Monday, 21 August 2017
10cc and Godley-Creme: Surviving TV Clips and Music Videos 1970-1995 and Best Unreleased Recordings
1. Neanderthal Man (Music Video 1970 as 'Hotlegs')
Recorded simply, Hotlegs' 'drum-testing' session took off so quickly that they couldn't have provided an elaborate video if they'd tried. So they didn't: instead of the sort of thing the band would probably do years later (a cartoon about a caveman or a mannekin neanderthal coming to life) they simply point a camera at each other in close-up and sing along. You wonder how it must have seemed for the public in the pre-10cc era, going 'gee I know them from somewhere - especially that blonde guitarist in the sunglasses. Didn't he used to be in The Mindbenders?!? Why is he singing about neanderthals making love?!' Lol makes for a good caveman and Kevin certainly has the hair for it (this is the longest it will be till 1988!) but Eric seems greatly bemused by the whole thing! No Graham of course - he wasn't on this track, though he does guest on the album.
2. Disco ('Desperate Dan' UK TV 1970 as 'Hotlegs')
A weird choice - a novelty song that wasn't released a single and certainly wasn't disco in anyway shape or form, mimed by a band who look deeply uncomfortable (especially Eric once again!) Nobody in the audience seems to notice that the band aren't playing half the instruments heard on the original tapes (including the piano, the loudest thing here!)
3. Donna (Music Video 1972)
A straightforward mimed video that looks suspiciously like a TOTP appearance, complete with a similarly bored looking audience. Lol has great fun going OTT and getting his cues 'wrong' (mind you, Kevin is even worse!) Lol then gets the giggles answering the 'phone'. Sadly this promo doesn't make 10cc 'sit down' or 'stand up' and they're rather static here, but it's good to see them having fun in comparison to their more serious promos! Available on the 'Tenology' box set.
4. Top Pop #1 ('Donna' Holland TV June 1972)
Meanwhile, over in Holland 10cc debut on a show they played a lot - it's the Dutch equivalent of 'Top Of The Pops' that ran for almost as long (eighteen years from 1970-1988) but a bit more 'fun'! It even 'invented' punk rock thanks to Iggy Pop appearing there in 1977 and being in such a foul mood he destroyed the set live on air! Even TOTP, for instance, would never have had the band stuck at the back of the stage as the 'backing band' for a busty dancer who completely upstages them! Also look out for the backdrop, which is hard to see but is a large cut out of the name '10cc' in different shapes and sizes (this might be a comment on how much smaller than others Lol looks on this clip! Later he'll stand on things to look taller). Lol and Kevin are still awful at miming on cue...
5. Top Of The Pops #1 ('Rubber Bullets' UK TV 1973)
Only recently returned to the archives in early 2015, this is 10cc's debut for the 'real' Top Of The Pops'. Even taking into account the quality isn't top notch it looks as if the band were already going for an 'arty' look with weird lighting and crashing zooms from the cameras - the traditional thing TOTP cameraman do with something that looks a bit 'different', be it punk or novelty hits! The band are also obscured by the spotlights, but at least their miming has improved - at least until the 'Sgt Baker made a beeline to the jail' line which Lol messes up spectacularly!
6. Top Pop #2 ('The Worst Band In The World' Holland TV 1973)
This single never did that well in the charts but the band give their all during this Dutch performance. You can tell that the band are much more comfortable with two big hits under their belt though and this postmodernist classic is the most 10cc single yet. It's easy to get distracted by the backing though, which features a close-up of the Statue of Liberty for no apparent reason in a dazzling array of colours! At last after eight years of watching his songs become hits for other people Graham Gouldman gets to look the camera squarely in the eye and sing on this track ('Never seen the van - leave it to the roadies, never seen the roadies - leave 'em in the van!') Watch out for an early version of Eric's 'bow-legged dance' at the end.
7. Top Of The Pops #2 ('Rubber Bullets' Christmas Special UK 1973)
The year 1973 had been a huge one for the sale of singles and pop music was now so mainstream TOTP even had a special on Christmas Day! All the biggest bands of the year were invited back to play their biggest hits and thus came perhaps the most commonly sighted 10cc clip of them all. The band are in a 'party' mood, playing this double-edged song for laughs instead of the grim humour they sometimes employed in concert. Included on the 'Tenology' box set.
8. See You On Sunday ('Fresh Air For My Mama' 'The Wall Street Shuffle' UK TV April 1974)
A slightly heavy-handed guest appearance on a shirt-lived music show, although at least it gave 10cc the chance to play more than just their current hit single, with a moody version of 'Fresh Air For My Mama' from the debut LP outstripping a slightly cautious 'Wall Street Shuffle'. Included on the 'Tenology' box set.
9. BBC In Concert ('SSSSSilly Love' 'The Wall Street Shuffle' 'Baron Samedi' 'Old Wild Men' 'Oh Effendi!' 'Fresh Air For My Mama' 'Rubber Bullets' UK TV August 1974)
A thrilling entry in the regular AAA appearances on the BBC's half-hour 'In Concert' shows of the early 1970s, with 10cc at the peak of their live act in this era and with everyone except poor Graham getting their turn on the spotlight. The band have by now given up trying to re-create their polished records and have turned into a surprisingly aggressive live act, drivene by Graham's slightly-before-the-beat bass and Kevin's slightly behind-the-beat-drums. Several songs sound entirely different to the way they do on album - hungrier, angrier and a lot more from the heart than from the head. Take 'SSSSSilly Love', a slightly arch single about trying to avoid saying cliches in love that not many fans enjoy but which heard here knocks the socks off anything a heavier rock band of the time could do, especially the lengthy riffing finale and Eric's blistering solo (which, sadly, we never really get a decent close-up of!) 'The Wall Street Shuffle' is a little wonky and more than a little fast, with Eric miked too loud, but Graham's busy bass and Lol's guitar stings more than makes up for it. This version is more of a howl of pain too than the intellectual tutting of the record. 'Old Wild Men' is the highlight, with the unusual song stripped of all the production effects and sounded mouch more raw and emotive, with Kevin singing lower and Lol giving an early airing to his guitar's 'gizmo' stringbending device. The closing swirl of harmonies is divine, proving that 10cc can do beauty as well as power. A closing 'Rubber Bullets' is the most 'natural' of the many TV clips of this song around, played for sarcasm and outrage as much as laughs and ending with an angry ongoing rocking finale hat goes on for hours which is much darker and more angular than the one on the 'album' mix (the single mix cuts this bit entirely). 'Baron Samedi' is a mess though, all percussion and not much happening, while a tougher, brittler 'Fresh Air For My Mama' isn't a patch on the one played on 'See You On Sunday'. Still you can't have everything - 10cc are on it for most of this set and you can see their 'democracy' at work particularly well with everyone pulling together - you wouldn't think the big split was less than a couple of years away. All in all an excellent archive clip and one of the best of the original 10cc that exists. Interestingly Lol is centre-stage now, where Eric used to stand on the earlier performances, while the band have been joined by second drummer Paul Burgess for the first time, so that Kevin can think about singing as well as playing sometimes. A highly under-rated player, he'll be with the band up until 1980. You can see the whole half hour of this show on the 'Tenology' box set, as well as frequent repeats on BBC4 if you live in Britain!
10. Don Kirshner's Rock Concert ('The Dean and I' 'Rubber Bullets' US TV 1974)
You might remember Don Kirshner as the 'baddy' from our Monkees book, releasing singles without consulting the group and refusing to let them have any say over their own recordings. Nearly a decade later and Kirshner has had mixed success; The Archies were his 'other' big band (because cartoons can't answer back!) but most of his records had fallen off the charts by 1974. Instead he fancied himself as a TV impresario (if Ed Sullivan could do it while getting everyone's names wrong and high on painkillers, why not him?) and put together a similar musical variety show that ran between 1973 and 1981 before new wave and punk finally drove him off the air. 10cc were one of his earliest guests and appeared in a line miming to two of their earliest songs, now a couple of years old, under some weird strobe lighting effects. The band don't exactly break a sweat on either song but are very in tune with each other by now, with their miming spot-on for every word. perhaps the biggest American audience 10cc ever played to.
11. Top Of The Pops #3 (Life Is A Minestrone UK April 1975)
In many ways 'Minestrone' is a spoof of the typical glam-rock-single-with-stupid-metaphors that were so ripe in the mid-1970s. So it makes sense that 10cc perform the song in front of a typically tacky glam background, with their name in glittering grey lights and yet more round white lights on a loop round the group. Did it get 10cc more fanmail than the Pope? Probably not, with Lol keeping his eyes tight shut for most of his last lead vocal single for the band.
12. 'I'm Not In Love (Music Video 1975)
Some pulsing and very 1970s graphics give way to a timeless song, delivered here 'straight' by the band as if every word they're saying is the gospel truth. Eric finds it hard to hide the dreamy look in his eyes though. Everyone assumes the 'circle of faces' around Eric singing the high synthesised 'aaaahs' is ripped off Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' but no: the 10cc promo was first aired in May 1975; Queen's in October the same year. That band borrowed so many ideas off 10cc! Kevin looks quite scary when he suddenly grows in size... Also the fact all men are standing around playing synthesisers looks very early 1980s and is a style copied by many bands from The Human League to Kraftwerk. Another 'Tenology' refugee, though oddly the 'Changing Faces' compilation replaces it with a live version from the 1978 touring band (though shot in the studio) and ends it with a 'yeah yeah yeah yeah ye-e-e-ah'.
13. Art For Art's Sake (Music Video 1976)
Moody lighting for a moody song, with sudden dramatic flourishes for the chorus. Eric is taking more and more of the centre stage now, though Graham steals the show for his deep bass vocal parts. Included on the 'Tenology' box set.
14. I'm Mandy, Fly Me (Music Video 1976)
A relative disappointment, 10cc could have done so much with the video for this song. After all, how much more visual can you get than a hallucinating airplane passenger saved by the hallucination of the air hostess on the poster above his seat? Alas the band just sit around playing as normal behind a revolving version of their logo, bookending the song with parts where they stand in a line and look oddly menacing. Included on both the 'Tenology' and 'Changing Faces' sets.
15. Don't Hang Up (Music Video 1976)
A rather poignant goodbye, with the last song on the last Godley-Creme era 10cc record featuring the drummer struggling to cope with a breakup and pleading with the others not to hang up the phone. It may just be really good acting to fit the song, but there's a real sense of poignancy and melancholia about this performance. It seems an odd song to make a video for this of all songs too, given that it was never released as a single and by the time they filmed it everybody knew this line-up of 10cc was 'over'. Included in the 'Tenology' box set.
16. Live At Knebworth ('Rubber Bullets' Concert 1976)
Presumably 10cc performed more than just one song when they appeared as second-in-the-line-up to The Rolling Stones in Knebworth's third annual music festival. The band's performance is their scrappiest yet and they can feel it too, Lol getting the most 'frontman' he ever got and screaming to the '200,000 people' in the crowd and giggling as he mimics the 'siren' sound better than the siren sound effect the band have on stage. The band are fragmenting like crazy and are holding on for grim death through this neverending version of one of their bigger songs that last for a full thirteen minutes (it has to be split into two parts if you're watching it on Youtube, posted back in the days when videos could only last ten minutes). The band have lost touch with the song long before the end and seem to be playing just for the hell of it. A sad way for the original 10cc to end, especially as none of the band will ever play in front of crowds this big again and Lol and Kevin certainly won't, even though Creme has got the act of fronting a band down fine by this point!
17. Top Of The Pops #4 ('The Things We Do For Love' UK TV January 1977)
By now 10cc are down to three, with Paul Burgess at last a full-time member. However the band try to carry on as if nothing has happened, with lots of 'trick-shots' that allow Eric to seem like he's playing both piano and guitar. It's perhaps the most straightforward video in this list but that's no bad thing - adding a gimmick to a song this catchy-yet-deep would have been a waste. Eric's hair is at the longest in this video too for those hairdressers amongst you keeping score! Included on the 'Changing Faces' disc but oddly not the 'Tenology' set. Some rights issue probably, given that the BBC own this one.
18. Good Morning Judge (Music Video 1977)
This promo is a lot more fun and the first evidence of 10cc thinking outside the book in their visuals, oddly just after Godley and Creme - future famed directors - have left. Eric and Graham appear multiple times over as an assortment of very different looking jurors (Eric looks very good with a full beard!) Graham plays the stern looking judge whilst Eric gets all the fun things to do, like robbing a car and running off with a 'shiny thing' (actually a girl!) Both judge and suspect get to play guitar in the courtroom which is surely contempt of court, while Eric and Graham end up in prison by the end (check out Gouldman's scar!) This video may well have been inspired by George Harrison's very similar 'This Song' from the previous year, a satirical take on his being sued for plagiarism that uses several of the same gags. Included on 'Tenology' and 'Changing Faces' and rightly so.
19. People In Love (Music Video 1977)
The song that helped split 10cc up (Godey-Creme hated it!) this slightly drippy third single from 'Deceptive Bends' gets a suitably drippy video. Eric sits alone at a white piano (this video taking its cue from a different ex-Beatle!) while getting doey-eyed with a silly romantic look on his face. Poor Graham barely features, which is a shame because his wild perm is the most convincing thing about this clip! Included on 'Tenology' , where it's the one everyone skips in between 'Judge' and 'Dreadlock Holiday'.
20. Live At The Hammersmith Odeon ('Good Morning Judge' 'I'm Not In Love' 'Modern Man Blues' 'Second Sitting For The Last Supper' 'Marriage Bureau Rendezvous' 'The Things We Do For Love' 'People In Love' 'The Wall Street Shuffle' 'Feel The Benefit' Concert June 1977 Released 1980)
A preview of what the new-look six-piece 10cc will sound like on the following year's 'Live and Let Live' concert album (recorded a month later), this show in London was filmed for The King Biscuit Flower Hour radio show - a soundtrack of the band performing for it in 1974 was released in the 21st century too. This show was released as a video in 1980 and is kind of a warm-up for the world tour to come and as such is slightly sloppy, exciting and energetic but not exactly tight. It's good fun though, especially the newer songs from 'Deceptive Bends' which sound a lot better here than they will on the official set oddly, tighter and rawer and a lot less tongue-in-cheek, Graham's strong take on 'Marriage Bureau Rendezvous' especially. An epic twelve minute take on 'Feel The Benefit' ever so nearly works too, holding the attention for longer than the 'Live and Let Live' one and with better gear-changes between the three main sections. The between-song patter is rather good too, with Eric embracing his new role as 'host' with digs at the director for the 'Good Morning Judge' promo sitting in the audience and throwing in jokes about the band. You do miss Lol and Kevin a lot though and all their songs are missing from the set-list so no 'Donna' 'Rubber Bullets' or 'Life Is A Minestrone', which is a great shame. Sadly this show has yet to appear on DVD which is a great shame as, while it's not as interesting as the 1974 'In Concert' set, it beats the 1992 'Alive' and 2006 'Clever Clogs' versions of the band hands down!
21. Dreadlock Holiday (Music Video 1978)
I don't love this video, but I like it-ah! Remembering their inspiration for the song (similar misadventures on separate holidays in the West Indies), Eric and Graham return there to shoot the video in the 'real' location. Sadly neither 10ccer 'acts' and instead they hire an outsider who swaggers around like the fish out of water he is (especially when he's pushed in the pool, fully clothed). The trio of Eric, Graham and Rick Fenn (in the middle) have got the 'swaying knees jig' down to a tee though when we cut back to the band in the choruses. Before you ask, no I've no idea why Graham pulls a 'shocked' face and shields his eyes from a 'light' at the very end either - the light of truth about the people out to con him perhaps? Inevitably included on both 'Tenology' and 'Changing Faces'.
22. Top Of The Pops #5 ('Dreadlock Holiday' UK TV 1978)
Another much-seen and oft-repeated clip that marks the band's last appearance on Top Of The Pops. Eric has a perm to match Graham's this time, whilst Eric 'gees' the band up (especially the wide-mouth laugh to the two drummers Paul and Stuart Tosh at the 1:30 mark) while Graham tries to stay serious. Sadly 10cc don't use the bow-legged dance this time around!
23. Top Pop #4 ('I'm Not In Love' Holland TV 1978)
I admit it, I haven't got a clue where this video goes but the 1978 line-up of the band perform it so that's why it's here. The second 10cc are effectively miming to the record made by the first and it's really odd to see the deep-voiced Rick open his mouth and have the Godley-falsetto come out of it, ditto the higher pitched Stuart Tosh who by now has the biggest perm of them all! Eric wears a bomber jacket for this one and looks to all intents and purposes like an RAF pilot. Made for Dutch television, who couldn't secure the rights to the original promo film.
24. HTV ('It Doesn't Matter At All' 1980)
Meanwhile, over in Wales (the 'H' stands for 'Harlech') 10cc are back after a break and playing live for the first time in a TV studio! They sound rather good too, especially Duncan Mackay's keyboards which are much louder than on the record and the note-perfect backing harmonies (which are presumably pre-recorded, given that Eric effectively sings twice!) The performance has a real swing about it and this sweet overlooked ballad actually comes across better than it does on the 'Look Hear' album.
25. One-Two-Five (Japanese TV/Music Video 1980)
The band mime to a new recording of this one, with Eric looking the rockstar part in his sunglasses. This is 10cc's coolest period in terms of 'look' (or at least the band clearly feel 'Hot To Trot') even though the song isn't one of their best (it gets badly cut in half too with a rotten edit down the middle!) Included on the 'Tenology' box set, rather surprisingly given how much is missing from the later years on there.
26. Don't Ask (Music Video 1981)
...Such as this rare video in which the band stand around a load of grey backgrounds looking uncomfortable. The star of this show is Rick Fenn whose grown a full beard now rather than his normal moustache and who really puts his all into his mimed guitar solo (which sounds suspiciously like one of Eric's to me). These are the last appearances of the six-piece 10cc, but then again the album these tracks come from, 'Ten Out Of Ten', were mainly made by Eric and Graham, with a bit of Rick and Paul, anyway.
27. Don't Turn Me Away (Music Video 1981)
Presumably taped the same day (the band are in the same clothes and mime on the same sets!) Eric has switched to piano and is at his cute/shy/the-cameras-on-me-and-I-secretly-love-it best, while a sax player - presumably Lenni Crookes who played on the recording - hangs around looking bored. A bit of trick photography captured the band in freeze frame - sadly the expressions they pull at this point aren't the best!
28. Top Pop #5 ('Don't Turn Me Away' Holland TV 1981)
We're back in Holland for the last time - not that you'd know that from the set, which is firmly based in Egypt! Presumably Eric is an archaeologist turned away by his mummy ancestors - or maybe it was left over from The Bangles doing 'Walk Like An Egyptian', who knows?! We're back to the mimed appearances sadly and with a different saxophone player - perhaps a Dutch local given the costs of flying someone halfway round the world for a fifteen second mimed solo.
29. Multi-Coloured Swap Shop (UK TV 1981)
'No band ever sees themselves on stage so consequently they never get a clear picture of how they appear'. A most fascinating clip on prime-time children's TV that seems to be the only footage of the 1980-1981 tour (the last as a six-piece) that we've got. The Swap Shop team filmed the 10cc show in Birmingham, with interviews conducted the next night in Brighton. We start with scrappy footage of 'Rubber Bullets', recently added back to the set, and meet the roadies and technicians including Charlie the chief rigger (who looks like a topless David Gilmour) and Patrick the lighting engineer (who sounds a bit cheesed off with the stupid questions to be honest). It sounds like hard work: 'Altogether there are 250 boxes to be shifted and every one's a dead weight!' It's all very fascinating though, even if the crew are a little grumpy and patronising, especially in comparison in how much work went into shows years before and after for comparison and trust 10cc to give so much air-time to their support staff instead of stealing the limelight themselves. For those only interested in the band, though, they finally arrive some 12 minutes in and we get to eavesdrop as they catch their lift and head to the show. A great clip of the finale to 'I'm Not In Love' then follows, although sadly it rather undercuts most of what we've heard about the hard work setting up the lights by being shot in semi-blackness! Eric hung around the studio to see the film being played in and offers a rare interview to host Noel Edmonds. Shy and edgy, he's not the best interviewee but he offers some fascinating titbits and the old 10cc engineering perfectionism shows as he admits to '3 or 4 hours' of sound-check every night. Noel asks about becoming a '10cc of the future' and gets an interesting comment about the early days of The Mindbenders, as Eric built up Strawberry Studios two-track machines by four-track machines! One of the quirks of 'Swapshop' was that young fans get to call in and their questions are nearly always more interesting than the presenters. Eric gets asked his favourite and least favourite track and nominated 'I'm Not In Love' for the former and 'Dean and I' for the latter ('I always thought that was like something from South pacific and Lol and Kev got very angry with me!') Another caller asks about the split in 1976 and Eric admits 'it was a good thing for all of us' through gritted teeth and defensively claims that their first songs afterwards were 'more successful'. Interestingly he claims it was a 'business split' when Noel asks how personal it was but says that he'd be quite happy to get back together again 'one day' (it will happen, briefly, in 1992!) Eric then gets the inevitable question about where the band got its name and - given that he can't talk about ejaculations on children's telly - copes very well, cutting that bit of the story out and saying that Jonathan King got it in a dream. However he still comes unstuck when Noel asks what King is up to now - given that he was in prison on child pornography charges a laughing Eric tells him 'we see him in court occasionally these days!' Next question: how is touring financially viable for a six-piece and multiple crew? Short answer: it isn't, Eric admitting the band lose money but perform because they like it. The 'swap' (ie the prize given away to whoever answers a question right) is disappointing though: an unused jacket from the 10cc Japanese tour! The question's a hard one too - who was the architect who designed The Brighton Pavilion near where the clip was filmed; good luck answering that one! (It's John Nash if you were wondering - thanks Google, where's my jacket?!) Most episodes of 'Swap Shop' were wiped, so kudos to Ian Norman who worked on the show and kept a copy, uploading it to youtube so other fans could share it! The full half hour would make a fantastic extra on a 10cc DVD one day; it's a fascinating glimpse into 10cc as band and touring behemoth and well worth watching by all fans.
30. We've Heard It All Before! (Music Video 1982)
The single the band recorded with Andrew Gold, years before he joined Graham in 'Wax', this little seen video is the wackiest 10cc video of them all. Graham sings lead 'normally', Eric sings the middle eight dressed up in a Tuxedo and looking like an inter-war crooner! We may have heard something like this before, but never seen it!
31. Pebble Mill ('Run Away' UK TV 1982)
The 1980s incarnation of 'The One Show' (random guests, very random subjects and extremely random presenters) doesn't really suit the quirkiness of 10cc and one of their quieter, gentler songs gets a bit lost in between items on household goods. It's interesting to note how 'mainstream' these TV appearances are becoming though now that 10cc's sales have started falling but alas even the exposure and some of their finest work isn't enough to stem the tide.
32. Live At Wembley ('Art For Art's Sake' 'Lying Here With You' 'The Power Of Love' 'I'm Mandy Fly Me' 'The Things We Do For Love' 'The Wall Street Shuffle' 'Dreadlock Holiday' 'I'm Not In Love' 'Feel The Benefit' Concert 1982)
Though casual fans are better off with the 'King Biscuit' or 'Hammersmith' gigs, this late period set stuffed with rarely heard material is better still for the collector. The year 1982 was something of a lost one for the band who only released two singles and no albums that year so it's nice to have a look at how good the band were live in this period. Eric is in great voice, is much more comfortable as a frontman (he sticks stage front and often sings rather than plays during this gig for the first time). Some of the performances he turns in here beat the records - especially a gorgeous 'Lying Here With You' that sounds far more heartfelt and emotional than the studio take on 'Ten Out Of Ten' or 'The Power Of Love' which loses that silly reggae-jive it had as a single and turns into quite a stirring rock song. 'Feel The Benefit' also sounds particularly hot played by a band who are clearly on it - it's arguably the best of the many versions around, including the original on 'Deceptive Bends'. Throughout the show, as well as Eric, the stars are Rick Fenn who passes up his usual guitar to contribute some excellent piano (usually played by Eric) and fellow Mancunian Vic Emerson of Sad Cafe (that's his own band's T-shirt he's wearing!) whose synth playing is a cut above that which plagued the last few 10cc records (and again usually played by Eric). There are problems - Graham gets barely anything to do ('Dreadlock Holiday' is his only lead vocal) and the 'oldies' in the set have sounded better (particularly ''Mandy', who never sounded too good live but who sounds positively sick here). All in all though this is another fine show by 10cc and another performance that desperately needs a first release on DVD (it would make a great three-fer-one set alongside the earlier 'Hammersmith' and later 'Rotterdam' show!)
33. Six-Fifty Five Special ('Run Away' 'Dreadlock Holiday' UK TV 1982)
The band are back to sing the same new song 'Run Away' on the Pebble Mill spin-off, which was generally filmed in the courtyard outside the special 'Mill' set (except when it rained!) Eric looks a bit daft singing in the dark with his shades on (even if it is partly to protect his eyes after ongoing problems from his car crash three years before) and he messes up his miming a few times, but no matter - this sweet understated song still sounds good. 'Dreadlock Holiday' is much the same, only Graham is much more animated and doesn't wear sunglasses! Jonathan King was a fellow guest and briefly reminisced about 'discovering' the band- though sadly he gets cut off far too early!
34. Saturday Superstore ('Run Away' UK TV 1982)
The group really went to town plugging this song didn't they? A shame it didn't sell. This time they're on a children's TV show which is a little more chaotic than 'Multi-Coloured Swap Shop' (and that wasn't exactly slick!) The performance is much the same as all the others, with no real banter between hosts and guests.
35. Oomachasooma (Feel The Love) (Music Video 1983)
The band's last album 'Windows In The Jungle' sank without trace and really deserves a re-appraisal containing as it does some of Eric's sharpest and most heartfelt material. This lead-off single, though, was the closest thing to a 'joke' and the 'wacky humour' of old and is well served by a video that's actually a very important and under-rated one in 10cc history. This was directed by Godley and Creme, already big names in the music video business, and while they don't appear in it or play on it both audio and visuals share their characteristic touch. Picking up on the 'love' theme this song is performed at a tennis match (the score for 'nought' in French), but it's madder even than the five set epic between Isner and Mahut in 2010 (70-68 in the fifth and final set!) Graham and Eric (with sunglasses back on) sit in the audience surrounded by extras who seem to have wondered out of a sauna, while the boy and girl playing tennis come up with a series of unlikely looking CGI tennis shots as their romance gets more and more desperate ('It's a million to one that you should find your right girl!') The girl wins by the way, even though she's barely playing and the boy is giving his all - is this a comment akin to Godley-Creme's similar songs about marital troubles in this 'Birds Of Prey' period? Funniest moment by far: the guitar solo, which is mimed by the entire audience on air guitar - and the players on tennis rackets - while Eric and Graham continue to stare out ahead, masters of the poker face. One of the better 10cc promos - certainly the most bonkers!
36. Pebble Mill ('Oomachasooms (Feel The Love)' UK TV 1983)
The band are back for more I-know-you-like-dogs-so-here's-an-item-about-a-hedgehog banter with the Pebble Mill hosts. This time 10cc are out in the open air and they turn in a far more accomplished (albeit still mimed) performance of this quirky song. Someone seems to have told Eric that the camera is up in a tree as he strains his neck looking 'up' even though the camera is 'below' him while the wind ruffles his hair something awful. Still a good clip though. That's Rick in bright green and Paul in bright yellow alongside Eric and Graham - the 1980s have really arrived by now! Included in both the 'Tenology' and 'Changing Faces' sets.
37. Top Pop #5 ('Food For Thought' Holland TV 1983)
A final return to Holland where 10cc perform under moody blue lighting and a girl stops by a table to eat ('Food For Thought' geddit?!), enters a boxing ring (?!) and dances in a 3D cardboard cut out of a door (less easy to understand: did the Top Pop producers mishear the album as 'Door in the Jungle'?!?) Eric is sitting down throughout this clip (was he still bad after his car crash?) and is noticeably reluctant to look at his bandmates, who in turn aren't looking at him. This really feels like the 'end' in retrospect.
38. Rock Around The Clock: 10cc Live In Rotterdam ('Wall Street Shuffle' 'City Lights' 'Oomachasooma/Feel The Love' 'Lying Here With You' 'Dreadlock Holiday' 'I'm Not In Love' 'Working Girls' 'Food For Thought' 'From Rochdale To Ocho Rios' Concert 1983)
The final entry of the 'original' 10cc and all the fun seems to have gone out of the band. This is easily their weakest gig out on video/TV (although the 'Alive' tour of 1992, out on DVD in the 2000s, is arguably even worse). The band play underneath that fuzzy purple 'n' pink strobe lighting particularly common to rock shows of this vintage (Pink Floyd's 'Delicate Sound Of Thunder' gig is similarly afflicted). Despite the presenter popping up every few minutes to tell us 'what a great time we're all having' the mood feels flat - the band aren't in tune in all meanings of the phrase, Eric and Graham are still ignoring each other, there's just one rather basic 'conversation' with the audience 'at home and around the world' and the band have just lost that slickness and tightness they once had. Even the only chance to hear the 'Windows' material in concert is a lost opportunity - 'City Lights' is filled with mistakes galore, 'Feel The Love' is tentative and wobbly, 'Working Girls' frankly doesn't work and 'Food For Thought' leaves so much food for thought you'd starve. The oldies don't fare much better either, with only another lovely 'Lying Here With You' standing out and even that was performed better in Wembley the year before. Once again Graham gets the short straw with only 'Dreadlock' and 'Rochdale' to sing (plus a couple of lines on 'City Lights'), although it's good to see Vic Emerseon still adding his subtle synth to the arrangements. The end result is far from terrible - 10cc can still play well even on an offday and their material is still top-notch - but you can tell the heart has gone out of the band and that retirement is the only answer. That really is it until the reunion - be strong, big boys don't cry...
39. Woman In Love (Music Video 1992)
A weird promo, especially for a 'comeback' album which doesn't even feature 10cc for the most part, just some random sepia tinged shots of people walking through a town centre. This song is called 'Woman In Love' not 'Woman walks randomly down a few streets and does some shopping'! Even when we do see Eric and Graham they're in black and white and not really responding much to the camera. Included in the 'Tenology' set where it makes for a very sorry finale, even if its chronologically accurate as the last promo there.
40. Countdown ('Woman In Love' Holland TV 1992)
'Top Pop' may have gone but 10cc's love affair with Dutch TV networks continues with the only 'live' TV performance of the reunion era. The band sound a little bit fragile and the mix is a little rough (Graham's harmonies cutting in and out) but it's the only live recording of any of the 'new' reunion songs so for that we must be grateful. Well kinda - have you heard the reunion material?!
41. ('I'm Not In Love' Holland TV 1995)
You wouldn't know it from Graham's chatty demeanour but he and Eric have had a huge row and are no longer working together but separately - actually you might guess that from the silent guitarist scowling behind his sunglasses! The duo only played together on this one song, which as Graham says was intended as a one-off for a TV broadcast but record label Mercury asked it to be put on the album instead. Very nice it sounds too - the folkier, simpler, 'unplugged' version of 'I'm Not In Love' makes up in simple purity what it lacks in groundbreaking synthesised 'aaaahs'. As Graham puts it, the band have always had a special place in their hearts for Holland, so it's a fitting place to end this list. We move on to Godley and Creme after the break though, so stay tuned after this advertisement!...
42. Consequences (News Report and Cinema Advert 1977)
...For Godley-Creme's 'Consequences' which really was broadcast in cinemas in 1977 (before the first 'Star Wars' according to one of my sources!) Rightly figuring that most rock and pop fans wouldn't have a clue what the hell the triple-album debut was all about - and wrongly figuring film-goers might - this promo features lots of Peter Cook, random shots of destruction and devastation and and actually rather good superimposition of the album cover logo in the sky as a big ol' 'face' made out of clouds. As the narrator put it Consequences 'began as a gizmo and ended up in a blaze of musical energy', so there. Three whole minutes is a bit much though, even a fan like me would have been tutting into his popcorn by the end. Picking up on the idea 10cc also plugged their 'Live and Let Live' album in cinemas shortly afterwards, though this short thirty second advert just features grainy shots of Eric singing 'I'm Not In Love' 'People In Love' 'Good Morning Judge' and 'I'm Mandy, Fly Me'. It 'comes from the heart' apparently - are you sure the narrator didn't mean 'bank balance'?! Back to Godley-Creme for a new item which features the duo walking around the outside of Strawberry Studios for a bit and a patronising reminder what the 'gizmo' is. Lol then gives a demonstration of 'the ultimate sustain' and plays along to a snatch of the 'Consequences' album. The string-bending device was on the market for £70 at the time apparently - more than all but the best guitars back then! Sounds like a fiddle to me - and a horn and a harmonica and a flute...
43. 5 O'Clock In The Morning (TOTP 1977)
Godley-Creme's first TOTP appearance shows just how respected they still were a year after the split with 10cc - this single didn't chart and is one of the few non-charting songs to ever be performed on TOTP. Lol looks good, singing and playing as if he's still the starry front-man, but a wild-haired Kevin looks as if he hasn't slept in weeks and leans nonchalantly on the piano. Nice performance all the same though. Warning: the beginning of this clip contains Jimmy Saville, which sadly means we'll never see it on BBC4's TOTP repeats worse luck...
44. An Englishman In New York (Music Video 1978)
Demented mannekins staggering round the block, deformed lyrics poured over clockwork rolling stock, Guggenheim attitudes back to back with vaudeville rock, this is Godley-Creme at their strangest and/or most groundbreaking. Lol winds up and conducts the orchestra of no less than fourteen working robot dummies (they don't look powerful to take over the world, but equally they achieve a lot for 1978 standards) while Godley sings (miming to the 'earlier' of the two phased vocals if you're wondering). This must have confused the hell out of most people and scared the rest, but once seen never forgotten...Included on the 'Changing Faces' set.
45. Wide Boy (Music Video 1980)
Considering it was made on a budget of about 50p and in a set that's deliberately so small you keep noticing bits being recycled over and over, this video is awfully good and just as pioneering as 'New York' but in a very different way. Godley looks the part of a new waver on a track that always sounded like Madness (both senses of the word) as he walks up and down corridors looking cross and - later - walks through a 'picture' of the duo and later still a smoke alarm (the theme: nothing is what you think it is). This is surely where 'West Wing' got their 'corridor' obsession from, if only CJ had worn a pin-striped suit and had stubble and wild hairdo.
46. Under Your Thumb (Music Video/TOTP 1981)
Both the video and TOTP appearance of this hit are virtually identical - Godley jerks around like a robot while Creme 'pretends' to be steering the mad twinkling synth. A bit of a disappointment given how visual this song about suicide and escape is.
47. Wedding Bells (Music Video/TOTP 1981)
This promo, though, is hilarious. Acknowledging the tongue-in-cheek gospel/Motown flavour of the song, Godley and Creme hire two dancers and a choreographer and put together a dance move that both spoofs and shames boy bands the world over from every era. Godley and Creme are, of course, the last artists who should ever be doing this sort of thing and that's what makes it so funny - especially with the pair's deadpan expressions! The 'square peg in a round hole...don't need a fanfare or a drum-roll' verse is so spot-on you start t wonder if the pair wrote this song around their planned dance sequence! The same quartet also put together a near foot-perfect performance on TOTP. Included on the 'Changing Faces' set.
48. Save A Mountain For Me (Music Video 1983)
'Jailhouse Rock' without the props, shot in arty monochrome and with Godley 'pretending' to be doing hard labour. Actually it's the listener doping hard labour as this squeaky repetitive song wasn't one of their better ideas and nor is this rarely seen promo one of their good ones. At least Godley looks the part of a scarred ruffian inmate and is very convincing, as is Creme leading a Rubber Bullets style 'riot' armed with a mop!
49. Golden Boy (Music Video 1984)
A fascinating video for a fascinating song, which spins a new meaning on the idea of '3D'! A video plays - normal so far - but we actually get to 'see' the video going round in the slot, while Godley, Creme and two backing singers appear 'projected' out the lid and go round and round at the same speed. Only they're flat one-dimensional characters joined at the neck, while below the duo lark about in some gold tinsel. At one point during the instrumental break the tape snaps and starts flying around before finally calming down and going back into its box. A most criminally under-rated work, both single and video, this is even better on both accounts than the better-known 'Cry'. Included on the 'Changing Faces' set.
50. Cry (Music Video 1985)
Talking of which, Godley-Creme's most famous moment is this camera-panning masterpiece. Having written a song that was unusually 'universal' by Godley-Creme standards, the duo wanted a video that was similarly 'universal' and came up with the idea of everybody round the world singing the song, regardless of creed, colour, gender or age (or species! Gonzo from The Muppets is in there too and he's a well, you know a whatever). They went through a book of extras hiring those with distinctive faces, stuck them in a chair with a tight zoom lock on it (and everyone's heads stuck in the back of a frying pan out of shot to keep them in line) and the duo then edited the track and 'morphed' it. The elder gentlemen who sobs at the end wasn't the great bit of acting everyone thinks by the way - he was one of the last to be filmed when the shoot had already done over budget and deadline and he hadn't learnt the two lines everyone had been asked to memorise and sing. The directors lost it and shouted in frustration and the tears you see are real! Much talked about for a reason, 'Cry' is special in many ways and much loved for a reason. The big finale of the 'Changing Faces' video, though you have to sit through ten minutes of nonsense via the 'History Mix' first.
51. History Mix (Music Video 1985)
Talking of which, do you remember everyone talking about how The Beatles 'Love' album/mis-mash was so groundbreaking years ago even though true fans knew a) other bands had done it before and b) the idea was inspired by a bunch of Beatle bootleggers (who to be honest did it better)? Well this is one of the earliest examples of 'sampling' as Godley and Creme celebrate twenty years of friendship and music-making with a collage of sounds taken from all periods of their career (though sadly not 'Frabjoy and the Runciple Spoon'). The video has the same idea and throws bits and pieces together willy nilly whether they fit or not and not always from 10cc/Godley-Creme (basically any video the pair directed and could afford the rights to and they did a lot!) - the result is a headache, but at least it's a pioneering headache. The problem for collectors is there is some genuinely fascinating material in there, such as 'Light Me Up!', based around a storming loop of an Eric Stewart guitar solo taken from an otherwise unseen performance of 'Second Sitting For The Last Supper'. And what do we get as visuals over the top after a few seconds? A mannequin telling us 'big boys don't cry' and some girls wrestling in mud from a Duran Duran video shoot to the sound of orgasmic grunts (which is no substitute at all and a lot less erotic than it sounds). Although that said it's great to see Police's 'Every Breath You Take' on fast forward, which is easily the best way to see it - that made my day! A mess, seen in all its unedited glory towards the end of 'Changing Faces'.
52. A Little Piece Of Heaven (Music Video 1988)
Picking up on the tongue-in-cheek style of the lyric, this is another 'Wedding Bells' that parodies all cheesy late 1980s videos where people walk down random streets strumming guitars (even ex-Beatles weren't immune; Paul McCartney does exactly this in 'Hope Of Deliverance' and that was five years afterwards!) Along the way the duo get interrupted by six (count 'em) harmonica players and three backing singers in the days before they formed 'Londonbeat' together. The result is a bit of an oddball, not sarcastic enough really for people who didn't know the duo didn't always look and sound like that.
53. 10,000 Angels (Music Video 1988)
The very final music video is a little disappointing too - gimmicky digital effects added onto Godley and Creme miming the song. The twist is that the pair must be sitting on fans as their hair shoots right up into the sky - and Godley's has never been longer in this period - until their hair final goes back to normal on the final note. So ends the final time these two are seen together.
54. Mondo Video (Indescribable, 1988)
I spent a fortune on this video - and from a charity shop as well! - and I still don't know what to make of it. This isn't a music video so much as an art installation that's clearly meant to mean something, but goodness knows what. We start with a ringing alarm clock, move on to a minute's worth of cigarette smoke twirling in the air, watch cuts of Creme playing individual notes on a piano shot from above, a close-up of Creme's guitar bubbles bursting in the air over violin frets and speeded-up shots of Godley on the drums. The end result is fifteen minutes of my life I will never get back and is the Godley-Creme video catalogue equivalent of similarly impenetrable second album 'L', although we might have thought less of them if they hadn't tried something so ridiculously outrageous, stuck it out on home video and charged a tenner for it. Erm, I think! In case you were wondering 'mondo' is an archaic expression meaning 'strikingly unique' and 'that there is nothing else of its kind'. You can say that again!
That's all for this week! The first of our Who columns should be starting next week as it's goodbye to 10cc. See you then!