Blimey, this was difficult, but not for the reasons you might expect. Apart from feeling a sense of sadness at coming to the end of our 10cc album discussions, Andrew, Pany, Paul and Sean recorded this on Monday 16th March 2020, just an hour after Boris Johnson announced a stricter UK lock-down in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak. For this reason, we were all distracted and emotional. We often struggled to get our words out, as you'll hear.
You might be surprised to hear how positive Paul and Sean are about this last venture by the band, who had now fractured to the point where they couldn't even bear to write songs together. And all their contributions were recorded separately. With keyboardist and programmer Adrian Lee working hard as co-producer to make the album hang together, the product of this lucrative deal with Japanese label Avex doesn't look good on paper. But strangely, the album possesses more charm and warmth, more pop hooks and humour than many of the records released by the band since the 1970s. Graham's songs in particular are cracking, and we agree that he's on fire on this record.
Sean in particular is full of praise for many of the songs on this record, singling out some unexpected favourites. He even gets out his electric guitar to demonstrate Graham and Eric's craft! While we all agree on the majesty of Graham and Andrew Gold's brilliant Ready to Go Home, there's almost no agreement between the four of us on the other tracks. Sean's on his own with Peace in Our Time, he and Paul fail to convert their pod guests on the merits of The Monkey and the Onion, and poor Andrew and Pany are raving in the wilderness about Now You're Gone and Code of Silence respectively. Maybe this is why, once again, we've clocked in at over two hours. Sorry about that - we're finding a lot to talk about in these recent podcasts!
Eric continues to plough his own furrow here, with a few very long songs that struggle to raise our pulses, but he does put in two of his best vocals since the early days, and there's some spirited and catchy pop writing on display too. Two of his best songs are left over from his keynote collaboration with Paul McCartney on his Press to Play album. Mirror Mirror may not be your cup of tea, but in places it really is ours! A lot more than the sum of its parts? We think so. In many ways a return to some kind of old form; there's a joie de vivre, immediacy and humour about so many of the tracks that had been lacking on previous albums.
Those of you who make it to the end of the podcast will find an Easter egg, recorded by Sean a couple of days after we taped this episode. He was moved to finally give his and Paul's beloved Gizmotron 2.0 its recording debut. We hope you like the track - with a nod to Sean's favourite 10cc track, this is a tribute to what is in his view the best song 10cc released after Deceptive Bends. Call it an early Easter present!
Thank you for keeping listening everyone, and we look forward to bringing you some more chapters in our continuing 10cc odyssey.