Paul Burgess - percussion, drums, piano; Rich Fenn - guitar, bass, background vocals; Graham Gouldman - bass, guitar, vocals; Tony O'Malley - organ, piano, keyboards; Eric Stewart - guitar, piano, keyboards; Stuart Tosh - percussion, drums, vocals
It is a shame that 10cc never made a pro-quality concert film of its original four-piece lineup, which split in 1976. In its day, 10cc was one of the best live acts for the money, and even in the late-'70s (when these songs were recorded with an expanded six-member lineup), they were still one of the best bands ever to emerge from the British pop scene.
These tracks were part of the band's 1977 Deceptive Bends tour, which many thought would mark the end of the band. Two of its members, Kevin Godley and Lol Crème, had left to become music video directors, and the revised version was essentially written off by the cynical rock press. Fortunately, Deceptive Bends yielded the band's biggest pop song ever: "The Things We Do For Love," and this tour proved they were still a viable live act. These tracks are great recordings but the best material the band ever released is missing. There is, however, another complete show from this tour available at Wolfgang's Vault.
The humor-driven pop band, whose name is actually the metric total of semen the average male ejaculates during sex, became a top act in Europe and the U.K., but were mostly a cult sensation stateside. Consisting of an all-star cast of Manchester musicians, 10cc was one of the few bands where every member wrote and sang lead throughout entire albums. Obviously inspired by the "recording studio-is-an-instrument-in-itself" formula conceived by the Beatles, 10cc wrote intelligent and often hilarious pop songs that were sometimes hard to recreate live.
Gouldman had written hits for the Yardbirds, Herman Hermits, and other British Invasion bands; Stewart had been in Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders (and appeared in the film To Sir With Love); and Crème and Godley were topnotch studio musicians. All members of 10cc were excellent writers and vocalists.
After 1976's How Dare You, the original lineup of Eric Stewart, Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley, and Lol Crème essentially splintered into two acts. Stewart and Gouldman remained as 10cc with a new six-piece lineup featured here on this show and Crème and Godley formed a video production team, eventually producing many of the innovative early MTV videos such as Herbie Hancock's "Rockit," as well as releasing albums as a duo.
Fortunately, 10cc was able to continue to have hits and endure for another six years with the second version showcased at this memorable performance from London's Hammersmith Odeon. Although they perform some of the bigger songs from the original lineup, the majority of this show features tracks from 1977's Deceptive Bends album, the first studio record made by the Stewart/Gouldman lineup. This version of 10cc would stay together until 1983 when, after the disappointing sales of their two last albums, they disbanded. Stewart went on to write songs with Paul McCartney for his Press album, and Gouldman went on to produce acts such as the Ramones before forming a duo with Andrew Gold called WAX.