Two Classic Albums: ''10cc'' & ''Sheet Music'' (2-on-1)

Tracks: 21, total time: 76:52, year: 1973, genre: Rock

Two Classic Albums: ''10cc'' & ''Sheet Music'' (2-on-1)
© 1990 DCC Compact Classics, Inc.
© 2002 EMI Plus/Originals

''10cc''Originally Released July 1973
''Sheet Music'' Originally Released May 1974
DCC 2-on-1 CD Edition Released October 1, 1990
''10cc'' Repertoire CD Edition Released February 8, 2000
''Sheet Music'' Repertoire CD Edition Released May 3, 2000
''Sheet Music'' Originals CD Edition Released March 2002

AMG EXPERT REVIEW: ("10cc"/"Sheet Music") 10cc's first two albums, recorded under thesponsorship of entrepreneur and one-time pop star Jonathan King,are combined on one disc for this CD reissue. 1973's 10cc showsthat from the start, the group had an uncommon command of recording studio technique; the performances are polished, the harmoniessuperb, and the production flawless and often witty (all the more remarkable from a new band producing themselves, albeit one comprised of music-biz vets). However, the group was still getting up to speed in terms of their songwriting at this point, and whilethe craft is fine, there isn't a lot of inspiration on hand. Except for the sardonic "Rubber Bullets" and sarcastically sprightly"The Dean and I," the '50s-inspired parodies on side one don't wear well, and most of side two is clever but not terribly distinguished. 1974's Sheet Music was where 10cc truly hit their stride;the album is full of effective barbed humor buffered by the superbly polished production, which leans toward pretension without quite falling into the pool. The band began dipping their toes into the elaborate extended narratives that would become Kevin Godley and Lol Creme's hallmark on "Somewhere in Hollywood" and "Hotel," while "Silly Love" and "The Wall Street Shuffle" proved the band could rock when they felt like it, and "The Sacro-Iliac" is one of the great non-dance craze tunes ever. This CD also featuresa liner essay from Jonathan King on working with the group and tacks on the non-LP single "Waterfall" as a bonus. -- Mark Deming

AMG EXPERT REVIEW: ("10cc") Displaying a command of pop styles and satire, 10cc showed that they are a force to be reckonedwith on their first album. Hooks abound, harmonies shine, and instrumentation is dazzling without being overdone. Though charges of "self-consciously clever" could be leveled at the group, theircommand of witty, Anglo-styled pop is so impressive that even those criticisms must be weighed against the mastery of styles. Allfour members sing lead and are talented songwriters, and this leads to a wide variety of styles that add to their vision. Featuring their number one U.K. hit "Rubber Bullets," 10cc wade through ten selections of satire and parody. One of the best is "Johnny Don't Do It," a parody of all the "death discs" of the late '50s and early '60s (the misunderstood "bad but really good" guy who iskilled in a wreck). More contemporary and bitingly sarcastic is "Headline Hustler," a commentary on the ravenous, scandal-hungry media. Medical facilities and the treatment afforded there is given ripe 10cc commentary in "The Hospital Song." ("And when I go, I'll die of plaster casting love.") Whether doing loving parodiesof the music they grew up with or satirizing contemporary issues,10cc show themselves to be top-level purveyors of pop on their debut recording. Some might criticize the group for being too self-satisfied with their own intelligence, but there is no denying the true craftsmanship and humor on their 1973 debut. -- MichaelOfjord

AMG EXPERT REVIEW: ("Sheet Music") Sometimes weird,sometimes jovial, sometimes downright snippy, Sheet Music is probably the single most sarcastic 10cc album available, with "The Worst Band in the World" qualifying for top satirical honors. Theversatility and technical qualities of the band could be bafflingto many listeners, but when they were on form, they were terrific. -- Steven McDonald

AMG EXPERT REVIEW: ("Sheet Music") 10cc's second album was the next phase in what guitarist Eric Stewart called the band's "masterplan to control the universe. The Sweet, Slade and Gary Glitter are all very valuable pop," heproclaimed, "but it's fragile because it's so dependent on a vogue. We don't try to appeal to one audience, or aspire to instant stardom, we're satisfied to move ahead a little at a time as long as we'realways moving forward." Sheet Music, perhaps the most widely adventurous album of what would become a wildly adventurous year, would more than justify that claim."It grips the heart of rock'n'roll like nothing I've heard before", raved Melody Maker, before describing 10cc as "the Beach Boys of "Good Vibrations", the Beatlesof "Penny Lane", they're the mischievous kid next door, they'rethe Marx Brothers, they're Jack and Jill, they're comic cuts characters, and they're sheer brilliance". Stewart certainly agreed -- he told that same paper, 10cc's music was "better than 90% of the sheer unadulterated crap that's in the charts" and, 20 years on, bassist Graham Gouldman continued, "Sheet Music is probably the definitive 10cc album. What it was, our second album wasn't ourdifficult second album, it was our best second album. It was thebest second album we ever did."Three hit singles spun off the record (the bonus tracks here were pulled from their b-sides), mostof the other tracks could have followed suit, and it says much for Sheet Music's staying power that, no matter how many times thealbum is reissued, it has never lost its power to delight, excite and set alight a lousy day. -- Dave Thompson

Half.com Album Notes ("10cc")
10cc: Eric Stewart, Graham Gouldman, Lol Creme, Kevin Godley (vocals, various instruments).

Recorded in 1972.
Originally released on UK (53105). Includes liner notes by Michael Heatley.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.

Thefirst release by this Manchester quartet, recorded for novelty-minded pop eccentric Jonathan King's UK label, is a brilliant debut. Eric Stewart, Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley, and Lol Creme, all of whom sing and write, are smart-alecks of the first order, and nearly every track on this album is a near-perfect example of pop pastiche.
The mini-operetta opener, "Rubber Bullets," updates"Jailhouse Rock" for a more cynical age, while the dead-on '50s-pop parody "Donna" was straight-faced enough to become a Number One British single. The other eight tracks include the sly schoolyard romp "The Dean and I" and the mock-serious "Speed Kills." "Ships Don't Disappear (Do They?)" foreshadows the atmospheric art pop of their later, better-known albums, but most of 10CC is sharpsatire disguised as bubblegum chart-pop. Amazingly, this artfuldeception works brilliantly on both levels.

Industry Reviews
3 stars out of 5 - ...[The album] remains a winner...
Uncut (01/01/2003)

Half.com Album Notes ("Sheet Music")
SHEET MUSICby eclectic art-pop band 10cc includes such songs as "Wall Street Shuffle" and "Silly Love."

The reissue features three bonustracks.

Industry Reviews
3 stars out of 5 - ...Witty, quickfire, literate music-making...
Uncut (01/01/2003)

A new strain of music has been developing of late, unheralded except by those who delight in new studio techniques applied in loving parody to old pop cliches. Roy Wood, with Wizzard and on his solo LP Boulders, has already done much in thisvein, but he is no contender against the combined talents of Jonathan King and his latest sensation, 10cc.

King himself has accounted for untold pop formula masterpieces in recent years, mostly with faceless manufactured acts. 10cc is an exception, although they are in complete sympathy with King's approach to making records. The group consists of Eric Stewart (who's been around since 1964, when he started with Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders), together with Lol Creme and Kevin Godley (with whom he had a short-lived group called Hotlegs whose "Neanderthal Man" was a minor hit around 1970) and Graham Gouldman (who wrote hits for the Yardbirds, Hollies, Herman's Hermits, Cher and others in addition to cutting some nice records on his own).

Their debut album fairlybursts with originality, each idea fully realized and perfectly on target. Their grist is the entire world of pop. with emphasis on the early Sixties when pop contrivance was at its former peak.Vocally, they move with ease from airy Beach Boys harmonics to bass-tenor counterpoint, over-dubbing and multitracking themselvesinto some impressive complications. And they're no less capable instrumentally, as likely to throw in a bit of "Poetry In Motion"one minute as "Across The Plynth" the next. Small wonder Neil Sedaka insisted on 10cc to back him on his latest album.

What brings everything together into an entrancing whole, however, is thecontent of the songs. Each is a world unto itself, one rarely, if ever, visited by pop music. "Hospital Song" seems to be a collection of ravings by a patient in extreme paranoid delirium; "Johnny Don't Do It" is the best satire of teenage motorcycle death songs since "Leader of the Laundromat," featuring harmonies liftedfrom Tommy; "Sand in My Face" is a Charles Atlas ad set to music;"Donna" parodies Fifties teen ballads and the Beatles' "Oh Darling" at the same time; "Headline Hustler" is the boast of a callous junior journalist, somewhat reminiscent of the Beatles' "Taxman"; and, "Ships Don't Disappear in the Night (Do They?)" is just the thing to play after a Friday night Creature Feature double bill.

The album's highlight is a long version of "Rubber Bullets," a monster hit single in England and a disappointingly slow climber here. The obvious comparison is with "Jailhouse Rock"--a bouncy shuffle beat leads through several verses which establish thatan outbreak of dancing and "balling in the street" has taken place at the local jail, with Sgt. Baker and his men being ordered in with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Sgt. Baker lapses into a dream sequence, musing in falsetto harmony over how nice it wouldbe if the slugs were real, then giving the chaplain one more chance to get through to the prisoners. No longer "Jailhouse Rock," we're somewhere between Riot in the Big House and "Attica State" as the group comes back for a verse asking if it isn't Uncle Sam that belongs behind bars.

There aren't many groups around withthat much imagination and none who can inject such content into ahighly commercial hit record. Although currently recording for aplethora of labels under a variety of names, 10cc is one group whose every last record is worth tracking down. They are one of the year's most promising new acts, and 10cc one of its most enjoyable releases. (RS 148 -- Nov 22, 1973) -- GREG SHAW

10cc is a singularly talented groupwho use mid-Sixties Anglo rock as a stepping stone to their ownbizarrely imaginative style, yet manage to stay within the supposedly limited confines of short, AM-oriented rock -- small wondersince each of the four, though not name performers, were part ofthe British Invasion of ten years ago. Sheet Music, a worthy successor to their debut 10cc, includes a McCartneyesque poke at WallStreet, a reggae barn-burner, frequent Beach Boys harmony, and crisp fuzz-toned guitar throughout. All are infused with outrageously humorous lyrics which lament burned-out flash guitarists, carry on a dialogue between a jet plane and a time bomb aboard it, and invent a new dance called "The Sacro-Illiac"--not your everyday Top 40 fare. But all ten cuts here would sound fine on any DJ'splaylist, because 10cc has concocted standard pop into their owninventive, even sophisticated, art--an art that you can tap yourfeet to, and turn up the car radio about. (RS 169 -- Sep 12, 1974) -- CHARLEY WALTERS

-- RELATED INFO ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
from www.RobertChristgau.com

10cc [UK, 1973]
If you only know the forty-five-rpm version of "Rubber Bullets," thenyou missed their best rhyme: "balls and chains" with "balls andbrains." A calculated, devilishly clever version of what the Beach Boys ought to be doing. Or the Bonzo Dog Band should have done.Or something. B+

Sheet Music [UK, 1974]
Points for studiomastery and general literacy--"Oh Effendi," about the vicissitudes of Middle Eastern trade, is Cole Porter-ishly clever--but demerits for a detachment that might seem pathological if it weren'tso damned expert. Great satire communicates a feeling--most oftenhatred or anguish, although it can be kinder, as in "The Dean and I" on 10cc--that is lacking from this too-too apollonian (cerebral? professional? glib?) endeavor. Though if the feeling itselfis absent, a good beat will sometimes suffice in its stead. B

Witty and fun first album,May 4, 2000
By Wayne Klein "If at first the idea is not absu... (My Little Blue Window, USA)

The first album from these witty power popsters has traces of the Beatles, Beach Boys and FrankZappa floating around in it. And that's in the first song. Thisgreat reissue has marvelous sound and five bonus tracks (4 b sides and an A side single version of Rubber Bullets).

The soundquality is outstanding although the booklet notes leave somethingto be desired. They provide a sketchy overview of the band but no insight (unlike the Mercury reissues of The Original Soundtrackand How Dare You!) into how the band worked as a unit to producesuch marvelous, quirky albums. There are also a couple of mistakes in the booklet (and one glaring error in the songwriting credits).

The 50's song parodies (like Donna) haven't aged as wellor as gracefully as the much more imaginative songs on the album.Overall 10cc remains remarkably fresh 28 years later. It's a pity that Godley & Creme packed up their bags and moved out of the house after only 4 albums. The dynamic that made the band so special was the interaction of Stewart, Gouldman, Godley & Creme. Theduo (along with newer members Rick Fenn & Stuart Tosh) of Stewart& Gouldman produced at least two exceptional albums after the duo left, but none that had the impact of these first four recordings.

glam/beatles/brianwilson/evil parody: and smart too, August 1, 2007
By T. A. Smith "addison" (iowa city)

This first album, wh I bought b/c of"Rubber Bullets" and a prescient Rolling Stone review, never disappointed. At the time, the parodic "Johnny Don't Do It", "FreshAir etc.", "Dean and I", all sounded great, and still do, but weall have simply forgotten how annoying it could be for those of us later baby boomers who were still infants when the doo-wop thing was going. So if you were like me stuff like Flash Cadillac andthe Grease band and Shananas was really rather irritating. Why go back to Brylcreem when we had all these cool frizzies and afrosnow? Got lard? Turned out 10cc also did good Beatles and Beach Boys takeoffs as well, ("Rubber Bullets", "Headline Hustler") and,even though these bands were somewhat defunct and at the last had become parodies of themselves, whether intentionally or not, itwas fresh funny stuff to listen to if you like intellipop. Thenwhen they cut loose on things like "Speed Kills" or "Ships Don'tDisappear in the Night, Do They?" you can see where they are headed. One thing about "Speed Kills", it is the most evocative songabout the absolute inanity of days-long hyperstimulation and theinability to focus that comes with it I have ever heard. A littlelike "White Lightning", but more piercing in a way. Have fun with this, and think of all the pretense and pseudo-heaviness they were trying to blow up right at the time. Very good band, and bright minds on their way up. I find the addition of the singles, whI had not heard before, a real plus. "Waterfall" is Beautiful, and "4% of..." is incisive and angry, like all really good satire.I hate to intrude with anachronistic revisionism, but this was really a specimen of its time that stands outside it, since it hasthis reflexive nature of being a commentary on that time and a really sick retro movement already going on, back into the 50's. These guys were progressive in every way, including rather advancedtheoretical values, and I think they simply had to lash the Pharisees a bit before they got into their main text. "Hospital Song"is a venture into a gay kind of scatological humor and franknessabout illness and bodily functions you don't find very far outside "The Boys In The Hall" and Monty Python. If some people are troubled by it, just remember, as Yanks, we live in a country without bidets in our necessary room, and bits of toilet paper kinkedup in our posteriors. Filthy business we don't mention, like Iraqand the preponderance of pedophilia. Well, these guys are LOOSEof all that. Dig it.

10cc come of age, February 26, 2003
By "utchidiah" (Rhoose, Vale of Glamorgan, UK)
With their apprenticeship served and the eponymous '10cc' out of the way, the band didn't just change up a gear - they upgraded their vehicle. 'Sheet music' remainsa masterclass in the composition of popular music classics, and reaffirmed the composers' status as major contributers to the genre. Starting right here, their work would weave itself through thepopular music culture for decades. 'The Wall Street shuffle', 'The worst band in the world', 'Silly love' - many a lesser band, and there are many, would have been eternally fortunate to come upwith anything half as good. In the words of 'The Sacro-Iliac', sit back and relax, 'cause its good for you.

Somewhere, anywhere near Burbank,August 1, 2007
By T. A. Smith "addison" (iowa city)
This album made a really horrible summer over into a great one for me in 1974. Fresh out of hospital, supposedly dying from pulmonary emboli in both lungs, new apartment, beautiful summer evening, a younggirl, and a tab of something strawberry...Totally unlike me, NOW, but THEN, I dug this album the most since chicks seemed to digit. Rolling stone dug it. Clapton's release from Miami sucked, period. These guys were like evil twin genius Lennon-McCartney clones gone horribly wrong and kind of glam, corny, and gay all at the same time, an arrow shot straight into the heart of where rocknroll was headed. Springsteen was the other dude who was gonna rock the cradle a bit. But do not forget! No! Not once, ever! To facetiously quote a lamented recently impeached president--these guys were Cambridge and Oxford material who happened to dig music too. So, panegyric re the music business, natch, forthright economically sound "Shufflin" on "Wall Street", some what politically incorrect "Oh Effendi" and "Hotel" and perhaps "Baron Samedi" as well, but these guys were Brits, a mad, Monty Pythonesque, pop sensibility twisted like Terry Gilliam's, predicting disco and ridiculous dance crazes("Sacro-Iliac") forecasting the Western World'sWaterloo in the Middle East, all over that black gold ("Oh Effendi") and even using the Republican's war words "liberate the region" some thirty years in advance...breathless as I am, so is the music. It just never stops. The "Silly Love" song, pre-Sir Paul, and much better, thank you, because it really is silly, and monstrously guitarish at the same time, will play in your head for days. "Samedi" and "Hotel" are a hoot, listened to uncritically, likeon the beach, smearig the lotion on yr sunglasses...that kind ofmusic. Have a beer. "Clockwork Creep" is a tense little totallypop masterpiece dialog betwixt a plane and a bomb. Did I say prescient? Well, I suppose if one were only smart enough, we woulod have seen all this coming, but... These guys were very intelligent, very musical, I suspect they had read Kenneth Anger and Robin Wood, and out popped "Somewhere in Hollywood" which would absolutely outdo any other genre mashup, satirical piece ever written before or since. Brian WIlson got in here as well,in "Wild Old Men",as someone else mentioned, but these guys were simply encyclopedic in their musical knowledge, both pop and theoretical, and nottoo proud to show it. Every single beat of every song has been absolutely marbleized by tiny little fingers. Whew. Frank Zappa finally took a bath.

No Sophmore Slump, March 17, 2005
By ElvisCostellosWeiner"Chekhov Is The Greatest" (Michigan)
10cc was a band that got better with every album, up until How Dare You! any ways: I've only heard Deceptive Bends and Bloody Tourists after this (though Look Hear and Ten out of Ten are in the mail) so I can't really judge those albums. But while the first album was a perfect mix of goofy jokes, innovative song writing and playing, and great satire, this album not only one ups that album musically, but ten ups it! sorry, bad pun.

The music gets much more complex on this album: the strange styles have amagalized into a style of complexgenre changes, complex chord changes and harmonies, multiple parts, and on somewhere in hollywood, a sweeping, dramatic feel.

The lyrics are good too: funny, catchy, very great word play. Notmy main focus in the band: gotta love those songs!

Pick up the Double Disc Uk Records Collection. It has this album, plus thefirst, all their b-sides from the two albums, and the single versions of the singles, plus some cool liner notes. It's easy to find if you live in america, and a steal!

Sheet Music, February 8, 2003
By Mr. S. St Thomas "suckerfly" (UK)
This is a pop classic that manycritics have hailed as one of the best releases of the 7o's, thatnot alot of people know about. Its not 10cc's fault. Their popularity at the time was still growing after the colossal success oftheir first album (1973's 10CC). When I say colossal I mean this. In 10cc's career from 1973 - 1976, they were rarely out of theTop 10 charts in Europe, with quite a few No. 1's. By 1975 that success repeated in the States. They were virtually the most successful of the 1970's British 'pop' groups. And practically no oneknows.

I first picked up SHEET MUSIC on a whim in 2001. Beingfamiliar only with their songs 'The Wall Street Shuffle', Í'm NotIn Love',and 'The Things We Do For Love' I was not sure what 10cc's other material sounded like based from these 3 selections from different albums & years. By the time I heard the third track from SHEET MUSIC 'Hotel' I couldn't believe I was listening to analbum that had sounds of the 80's in 1974. These musicians in thestudio were years ahead of their time, and certainly influencedwhat came out of Europe and later America with the 4 albums theyreleased with the band line-up of Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart,Lol Creme and Kevin Godley. That Stewart & Gouldman later went onto write one of the most played songs in the world Í'm Not In Love', and Creme & Godley later went on to direct some of the mostfamiliar and groundbreaking Videos of the 80's should tell you that there was an incredible amount of talent & vision in this band.

That they were one of the few bands, if not only, to run their own studio, and have complete control over their recorded output says something else. Everything they did was ín-house'and performed,produced,engineered & mixed by 10cc from the debut album onwards. SHEET MUSIC is the high watermark of this collaboration between four musicians when songwriting partnerships hadn't quite been cemented, and wider success was around the corner.

Think of the writing teams in that old cliche style --- Stewart & Gouldman were the McCartney, Godley & Creme were the Lennon. I hate having to use expressions like these, but it generalises and gives you, as someone not familiar with the music, an idea of the difference. The Wall Street Shuffle by Gouldman & Stewart is pure pop,and a top 10 single in Britain and still gets circulated around today for Stock market reports on TV. Gouldman & Creme's The WorstBand In The World is a witty and very ahead of its time indictment of pop ego and the music business. Musically it sounds very little like 1974. It sounds ahead. Hotel is one of the most uniquesongs I have ever heard. Blending a very 80's sounding introduction with island Calypso, Hollywood 1930's backing vocals, and a twisted tale told with alot of humour, Hotel is an undeniable classic written by Godley & Creme. Again, it sounds nothing like whatwas going on in 1974 or before. I heard just about every 80's synth pop band in the introduction of Hotel. Old Wild Men is a beautifully played and sung homage to the ageing rocker and marks thedebut of the Godley/Creme invented ínstrument enhancer'The Gizmo'which could be placed on the bridge of a guitar to make it soundlike a multitude of instruments, primarily strings (violin, cello etc.) . This Godley & Creme composition is further enhanced bythe dual vocal team of Godley & Stewart, in my mind, two of the best singers Britain has produced. Clockwork Creep also by Godley& Creme is a tour de force of effects, tempo changes, inventiveness all behind the story told by a bomb. Stewart, Godley & Creme play different roles in this all too brief saga. Stewart as the Passenger, Godley as The Plane, and Creme as The Bomb.

(?) Sidetwo kicks off with Stewart & Creme's 'Silly Love'. Sheet Music is the start of identifying songwriting partnerships in 10cc. Stewart & Gouldman paired off, as did Godley & Creme, but success wasalso had by pairing Godley & Gouldman, and Silly Love became a hit song with the Stewart & Creme combination. Silly Love is a rocker like other rockers but with a twist. Imploring that those Valentine's consumers opt for their OWN way of saying I love you rather than seek out tired old cliche's, Silly Love is original, funny and it jams. Godley & Creme's Somewhere In Hollywood follows.This is where the inventiveness of this writing team shows itselffully, but also shows the talent all 4 possessed in contributingto a song. Godley & Creme's explorations and obvious eccentricities were harnessed in and made clarified by Stewart & Gouldman'spop sensibilities. It really was a near perfect marriage of two different visions.

Stewart & Gouldman's 'Baron Samedi' has a Santana/afrocuban backing but with (again) ahead of its time recording and quality. Godley & Gouldman''s 'The Sacro-Iliac' should have been a single, it is that catchy. Telling the tale of a dancethat everyone can do if you can't dance. And the final song Oh Effendi by Stewart & Godley tells the tale of very current events (USA/French/Middle East relations) in a no holds barred humourousway, giving a little diplomatic relations history as it does.

Sheet Music should be regarded as one of the best albums releasedin the 7o's. It may not suit everyone's tastes, but this albumsinfluence on musicians, fans,and critics alike is undeniable. Sheet Music was the 8o's before the '8o's arrived.
On their next 2albums together, the original lineup of 10cc innovated pop music, in recording and writing to a degree that I find them as influential as any other group you hear too much about.

1.5:20Rubber Bullets (Long Version)
2.3:40Johnny Don't Do It
3.3:42Sand In My Face
5.3:07The Dean And I
6.3:34Headline Hustler
7.3:53Speed Kills
8.2:45The Hospital Song
9.3:08Ships Don't Disappear In The Night (Do They?)
10.3:13Fresh Air For My Mama
11.4:07The Wall Street Shuffle
12.2:48The Worst Band In The World
14.3:24Old Wild Men
15.2:44Clockwork Creep
16.4:03Silly Love
17.6:43Somewhere In Hollywood
18.3:49Baron Samedi
19.2:36The Sacro-Iliac
20.2:52Oh Effendi
21.3:36Waterfall (Non-LP Single Release)

Discid: rock / 1d120215

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