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10cc Biography

Last updated: 07/25/2000 02:24:33 AM

The biography of 10 c.c., as a band, begins under the name of Hotlegs back in 1970. Hotlegs, already containing three quarters of the ladder 10 c.c. had been working together in various circumstances. The core at that time was the duo project of Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, who were getting back into music business after years or stuying in graphic design. They had recorded several demo recordings for a company called "Marmalade" in 1968, that ran out of money shortly afterwards. These recordings had been initiated by Graham Gouldman, using Eric Stewart of The Mindbenders for the guitar parts. Eric Stewart, interested in the technical side of music production, had put himself into working at Strawberry Stdios, Stockport. So after the demise of "Marmalade" these three started recording and composing songs for "Kasenatz Katz", major purveyors of bummblegum music. Graham Gouldman, who had already been working for them some time longer, provided his songs to the likes of Tony Christie, Ohio Express etc.

At that time, in 1970, Godley, Creme and Stewart penned their only hit, called "Neanderthal Man", releasing their only album "Thinks : School Stinks" shortly afterwards. Hotlegs made a short tour supporting The Moody Blues, augmented by Graham Gouldman on bass. After a bunch of unsuccessful singles and lots of studio work for other artists, Graham Gouldman as well as Hotlegs were getting frustrated about their situation, looking for a common platform to perform their own music. In mid 1972 Godley and Creme came up with a song called "Donna", sung with a high falsetto voice by Lol Creme. Eric Stewart made a contact with Jonathan King, who he thought was the only one crazy enough to release it. King said : "It's fabulous, it's a hit" and fell about laughing. The band agreed to let him release the song ... and it became a hit !

"Donna" reached No. 2 in the U.K. charts, followed by another 50s-type song, "Johnny, Don't Do It". The band afterwards admitted that it was a mistake to have this song released as the follow-up. The third single, "Rubber Bullets", released in early 1973, also ran into problems, as many radio discjockey thought it was connected to the North-Ireland problem. But it peaked at No. 1, staying there for 15 weeks and also made No. 45 on the U.S. charts. The following debut album made the audience realize that 10 c.c. was a force to be reckoned with. Containing their first three singles, the album also spawned another successful outtake, "The Dean And I". The band's first single in 1974 was the lyrical offensive "The Worst Band In The World", released at the insistance of Jonathan King.

For the first time, he was wrong. As with many 10 c.c. single releases, the song fell through with airplay, but when "Top Of The Pops" also rejected it, the release was doomed. But more than anything else, the band's second album release, "Sheet Music", cemented thier popularity as on the of the most creative and successful bands to come from the U.K. Spawning another very successful hit single, "The Wall Street Shuffle", the group had manifested its status. After a U.K. headline tour and the third single "Silly Love" lifted from the album, 10 c.c. decided to sign to a truly international record company.

The band's third album, "The Original Soundtrack", was already recorded and released within a fortnight after they signed up at Phonogram for around a million dollars. "Life Is A Minestrone", lifted from that LP, became an immediate success, followed up by "I'm Not In Love" in early summer 1975. This song had since been dominated for numerous "All Time Greats" polls.

In November 1995 the preview single for the upcoming album was released, "Art For Art's Sake". It was the band's seventh top ten entry and with the release of the "How Dare You !" album it had become apparend that the band's writing skills had graviated into two different distict schools of thought (Godley/Greme on one side; Stewart/Gouldman on the other).

By the end of 1995 it was reported that Godley and Creme had left 10 c.c. to persue a career in music and video business and developing their Gismo, a guitar attachment that give continuous sustain. Gizmos effects had already been used on various 10 c.c. recordings. Justin Heyward from The Moody Blues revealed in a BBC interview in 1995 : "So, Kevin and Lol left 10 c.c. in the autumn of 1976. Consequences, which I thought was fab, their triple album of Gismo music flopped.

Costing them and the record company a quarter of a million quid. But in the 1980s, they went on to have a string of hits as well as producing scores of highly acclaimed music videos, films, television programs and commercials. Meanwhile, Eric and Graham went straight back into the studio to record another LP, 'Deceptive Bends'." "Deceptive Bends" was a trio album, introducing Paul Burgess augmenting 10 c.c. on drums. The album became the band's most celling longplayer ever, spawning two more chart hitting songs with "Good Mornin' Judge" and "The Things We Do For Love".
At that time, in early 1977, 10 c.c. was completed by Tony O'Malley (keyboards), Stuart Tosh (second drummer !) and Rick Fenn on guitars. With this lineup 10 c.c. untertook a major tour, caught on the double live record of "Live And Let Live" which only brought yet recorded material and almost failed common interest or chart nomination. After the tour Tony O'Malley was replaced by "Cockney Rebel" Duncan Mackay on keyboards and synthesizers.

Just when people were ready to dismiss 10 c.c. Stewart and Gouldman had another ace up their sleeves. "Dreadlock Holiday", the preview release single to their forthcoming "Bloody Tourists" LP was another massive success with its catchy reggae rhythm and gave 10 c.c. their third No. 1 hit, however ... it was their last. The album sold considerably well, followed by the "Greeatest Hits 1972-1978" compilation in 1979.

This big lineup released another great album "Look Hear" (1980) and did another major tour through Europe but failed another chart buster. For that reason the 1981 release of "Ten Out Of 10" was a return to the 3-piece-band philosophy of "Deceptive Bends", obviously only a studio project using Paul Burgess on drums and guest musicians like Rick Fenn, Marc Jordan (organs, piano and backing vocals), Vic Emmerson (synclavier), Lenni Crookes (saxophone), Keith Bessey (maracas) and Simon Phillips, who played drums on one track and later showed up in Toto to be the substitute for Jeff Porcaro. After its failure and another 1983 album, "Windows In The Jungle", 10 c.c. amicably split up and everybody went his own way ... Graham Gouldman, who teamed up with Andrew Gold in Wax and Eric Stewart to persue two solo efforts, and working together with Paul McCartney on his "Press To Play" album.

It almost took ten years and the breakup of Wax after three successful releases, to get together again as 10 c.c. Other than a bunch of highy acclaimed session musicians Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman were joined by Lol Creme and Kevin Godley for selected tracks.

The new album, the 1992 release " ... Meanwhile" spawned some very good compositions and a successful single - "Woman In Love". Critics and fans were happy about the reunition, but big success wasn't at hand immediately. A Japan tour using Rick Fenn, Stuart Tosh, Stepehn Pigott and Gary Wallis in the band, was caught on the live album "The Very Best Of 10 c.c. Alive", which was released by Arcade Records. It was followed by the 1995 und until today last release, "Mirror Mirror", opened by the Paul McCartney/Eric Stewart composition "Yvonne's The One". 10 c.c., at that time, were complemented by the likes of Adrian Lee (also producer on almost all the tracks), Andrew Gold, Paul McCartney, Ian Thomas (drums), Steve Pigott (keyboards) and Rick Fenn. But the album did not really look like a band effort, because either Eric's or Graham's songs were produced in its own, then all put together on this album. The album also contained an acoustic session of "I'm Not In Love" but didn't become a great success.