October 14, 2019
- Welcome back ladies and gents to the podcast after our long lay-off! As some of you will know, there are several big reasons for this: day jobs, Abbey Road gig rehearsals, getting our heads around user-friendly solutions to our funding issues, and, oh yes, our latest interviews... A great meeting in Stockport with Strawberry founder Pete Tattersall and archivist Peter Wadsworth, followed by an incredible trip to Dublin where we had the honour of six hours in the company of Kevin Godley! The results of those meetings will be with you as soon as we can possibly get them finished and signed off. It'll be worth the wait, we promise you!
This episode sees Paul and Sean getting their teeth into the fascinating world of early Godley and Creme, from Lol's first writing credit on a Whirlwinds single to their wonderful single 'Today', released under the name Festival in 1972. In between, we explore some of the wonderful curios recorded by the duo at Strawberry, Advision and Graham's house. The earliest are three tracks you may not know: The Best Seaside in the World, Cowboys and Indians, and Chaplin House. They're a real treat.
We of course give Yellow Bellow Boom Room and Frabjoy and Runcible Spoon a good going over, as well as other Strawberry Bubblegum sessions. The real focus though is the odd, erratic but captivating Hotlegs album, in both its guises. There's some wonderful music here!
September 23, 2019
Sean and Paul look at Godley and Creme's ground-breaking second and third albums in this week's podcast. This is great news for Mr Macreavy, as he's a bit of a 'Kev and Lol-ist'. Paul's more reticent about many of the songs because, as he correctly points out, with chords and melody often in short supply, some of these tunes are difficult!
We rave about the stone-wall brilliance of these albums' opening tracks, This Sporting Life and An Englishman in New York. Have any of the 10cc boys bettered these since? We don't think so... There are many other superb moments that we dissect, such as the beauty of Art School Canteen and Get Well Soon, the wacky fun of Sandwiches of You and the fascinating lyrics of Punchbag, Freeze Frame and Group Life. Sean gets very excited about the 'spreadsheet' lyrics for this one! We marvel as well at so much of the musical invention and creative brilliance on offer here. Gizmos rub shoulders with harmonisers, saxes and the usual huge array of unusual instruments. This is Lol and Kevin really getting Consequences out of their system, with their own inimitable take on 'getting back to basics'. In their case, that is a very different and unique vision of 'basics' indeed! It's hard to believe that these were recorded in the same room as 'Outlandos d'Amour'. We marvel at I Pity Inanimate Objects, but even though it was twenty years ahead of its time, we confess to being annoyed to death by it!
L is an exhausting listen: dense, wild, hard-hitting, even lacerating in places. Lol says he finds it impossible to listen to! We can totally understand why. This episode is not for the faint-hearted...
Oh, and where's Paul McCartney?
September 9, 2019
Sean and Paul thought we'd try something a bit different this week.
To mark the re-release of Consequences on August 9th, we've invited some new friends to contribute to this episode. Our fellow members of the Godley and Creme Facebook group give some fascinating thoughts and opinions on this momentous release, commenting on the beautiful package, the sound, booklet and liner notes, Kev and Lol's interviews, track sequencing and their own personal relationships with this wonderful album.
Paul's been scouring the music press for reviews, and may even buy his own copy at some stage...! We also have a chuckle reliving the somewhat chaotic but fun 'listening party' we hosted via Facebook, with more insightful and hilarious quotes from fellow aficionados of the record. Sean 'Dog Ears' Macreavy also gets typically hot under the collar over the songwriting credits and Andy Pierce's remastering of the discs!
With huge thanks to Michael Ferreri, Evan Hammond, Marc Hollis, Karen Piercey, Andrew Dalgarno, Panayiotis Bogdanos, Phillip Wood, Steve Dinsdale and our other friends from the Godley and Creme group.
That's Cuban singer Camila Cabello at the start, with a song from her 2018 debut album.
September 2, 2019
Sean and Paul grapple with a subject that begins to become increasingly thorny for Mr Macreavy: 10cc Mk II.
While agreeing completely on the joyous pop genius of The Things We Do for Love, the frantic fun of Honeymoon with B Troop, the beauty of For You and I and the hooky credentials of Dreadlock Holiday, we start to diverge on some of the other album tracks, particularly on side 2 of Eric and Graham's second 10cc album, Bloody Tourists. Paul's a big fan of that album, but Sean just doesn't get it. Maybe it's just the morning after having expended all of his energy on his beloved How Dare You the night before?!
We also cover some aspects of Live and Let Live, the new band's proficient but 'statement' live album. There's much praise for the musicianship of this re-modelled 10cc, but perhaps we're missing Kev and Lol too much to give our hearts fully to them?
There is however a real undiscovered treat here for all 10cc fans. Peter Wadsworth and the Strawberry Archives have kindly sent us a lovely 30-second advert jingle that Eric and Graham recorded for Dr Pepper in the States in late 1977. It really brought a well-needed smile to Sean's face!
August 26, 2019
Paul and Sean lock horns on How Dare You, the fourth and final album by 10cc Mk I.
Sean has a lot to say about the production of this album, which he loves. You'll hear a huge number of audio clips of the great moments and some hidden secrets scattered throughout the record. Want to hear Lol playing the recorder as clear as day? Find out who the normal-speed spooky chuckler is on Iceberg? Or find the mystery dark matter within the grooves of Art for Art's Sake? And what's a 'rizo-rizo'? A sound geek's treat, then. Perhaps that's why this episode is Sean's favourite so far!
Paul's less fond of How Dare You, but he makes some astute observations and comparisons with material before and after the record came out. Look out for some really interesting Hotlegs clips. He does his characteristic delving into the history books, and unearths a disturbing tale. He's a big fan of the bonus track, too, and works hard to persuade his fellow podder on its classic credentials. Each to their own, we guess.
A word of warning here: you may want to listen to this in at least two separate sittings... We bang on about this LP for ages!
Stay tuned for next week's controversial venture into 10cc MkII.
August 19, 2019
Sean and Paul relish the thought of investigating 10cc's first album on their new, grown-up deal with Phonogram Records. Skirting around the Elephant in the Room (which we talked about at considerable length two weeks ago), we give this accomplished album a thorough going-over. But we find it slightly a game of two halves...
Frothing at the gills over the superb Une Nuit a Paris (One Night in Paris) and Life is a Minestrone, we find our shoulders sagging a little for some of the other tracks. There's much to admire in this pristine record, but had the band grown up too soon? Is the colour running out of their dyes perhaps? We'd love to hear your thoughts!
Sean's preferred option coming next time with the four-piece's swan song How Dare You, but our resident Kev-and-Lol-ist moves into more difficult territory in the following instalment, with our first look at 10cc Mk II... At least Paul's on hand to help him through!
August 12, 2019
Sean and Paul, on the road to the Stockport Story, with a superbly expert tour of the Strawberry Studios exhibition with Peter Wadsworth.
We first discuss the imminent and long-long-awaited CD release of the Consequences box set, and briefly come up to date with the podcast's reception, timing and Kev Godley's lovely feedback.
Stockport museum's Strawberry installation is smaller than it was in 2017, but there are many, many fantastic exhibits. And our guide - archivist Peter Wadsworth - completed a PhD in Strawberry Studios, no less. His accounts are fascinating, often very funny, and extremely knowledgeable. So he is the perfect host to take the podcasters through these enticing artefacts. We learned so, so much, and we hope you will too. The museum and its brilliant souvenirs(!) are excellent, and we thoroughly recommend you visit it!
Next week, we're back on track with our album-by-album account of the first four 10cc albums. Following a vaguely fortnightly routine, we'll also be releasing two other pods we already have in the bag, looking at 'Deceptive Tourists Live' and 'L/Freeze Frame', then heading back in time to some fabulous pre-10cc digging around. Some really interesting interviews to come soon too...
July 29, 2019
What can we say about the ultimate pop production masterpiece?
Well, quite a lot, as it turns out! Paul and Sean go into musicology overdrive as we analyse 10cc's finest six minutes. We examine the song's origins, its genius premise and lyrics, and use our keyboard, guitar (and Gizmo!) to shed some light on Eric's and Graham's inspirational melody and chord touches. We've even had a go at our own Bossa Nova version... Sean takes Blint's lift down into his hole to attempt his own reconstruction of every one of the 16 tracks on that magical tape. We look not only at what was recorded on each of the tracks, but the gorgeous effects that Eric used in his mix. Kevin says that 'every new idea we tried made the song better.' We demonstrate and discuss each and every one of these brilliant ideas. The band's ground-breaking and unique use of 13 vocal tape loops is deconstructed from our own first-hand experience, as we tried the technique ourselves several years ago.
So this is easily our most forensic analysis to date, and we think the most detailed ever examination of this classic single. We draw on excellent and reliable sources, such as Eric's and Kevin's books, the BBC 'Record Producers' programme and the superb Sound on Sound magazine article by Richard Buskin. There's even an unofficial quiz on offer: let us know how many of the 17 featured cover versions you recognise!
Apologies for the slight loss in audio quality in the first half. We should have got Eric to engineer the session! We're pretty sure some of our detective work is barking up the occasional wrong tree, but hey, we've tried. We really hope you enjoy this podcast in any case.
July 22, 2019
Here's the first of Paul and Sean's interviews with key players in the 10cc story. Ken Maliphant has enjoyed a long and continuing career in music, video and TV. He helped to pioneer musicassettes with Philips in the early 70s, and became Managing Director of the Phonogram group, which included Philips, Vertigo, Fontana, and of course Mercury.
This is a fascinating interview, which sheds light on many key 10cc moments in the mid-to-late '70s: breaking with Jonathan King's UK records, signing their deal in 1975 to release The Original Soundtrack, the split in 1976, his close relationship with Kevin and Lol and involvement with - and huge support for - the Gizmo and the Consequences project. He regales us with anecdotes from his time at Richard Branson's Manor studios with Kev, Lol and Peter Cook! He recounts in detail the infamous Consequences launch event in Amsterdam, his admiration for this masterwork and his (and the duo's) ultimate disappointment in its commercial failure.
This is a must for all 10cc and Godley and Creme fans. Lovers of Consequences will know that without Ken, the plug would have been pulled long before!
Join us next week for the most forensic ever analysis of 10cc's masterpiece, I'm Not in Love.
July 8, 2019
Paul and Sean froth at the mouth in awe of this wonderful record.
We look in detail at 10cc's sparkling and eclectic second album, waxing lyrical at, er, the lyrics, and the constantly inventive collaboration machine that was these four Manchester lads. This podcast tracks the huge progress the band made with new instruments and sounds, the uniqueness of the (often bonkers) song ideas, the references, influences and innovations. We examine Eric's emergence as a hit-making force, Graham's brilliant bass playing, and the continuing development of Lol and Kev's cinematic imaginations.
There's so much in this podcast, and it's our longest as a result. We hope you enjoy our journey into this classic album!