Sunday, October 25, 2015

Big Boys Don't Cry: 49 Out of 10

It's the second anniversary of this page, as well as my 49th birthday, so for all you Octoberists I bring you something appropriate for month #10.
About 15 years ago I went to Brooklyn in NYC to work for the summer and I befriended this character who was opening a juice bar at this big intersection in Williamsburgh. He and I created a few blended drinks together and he asked me to supply him with some music for the place. 
One day he brought me a stack of CDs of the English rock band 10cc which he had borrowed, and sat me down with a day's worth of food and beverages at the back table to make a compilation out of them. I had to that point heard very little of their music besides the hits like I'm Not In Love, which for me was a revelatory demonstration of the recording studio as an instrument when it came billowing out of the car radio like a breathy dream at the age of 9.
After a day of listening to the albums I whittled them down into a mix I called The Worst Band In the World (after one of their best songs), and we rocked it in Alex's spot all summer, in addition to a bunch of other stuff we mashed up from his music collection. Recently I have been in a big 10cc phase again, so a couple of days ago I set about reconstructing this compilation from the SHM-CDs of these albums from Japan, which use a mastering technology that didn't even exist 15 years ago.
I changed it around a bit, but here it comes for your auditory stimulation. In addition to being made from the best-sounding reissues of these exquisite records, this tape really reveals exactly how brilliant a caliber of songwriters and artists these guys were and are. Halfway between progsters Gentle Giant and arch-ironists Sparks, with a side of Supertramp thrown in, over time these guys have become one of my favorites in the pantheon. 
And let's face it, I'm Not In Love is truly one of the greatest recordings of any kind in the 100+ year history of the art form. You can make music as good as that song, but it can't be surpassed and my feeling about that hasn't changed in the intervening 40 years since it first caressed my pre-teen ears. Why, it's so shimmering and seminal that there's a short documentary on YouTube in which the members of the band detail how they did it, and it's quite the tale of the tape loop indeed. Be quiet, big boys don't cry.
Anyway this band is a throwback to when you could have four songwriters in one group and not have to call the cops, and obviously Godley & Creme went on to shape tons of the subsequent 40 years of sound on Earth since they departed from 10cc in 1976, so I will follow the Yogi's edict that you're supposed to give gifts on your birthday and pop it on up here for y'all!
The Worst Band In the World

01 The Worst Band In the World
02 The Second Sitting for the Last Supper
03 Oh Effendi
04 Honeymoon with B Troop
05 Art for Art's Sake
06 Nothing Can Move
07 The Wall Street Shuffle
08 Ships Don't Disappear In the Night (Do They)
09 I'm Mandy Fly Me
10 Marriage Bureau Rendezvous
11 Good Morning Judge
12 Une Nuit a Paris pt II
13 The Things We Do For Love
14 Waterfall
15 I'm Not In Love
16 The Dean and I
17 Life Is a Minestrone
18 Bee In My Bonnet
19 Dreadlock Holiday
20 Rubber Bullets

Total time: 1:18:49

Graham Gouldman – bass, vocals
Eric Stewart – guitar, keyboards, vocals
Lol Creme – guitar, keyboards, vocals
Kevin Godley – drums, vocals
Stuart Tosh – drums, vocals
Tony O'Malley – keyboards, vocals
Paul Burgess – drums
Rick Fenn – guitar, vocals

compilation constructed from 2008 & 2014 Japanese SHM-CDs
My eye is getting better slowly, so expect more than a paltry three posts from me in November... heck, I might even do a Halloween post before then. But for now do enjoy these 80 minutes of 10cc... the tenth month never sounded so good :D--J.

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