, unfortunately). Not that "Bloody Tourists" is a bad album but too middle of the road.

10CC have taken care to offer to their fans some popish songs, some good vocal arrangements of course (but this is the absolute trade mark of the band). My least favourite song (not by its theme but by its genre) is the bluesy/funky "Anonymous Alcoholic". Only lyrics are exhilarant.

Let's face the truth : this is the weakest 10CC album so far. Great inspiration is gone and a song as "Reds In My Bed" is almost a highlight on this album but frankly it is only a good one. As "Life Line" which takes up with their classical repertoire.

I like the Fab Four oriented "Tokyo" as well. The last part of this album is catchier. 10CC - ier. Just listen to the burlesque "From Rochdale To Ocho Rios". Not a great song but so pastiche. So 10CC.

This album will chart at the third spot in the UK. This is the highest rank of any 10CC albums (on par with "Deceptive Bends"). "The Original soundtrack" reaching the fourth spot. But on my scale, this album deserves only five out of ten.

Being a fan of the band, I will upgrade it to three stars, but as soon as the half star rating will be available (which should be a matter of days now...), I will come back to it and rate it accordingly.

Report this review (#153341)
Posted Saturday, December 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Bloody Tourists, 10cc, 1978

Decent album by one of my favourite outlets of quality rock and oddball art-pop. Minus Godley and Creme, 10cc's grasp of parody becomes rather less consistent... the remaining Stewart and Gouldman partnership, while remaining rather fine songwriters and occasionally amusing lyricists with a penchant for melody, great voices and solid performances, seems to never to straddle the fine line between sincerity and parody but rather stumbles over it and back all too often. Musically, this album's both catchy and well-written BUT there are a disconcerting number of songs on this record that are not bad but non-highlights and where 10cc had most thrived was on coming up with songs that are both inescapably catchy and somewhat off the wall. But at least they start with one of them;

Dreadlock Holiday is one of 10cc's finest and best-received hits. Unless you do have some deep-seated moral objection to white men doing reggae, 10cc's merge of the genre's aesthetics with a sharp sense of parody (hence the thin organ tone) and a number of gorgeous pop hooks (listen to that marimba roll...) in a decidedly unusual format should be a somewhat uncontested highlight. While that basically puts the rest of the album to shame in terms of catchiness, quality and originality, the more-or-less narrative Anonymous Alcoholic with its neat funk middle comes close-ish.

Across the rest of the album, the more rock, fast-paced numbers seem to more or less fade once they're over. Shock On The Tube is a bit of a lyrical rehash of I'm Mandy (Fly Me); neat guitar line, runaway piano and the great harmonies. Last Night is a rather tamer riff-driven piece which, while memorable in bursts, doesn't really go very far.

The odd stuff comes in two parts: Old Mister Time has a sort of Gentle Giant vibe on the opening with dark choppy piano chords and the occasional odd effect. Lyrics decidedly thin and the character play isn't quite there. Great moments everywhere, with some remarkable Beach Boys-y Harmonies, but not a fully functioning whole.

The more progressive-sounding Tokyo is piled up with synths and guitar effects. Lead vocals fine as ever, harmonies better than ever. Lyrics haven't been great on the album, but with the slowed pace of this one, it's rather galling. Instrumental section a highlight.

Of the calmer pieces, slightly-too-comfortable ballad You And I is very pretty. Reds In My Bed borders on sluggish; the band is far too capable to mess anything up obviously but given that the only bit from the song that really stands out for me is the vocal harmonies, I think there's something decidedly beneath 10cc's regular standard in the writing. Take These Chains is marginally more noticeable. Lifeline's acoustic section is extremely pretty, making the ironic reggae alternation a little more entertaining. Some vocal melodies not miles beneath the Beatles' best work.

Rounded off with From Rochdale to Ocho Rias. A fun song. Indefensibly so, but still fun. Perhaps one of the album's better ones... vocal melodies fantastic, parodic bursts entertaining, energy kept throughout, guitar solo excellent. Strange that the album's most openly ironic piece seems both more sincere and effortlessly deep ('you spend half your life in transit, but that's just the way God plans it/toothbrush and some fresh pyjamas, that's all you need') than the extended story pieces.

10cc's earlier albums, aside from being some of the first music I really got into, continue to make me listen and make me smile... this doesn't really do that, but it's nice to listen to and has some of the best vocal harmonies and melodies they've written. Pick Bloody Tourists up if you're already into the band or want to see their more regular and subdued side more closely, if you're not, head over to such classics as Sheet Music, The Original Soundtrack and How Dare You for some of the finest and most disarmingly original art-pop known to man.

Rating: Three Stars, 10/15

Favourite Track: Dreadlock Holiday

Report this review (#276161)
Posted Saturday, April 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Finally, after admiring this album from afar 35 years ago, but being denied a purchase by my mother who thought the cover was too satanic, I purchased a copy of this album. More out of curiosity than any expectation.

Any hope and expectations were removed by the reggae like opener Dreadlock Holiday. A song I believe was a big hit for the band. This album is a hit album and a multi million seller. This album also has a reputation for being the gift young men gave their female objects of desire to soften up their hearts. Many marriages and childbirths started with this album, I guess.

And yes, the material on this album falls into the "romantic" category. That and light hearted pop. It is not teenybopper though. But take some of Paul McCartney's lighter songs in Beatles and you get the music here. Well crafted pop music with reggae and Caribbean influences. The mildly amusing From Rochdale To Ocho Rio is the prime example. But there are also some better crafted pop music here.

In this day and age, this album sounds dated. The quality is also pretty poor to decent. I am not a fan of pop too. But the album has some redeeming qualities though like some good crafted melodies, good vocals and good musicanship. But will I ever play this album again ? No. I will leave it in my box together with the rest of my childhood memories.

2 stars

Report this review (#453861)
Posted Monday, May 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars In 1978 it was hard to escape punk and disco drums. Luckliy 10cc breathed fresh air into the music scene with 'Bloody Tourists' It's a great album with plenty of jaunty harmonies in cleverly crafted songs which defy you not to sing along. In my opinion, Stewart and Gouldman (aided by, in some cases, Fenn and Tosh) penned some of the best ever 10cc classics here, which the band perform with gusto and technical expertise as always. It just seems to be one of the most consistantly solid albums of their career and even the least loved tracks like'Tokyo' and 'Old Mister time' are really enjoyable. The album's songs may be more accessible than the groups early stuff, but still one of a kind. Don't give up on this. It's a very nice record to spin anytime, rain or shine.
Report this review (#560759)
Posted Tuesday, November 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Bloody Tourists" is the 6th full-length studio album by UK pop/art rock act 10cc. The album was released through Mercury Records in September 1978. "Bloody Tourists" was commercially successful and spawned the hit single "Dreadlock Holiday" which reached No.1 in the UK charts in August 1978, prior to the album´s release in September.

"Bloody Tourists" is a continuation of the compositionally clever and lyrically "tongue in cheek" pop music that the band are known and loved for. It´s slightly less challenging than earlier releases or in other words more mainstream oriented. One of the things that always stood out on earlier releases was the sound production and this time around it´s no different. These guys are just as accomplished producers as they are musicians. The trademark vocal harmonies and choirs are there in abundance too. The slightly silly Caribbean/reggae influenced "Dreadlock Holiday" is a track that is sometimes much criticised, but looked upon objectively it´s a damn catchy, memorable and very well produced pop song. The same can be said about the rest of the material. Some of the tracks are sometimes lacking the compositional depth and oddball attitude of earlier material, but there´s nothing offensively bad or sub par on "Bloody Tourists".

Overall it´s an enjoyable release that might not quite reach the same heights of their best output, but certainly delivers entertainment on a satisfactory level. I´d say a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#805436)
Posted Friday, August 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars I have to give the band 3RDEGREE for send me their latest album, which reminded me why I liked 10CC back in the seventies. They had a combination of cleverness, crudeness and sophistication that has rarely been matched.

"Bloody Tourists" was the last 10CC album I purchased right when it was released (later albums I either bought used, or received promos). At the time, I listened to it a few times, and then filed it away. It really did nothing for me. A new round of listening now reveals that the album isn't the complete waste that I thought it was at the time.

When "Deceptive Bends", the band's previous album, was released, Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman proved that they could carry on the group's tradition of humor and fun arrangements. The lyrical cleverness was there, even though there was a slight trend toward maudiln ballads. "Bloody Tourists" take another step away from the cleverness and fun.

Dreadlock Holiday is the most famous track on the album. It, for obvious reasons is a reggae laden pop song that displays the dark side of visiting the Carribbean island. It has some humor, excellent production, but it somehow lacks the allure of earlier songs. But the 10CC sound does appear throughout the album. The highly compressed guitar sound, the spacious harmonies, instruments and sound effects emphasizing lyrics. It just isn't consistent.

Shock On The Tube is a dream encounter with a girl on a subway. It has a similarities to I'm Mandy, Fly Me, but unfortunately give away the punch line at the beginning of the song. Anonymous Alcoholic is actually a very good portrait of an addicted drinker. Tokyo has some cool fretless bass, and a sort of proggy middle section. abd Everything You Wanted To Know About!! has a classic 10CC feel.

I certainly wouldn't recommend this to the 10CC newbie, but it does have merits. I rate this one just barely a 3.

Report this review (#916364)
Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars It has been time for me to review 10cc's sixth studio record "Bloody Tourists" which was recorded 1978, thirty- seven years ago. It was the second album without Godley & Creme and an opportunity to develop the sound further from "Deceptive Bends" the year before. I like the cover picture very much. It's a vacation place, a sunny country with beaches and we see a typical tourist with a map in his face. At least three of the songs also take place on holiday. At this time 10cc consisted of Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Paul Burgess, Stuart Tosh, Rick Fenn and Duncan Mackay (plus Kate Spath and Tony Spath).

I think "Bloody Tourists" i an amazing album with a lot of great songs. It feels so inspired and joyful. The texts are so meaningfull and the melodies are smart and very well working. When I though "Deceptive bends" had some less interesting tracks which took down the impression a bit "Bloody Tourists" has a higher lowest level.

My favourite side is the B side where two masterpieces are situated. "Reds in my Bed" is marvelous(10/10) with an interesting text and it's arranged and written very well. Here the fifth 10cc singer takes his place: Stuart Tosh. The very optimistic and sprightly song "From Rochdale to Ocho Rios" (10/10) makes me very happy too. It has a splendid drive and it's so smart and funny: sung by Graham. "Old Mister Time"(9/10) which is sung by Eric is a sad song you must think through a lot and it' s so well composed. "Life Line"(9/10) which is sung by Graham is also a favourite, it is so varied and intriguing to hear it. On the A side there are song great tracks as well. The hit song "Dreadlock Holiday" is lovely (8/10) (sung by Graham) as well as the dreaming "For You and I"(8/10) (sung by Eric). "Take these chains" which is sung by Eric makes me also happy(8/10) and then comes another masterpiece "Shock on the tube"(10/10) which tells(by Eric) an exciting story you must hear. "The anonymous alcoholic" (sung by Eric) is also a fantastic story (8/10). I haven't mentioned three tracks yet: "Last night" sung by Graham (6/10), "Tokyo" sung by Eric (6/10) and the ending track "Everything you wanted to know about" sung by Eric(7/10) are of course worth to hear together with the others.

As you see by my notes hear I like this album a lot. I actually hold it for one of 10cc's best albums. Perhaps the fourth best after The Original Soundtrack, Sheet Music and How dare you! For me this album marks a progression for the band. It is obvious that the new members were more part of the band than before and one of the also sing one of the best songs. "Bloody Tourists" was also the first 10cc album for me to hear and I was in love directly when I heard it. That was before I became interested in progressive rock. My song to song rating ends at 4.125 here which makes this a solid foru star record.

Highly recommended! Best tracks: Reds in my bed, From Rochdale to Ocho Rios, Shock on the tube, Old Mister Time, Life Line

Report this review (#1394923)
Posted Monday, April 6, 2015 | Review Permalink

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