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!
July 1, 2019
Having got Godley and Creme's masterwork out of their system (for now!), this is Paul and Sean's first venture into the more mainstream 10cc universe.
This episode looks in detail at 10cc's eponymous debut album. It aims to put the record in some kind of context, with in-depth analysis of all ten tracks and some of the single B-sides. Along the way, they discuss the origins of the group in Strawberry Studios, the deal with Jonathan King, their early chart hits and misses, Eric's ground-breaking production and guitar sounds, and the quirky, brilliant and super-inventive songwriting melting pot that was this great band. Listen out for rare audio from an educational film about the recording of The Dean and I, and the Hotlegs track that eventually morphed into the wonderful Fresh Air for My Mama. And Sean won't let the Gizmo bee in his bonnet rest...
This is a long one folks, but there's a lot to discuss!
June 24, 2019
At last then, we've finally got on with 'IT'.
Paul and Sean grapple with the challenging but brilliant, world-saving piano concerto that closes this remarkable album. They attempt to unravel some of the musical themes and keys used, discuss the incredible musicianship (particularly of Lol Creme's piano work) as well as shoe-horning the piece into 17 distinct movements. This podcast is the longest so far, but perhaps it has to be?
Watch out next week for the first of our ventures into the more mainstream world of 10cc, where we take a close look at the band's 1973 debut album.
We would dearly love you to review or rate our 11-week meanderings on this fine record, either via Podbean or iTunes, and we sincerely hope you've enjoyed listening anything like as much as we've enjoyed recording them!
June 17, 2019
Paul and Sean will miss Blint and his chums, as they come to this last part of their one hour and six minutes of pandemonium. We hear some wonderful clips of dialogue, including Veronica Hague's dead body being used as a draught excluder, the Jewish, war and death connections, and our characters jumping down the hole. We discuss the Chemical Brothers' use of artwork for their new album, and Blint (and Peter Cook) enjoying his role of World Saviour just a little too much.
Our intrepid 'casters cast light on the wonderful tracks Sailor and Mobilization, and Paul finds a ridiculously obscure early incarnation of Please Please Please, in the form of a proto-10cc B-side for their 1972 single for Manchester City. Yes, honest!
Stay tuned next week for our discussion on the album's final side, as we turn 'part-time musicologist' to try to unravel the mysteries of Blint's Tune...
June 10, 2019
Paul and Sean are relishing the fact that Peter Cook's brilliant voice characterisations are now cooking on gas! They get stuck into Stapleton's cat and the twigs, Blint's back story, his strange references to Duke of Earl and At the Hop, as well as his strange analysis of his fellow characters' individual 'keys'; why are the Stapletons so mis-matched as a married couple? Sean also finally gets his head around the whole thing with the pyramids. Probably.
We hear some quirky but brilliant music from Godley and Creme, including Rosie, Office Chase and Cool Cool Cool in the Morning, surely the only pop song ever written from the point of view of a dead goldfish. We unearth some beautiful influences too.
So long, and thanks for all the fish food!