April 11, 1997 GOLDMINE #436
10cc : A Pure Injection Of Pop
Original Article By Dave Thompson
Chapter Eleven : Sometimes Having Wax In Your Ears Can Be A Good Thing
meanwhile, was open to all offers, including one which presented him with a
real blast from the past. “Paul Samwell-Smith got in touch with me and said
that his new band, Box Of Frogs, was going to redo Heartful Of Soul and
would I play on it? So I went down there, I did rhythm guitar, Rory Gallagher
played lead and Roger Chapman sang it. Rory and 10cc had shared the bill at
some early ‘70s American tour, so it was great seeing him again, seeing Paul,
all those people.” Box Of Frogs’
“In 1983, when Eric and I decided to call it a day, Andrew was the first person I contacted. He originally came over here, planning to stay two weeks, and it ended up as six months.” Adopting the name Common Knowledge, the two recorded a new album, 1984’s Common Knowledge, but it was never to be released. Just two singles emerged from this initial union, “but we still believed in our collaboration, so we went back to Andrew’s house, did a load more demos, and eventually got a deal with RCA.”
Wax was a
super-group duo which really did threaten, for a while at least, to combine the
best of both worlds; Gouldman’s instinctive knack for classic pop, and Gold’s
understanding of the American AOR audience. Indeed, the duo’s three albums do
rate very highly on whichever scale that kind of music is measured upon.
Gouldman, too, remains enthusiastic about Wax. “In
Creme, too, would knock it on the head in 1988, bowing out with the aptly named
Goodbye Blue Sky album, and their first feature film, Howling At The
Moon. But 1988 also saw the first seeds sewn towards what would eventually
become a full fledged 10cc reunion. Or not, as the case may be. “We were all
involved in other projects throughout the 1980s, until 1988, after Polydor in
it would be another four years before the dream appeared to be coming true.
Throughout 1990 Godley, as co-founder of the ARK environmental organization
ARK, had been busy on the award winning television series One World One
Voice (an attendant soundtrack album made #29 in the UK); during 1991, Creme
was busy making his solo debut as a movie director, with The Lunatic (more
recently, he reunited with Trevor Horn to create British television’s Glam
Metal Detectives). In the fall of 1991, however, it was announced that the
original quartet had reconvened in
“But of course it didn’t happen like that,” Gouldman sighs, “because Kev and Lol were both off doing their other stuff. But they did contribute to the album. Kevin sang lead on one track and some backing vocals, and Lol did some backing vocals, but aside from that, that one song which I thought was great, their presence was hardly felt. I think as time’s gone by, I don’t feel that the world is waiting for 10cc, somehow. I know we have some fans and we’re grateful to them. In our mind the world is waiting, but in reality… What pissed us off was that Polydor said it was a reunion, and we were saying it wasn’t, it just wasn’t true, and this thing kept coming up again and again, and it was getting embarrassing. What I wanted to do was hire a studio, get the kit set up, get the amps in, and make it like the situation we used to have. But unfortunately, Kevin has a back problem and can’t play drums properly, and at that time, Kevin and Lol weren’t on great terms, so they were never in the studio with us together; there was all this bollocks, and I know what everyone wants, and it would be great if we could do it. But Lol has his career, Kevin has his, and I can’t see it ever happening.”
Indeed, for anybody raised on the initial reports, 1992’s …meanwhile was a considerable disappointment.
“We had some good songs,” Gouldman explains, adding that he and Stewart alone stockpiled some 22 tracks for the record, “so we felt confident that we could still do it. Polydor were pleased with the demos, and so we did the album. We didn’t have to do it for any reason. It wasn’t a case of being forced to do it under duress, or for the money. If you’re not happy, no amount of money will help, and it’ll sound awful. But then we got to the studio, and we had problems with our producer [Steely Dan maestro Gary Katz]. There wasn’t always harmony, and I think it created it a very one dimensional album. It’s also got this darkness to it that I don’t like. Some of the songs, particularly Welcome To Paradise, which were brilliant when you hear the demos, didn’t translate into the studio.”
Katz remains a contentious choice for the listener. Of all the bands with whom the “classic” 10cc was ever compared, arch perfectionists Steely Dan was the most common, and there was a distinct sense that Katz was recruited primarily to cater to precisely this stereotype. Gouldman himself does not disagree.
he was. Our record company wanted an American producer, they thought it would
help break the American market, and once you start to follow things like that,
it’s the slippery slope. That and other things combined to make an album which
could have been a lot better. There were two things that were wrong for me, I
didn’t like his idea of bringing in session men; they weren’t our players, they
weren’t our band. Jeff Porcaro was one of the finest drummers in the universe,
Freddie Washington the finest bass player. But anyone could have them, but them
if you like, and I was against this.
…meanwhile slipped into the shops in May,
1992, but though it scarcely registered in the
Eric Stewart In Air Gun Revelation!!!
Graham Gouldman In Wrong Studio Revelation!!!
Graham Gouldman In Songwriting Technique Exposé!!!
The Runcible Spoon… What Exactly Is It?
Strawberry Puts The ‘Hit’ In ‘Shit’!!!
So That’s How They Got The Name…
Million Dollars Buys A
Strawberry Studios South… Now You’re Dorking!!!
I Said ‘You’ve Got To Be Joking Man, It Was A Present From Me Mum’!!!!
Headline Writer In ‘Stuck For Words’ Shock!!!
Sometimes Having Wax In Your Ears Can Be A Good Thing
And They Still Don’t Give A…