Sean and Paul have for months now being racking our brains about what to do about Lol Creme. He's long since stated that doing a podcast interview just isn't his thing. So we'll just do a pod talking about his 70s and 80s 'extra-curricular' projects and solo career after Godley and Creme - easy, right? Well, not really. The more we've dug around to find him, the more elusive he's seemed to have got! He's seldom been very audible, let alone visible, in these last 30 years.
This episode focuses on Lol's solo work, from his obscure Naughty Nola single in 1973 to the present day. Much of his work in that time has involved playing session guitar on established artists' records, and most of those as part of ace producer Trevor Horn's crack team. These musicians include the likes of Anne Dudley, Steve Lipson, Luis Jardim and Ash Soan - and more on these shortly. You'll hear many, many clips on this podcast from Lol's contributions to major and more minor artists' work, including Inga Humpe, Tom Jones, Cher, Tina Turner and Barry White, Robbie Williams and Olly Murs. An illustrious list, but in truth it's often difficult to pick out what Lol actually played on these records!
Much more interesting are his more substantial contributions (as writer-performer) to three outfits: Glam Metal Detectives, Art of Noise and Producers (more recently aka The Trevor Horn Band). All of them are helmed by the ubiquitous Mr Horn, and display very different facets of the Creme gemstone. The former's playful wackiness shows off some terrific rock guitar playing from Lol and his son Lalo. Joining ZTT's established but shifting Art of Noise collective in the late 90s, he brought them some subtly beautiful and tasteful guitar layers we'd never heard from them before. Most interesting of all perhaps is the 2012 album Made in Basing Street by the Producers line-up of Creme, Soan, Lipson and Horn, which although falling short of the 'second coming' status its pedigree promised, contains a few wonderful songs and some spectacular moments. Not to mention an elusive lead vocal from our diminutive ex-10cc man!
We've enjoyed picking through the bones of Lol's solo career here, but we're still feeling somewhat frustrated by how thinly its' spread across those decades. But, as Paul rightly says, 'it's our problem, not his.'
Next time we're joined by hugely entertaining author Paul Hamilton, who'll be sharing his singular views on Lol and Kevin's non-Godley and Creme projects.
2020's been a terrific year for 10cc fans, with exciting releases of Consequences, Modesty Forbids and Muscle Memory, and two books by Liam Newton and now Peter Kearns. Paul and Sean really enjoyed our conversation with the affable author, professional musician and New Zealander.
The new tome is an excellent complement to 'The Worst Band in the World'. It catalogues every song, chronologically, that 10cc and Godley & Creme released officially between Hotlegs and Mirror Mirror. As a musician, Kearns discusses each track with a good deal of musical and lyrical analysis, as well as some interesting back stories and great insights. He tackles much of the material from different angles to where we've come from on the podcast; we learned a lot! Graham Gouldman and Kevin Godley helped with the research too, which gives the work added accuracy. Befitting the 160-page length, the author packs his prose tightly; there is a lot of detail here - some songs and albums much more than others of course. The style is concise and punchy, which makes this a quick-fire and very informative reading experience. Occasionally, we glimpse Peter's own preferences. You can really taste the admiration he has for some of the four-piece's more off-the-wall work, particularly L and Freeze Frame. It's well worth the price tag!
Peter's had varied and interesting musical and writing careers. He's collaborated with Judie Tzuke and Norwegian Prog-rock band Gazpacho among many others, and has produced two other books in the 'on track...' series, featuring the work of Elton John and (soon to be published) Joni Mitchell. We recommend his album 'No Such Thing as Time', from which you'll hear a few tasty clips on the podcast.
He gave us a typical succinct and spot-on appraisal of 10cc's historical standing:
'10cc and Godley & Creme were artists who cared about music and cared about their contribution to it. They worked through a time period where their commitment to quality steadily increased, against the background of a mainstream that was moving in the opposite direction.' Hear hear, Peter.
'On track... 10cc and Godley & Creme' is available worldwide, and is well worth your shekels.
Paul and Sean bring to a close our five-episode dissection of all things Gouldman with a conversation attempting to do justice to Graham's post-2000 solo albums and the enormous number of songwriting collaborations that he has taken part in since Wax.
Graham has been incredibly prolific, by any songwriter's standards. With his 'insider' access to the PRS database, Paul has unearthed just shy of 1000 songs attributed to Gouldman. Many solo, many co-written with a vast array of songwriters, some of the very highest pedigree. Today's podcast can only scratch the surface of this rich seam. We look in some detail at his excellent work with Claudio Guidetti, Kirsty Maccoll, Henry Priestman (of Christians fame), Suggs (Madness) and Chris Difford (Squeeze), all of whom he rubbed shoulders with at EMI's residential songwriter workshops at Huntsham Court. Once again, we're massively indebted to both Graham and his archivist David Jarvis for allowing us to play snippets of some of the wonderful live recordings and demos of songs that were born during these star-studded jaunts. We hear some truly delightful clips from Graham's songwriting sessions with Gary Barlow (Take That) and Kevin Godley (for 'GG06'). Along the way, we touch on assorted projects with Andrew Gold, Roger Cook and less well-known but notable collaborators such as Barry Greenfield, Gordon Kennedy and Gary Burr. There are even some lovely revelations about his early Strawberry work with Neil Sedaka. Sadly, our efforts to shine light on some mystery compositions by Eric and Graham are in vain. Graham has no recollection of them, if they existed at all!
Gouldman rekindled his solo career with several fine and enjoyable albums which seemed to capture the same warm, natural and personal touch exhibited by his songs on 10cc's 'Mirror Mirror. 'And Another Thing', 'Love and Work' and 'Play Nicely and Share' all receive a good and deserved delving here.
90 minutes were simply no time at all to try and encapsulate Graham's discography over this 25-year period. Waiting in the wings for discussion, with rare tape recordings to hand, were the likes of Lamont Dozier, Tony Hadley, Steve Piggott, Kevin Kennedy and several others. But we hope that with the cross-section we did manage to cover, we succeeded in conveying the simple fact that Graham Gouldman is an exceptionally prolific, productive and consistent songwriter. It's a joy to hear him recall these many, many musical journeys with such clarity and fondness.
Thank you so much Graham and Dave, it's been a pleasure for us.
This is one of our favourite ever episodes. Sean and Paul once again had the pleasure of Graham's company for a loving and hugely enjoyable tribute to his late friend and prolific songwriting partner Andrew Gold.
Graham shows his massive admiration and love for this supremely talented multi-instrumentalist, who rose to prominence as musical maestro with Linda Rondstadt, among others. He gives a comprehensive account of his involvement with Andrew, from his introduction to the Ten Out of Ten album in 1981, when the Californian was brought in at the behest of the U.S. record company. The spark was lit, and Gouldman sought him out soon after he and Eric parted ways. We hear the complete story of how the duo Common Knowledge was formed, in Graham's home studio, and we hear lots and lots of never-heard-before songwriting demos. Once again, we thank Graham and David Jarvis for these wonderful recordings, spanning their collaborations from 1986 to 1997.
With their second project, now named Wax, the pair had their breakthrough hit with with the storming Right Between the Eyes. There was an infectious energy about this new music, all but completely missing from 10cc's post-70s output. We shine a torch on the highlights of all four of Wax's album releases: Magnetic Heaven, American English, A Hundred Thousand in Fresh Notes and Bikini. Sean even gets out his guitar to quiz Graham on a song he hugely admires: Wax's biggest UK hit, Bridge to Your Heart.
So this is a candid, warm, funny and poignant appreciation of Andrew Gold the person and musician. We hope you enjoy this as much as we did.
Sean and Paul have been trying to pin this man down for over a year. Thanks to Graham Gouldman, we finally did! Paul Gambaccini is arguably the best-known and respected Rock journalist in Britain. His career spans five decades. He was co-author of the Guinness Book of Hit Singles and countless articles, notably for Rolling Stone. Amazingly, he has presented primetime shows on four of the BBC's major stations: Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4, as well as Classic FM. He's presented the Ivor Novello Awards since 1990. His face and voice are continually familiar to fans of Pop and Rock documentaries. Yep, he's a legend.
Ostensibly, Paul and Sean invited him on the podcast for his insider views on the Consequences sessions. It is his diary that we read in the booklet after all! And what about his cameo as the Bad Samaritan on Godley and Creme's 'This Sporting Life'? Also, we were keen to hear his unique take on 10cc's artistic merits and early success (for which he greatly helped their cause in the States, with his important piece for Rolling Stone, '10cc - The Hottest Band in Britain').
What we got from this conversation was predictably much, much more than that... Don't expect this to be solely focused on the world of 10cc! This is akin to a masterclass in after-dinner speaking: a series of fascinating, funny and surprising tangents, anecdotes and details, taking in dozens of the major artists he's known, reviewed and rubbed shoulders with over fifty years. His account of the Consequences launch in Amsterdam features a classically surreal Peter Cook episode... So our advice here is to pour a large cup of tea (or three) and relax into the experience of hearing a Pop and Rock guru-cum-raconteur at work!
Next week we're joined again by Graham Gouldman for a hugely enjoyable romp through his work with Andrew Gold.
Paul and Sean are incredibly excited about this episode.
Not only did Graham give us two hours of his thoughts on 10cc's entire career, from his first song with Eric to the current touring band, he's given permission for us to include clips of a whole slew of unreleased tapes. We thank Graham's archivist David Jarvis for his generosity in letting us hear and restore these wonderful artefacts! You'll hear snippets from songwriting sessions and original demos with Graham and Eric - a real treat, in other words. We've also tried to include lesser-known live recordings of many of the tracks, and Sean's done his best to isolate and process moments from some of our beloved 10cc album tracks to highlight the hidden genius and inventiveness on display.
Graham gives honest and often highly detailed insights into 10cc's 48-year history, covering every album. Some of his views will startle you! He has his guitar on hand again, and his live demos of some of our favourite melodies and chords are wonderful to hear! We learned so much from this conversation, as you will too, and we were surprised by his sheer openness and candour.
We'd love to know your thoughts on this episode. It took a long time to put together. Thanks.
Welcome to the 50th Consequences podcast! Paul and Sean are delighted to welcome Graham Gouldman for his second interview with us. This time, we focus on his meteoric songwriting work in the 60s.
Graham's on tremendous form here, giving us a joyful whistle-stop tour of many of our favourite corners of his early career. It's so good to hear him talking so fondly and frankly about his dad Hymie's massive contribution to his canon, with many insights that are new to these ears. We press him on his time at Olympic Studios, including the excellent tracks on his solo debut arranged by John Paul Jones.
We even ask him to give us some live demos on his guitar, which he dutifully does, to beautiful effect. We of course don't stick to the hits - we're keen to know more about such forgotten gems as Behind the Door, Nowhere to Go, Getting Nowhere and some of the early Strawberry Super K material, and we find out so much. The keen-eared listeners among you will notice that we're including audio clips of at least three recordings that have never been released before, bootleg or otherwise. Huge thanks to David Jarvis and Graham for these treasures.
Oh, and there are revelations about I'm Not in Love thrown in for good measure too! A real treat for all of us 10cc fans.
Tune in next week for Graham's account of 10cc, from Alpha to Omega.
Paul, Sean, Liam and Pany continue our epic four-hour conversation from last week with this exhausted hour tackling Eric Stewart's last musical offerings: Do Not Bend (2003), Viva La Difference (2009) and Anthology (2017).
It's a joy to hear Liam's account of his eight hours in Eric's home studio in France, hearing brand new tracks from the album slated originally as 'My Dear Friends'. This gives a key insight into the premise of the 2003 follow-up to Frooty Rooties. They're ostensibly songs written and recorded about - and for - his friends and neighbours: Norman, Fred, Audrey, Yves, Nettie et al. Perhaps this is why the album struggles to work in a wider public context? But we highlight two songs in particular which do translate better in the world outside Templar Studios. Sleeping With the Ghosts and Set in Blancmange have some real saving graces.
Three of us agree that the follow-up, Viva La Difference, is more successful. This is in no small part down to Eric returning to social commentary for some of his lyric inspiration. 10cc fans will sense familiar territory here, with targets that include financial corruption, injustice, homelessness and racism. Opener Gnomes Sweet Gnomes is perhaps the most successful at hitting its targets, odd as they are. Sixties Prime Minister Harold Wilson coined the 'gnomes' tag to refer to the Swiss bankers who were manipulating the currency market at the time. Eric is both snarling and having fun with this track, we sense. Down By the Palace tackles the gulf between the luxury of the ruling classes contrasted with the poverty of the homeless living in the same borough. The title track champions racial diversity. So in many ways this album is a partial return to form, and this is certainly true of the highlight track We Are Not Alone. Musically, there are echoes of the more interesting production touches of 1982's Frooty Rooties. And this is not just a shallow 'Close Encounters' premise; Eric is pondering big existential questions here, his place in the universe and the depths of his emotions, the macro and the micro. Ultimately, most questions are left unanswered.
You won't be surprised to hear that Sean has a lot to say about Eric's production choices here, especially on the 2017 compilation. He feels that Stewart has simply been a bit over-eager to tinker and tweak at the knobs. Suffice to say that Paul and Sean have really struggled with these two records. We're hugely grateful to Pany and Liam for their positivity and objectivity; we genuinely think that this episode tries to give a balanced view, and praise where praise is due.
Next time round we're thoroughly excited about our conversation with Graham Gouldman about his lesser-known 60s exploits, with his 10cc episode coming quickly on its heels. Happy days!
Once again, Paul and Sean are joined by the expertise and insights of Liam and Pany for a lengthy look at Eric Stewart's outside collaborations from 1979 through to the 90s.
In the late 80s Eric was on fire in the recently launched Strawberry Studios South. Hot on the heels of the huge success of Deceptive Bends and Bloody Tourists, as well as his film soundtrack for 'Girls', he took on the task of giving Sad Cafe their first hit album. 'Facades' is a cracking production job: full of fresh, edgy pop sensibilities, eclectic but commercial. The band, fronted by the excellent Paul Young, and featuring future 10cc keysman Vic Emerson, the album yielded a number of sizeable hits, including the classic Everyday Hurts.
But what happened shortly after the album was recorded changed the trajectory of Eric's career. We'll never properly know how Eric's horrific car accident affected his mental and physical powers, but it's true to say that nothing seemed the same in its wake. Certainly, his production of Sad Cafe's follow-up album was a poor reflection of the previous release. His album 'Frooty Rooties', though not exactly chocked with classic hits, was perhaps his last notable production work. However, this is the point at which he began a hugely important collaboration with long-time friend Paul McCartney. After lending his vocal skills to the wonderful vocal blend on the 'Tug of War' album, Eric forged a more substantial role in the Macca set-up, effectively surplanting Denny Laine. This culminated in the two co-writing many of the songs on 1986's 'Press to Play' album.
Other projects followed, with Stewart at the knobs for a range of artists famous and less so. Most notable was an album with ABBA's Agnetha Faltskog, which although a big hit in northern Europe, leaves Sean very cold indeed!
We close the episode waxing lyrical about two particular songs from Eric's guest gigs with Alan Parsons. A beautiful and fitting coda to Eric's extra-10cc work. Next week, we feature the second half of this epic conversation, by rounding up his musical career in focusing on the mixed bag that are his two final albums, 'Do Not Bend' and 'Viva La Difference'.