Customer Reviews: The Very Best of 10cc
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This contains all the essential songs from 10cc whose distinctive and diverse songs gave them plenty of success in Britain and around the world. Some of their song exist in both single and album versions, but this compilation sometimes includes the single versions (as on Art for art's sake) and sometimes the album version (as on I'm Mandy fly me).
Perhaps their most famous song is I'm not in love, a classic love song. On this set, you get the album version. There are many other classics here including Donna, Rubber bullets, Wall Street shuffle, Things we do for love and Dreadlock Holiday, together with a few obscure gems. The compilation is completed by tracks from Godley and Crème (formed after the break-up of 10cc) and Hotlegs (the precursor of 10cc). These tracks have their appeal but are somewhat different in style.
This is a great collection of music by one of the best pop rock groups to emerge from Britain in the seventies.
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10cc was definitely pop, but a very rocking version of pop. Listen to "Art for Art's Sake" and you'll hear the very fine dividing line between pop and rock in the 1970s. As 10cc progressed, they moved away from that line, but for a while, oh so close.
"Donna" is probably the weakest song on this collection, and put me off the first time I heard it. I guess 1973, the year of the album "10cc" from which this song derives, still had some rather strange-sounding songs. "Rubber Bullets", a protest song, follows, along with "The Dean and I", also from "10cc". The last of these is the best of the three in my opinion, but far from their best.
"Sheet Music" contributed "Wall Street Shuffle" and "Silly Love". Both songs are pretty fast and maintain a fairly solid rock beat, but again 10cc had yet to hit their stride.
"The Original Soundtrack" contributes "Life is a Minestrone" and "I'm not in Love". The second is absolutely beautiful. A song about the denial of love when the singer is clearly deeply in love. This song is likely the most memorable of all 10cc's songs, and is still often played on classic rock stations.
"How Dare You" is my favorite 10cc album, and provided "Art for Art's Sake" and "I'm Mandy, Fly Me". This album is worth buying if you like the songs on this collection. I would rate it 5 stars as well.
From this point forward 10cc turned more toward pop. "People in Love" and "For You and I" are very mellow songs that benefit from the skill that 10cc had developed over the previous five years.
"Cry", credited to Lol Creme but in fact was recorded by Godley and Creme, was played on "Miami Vice". I believe the video to this song was also the first use of morphing on a music video. Interesting song, you can hear the 10cc sound. I believe this song was also the last song to chart well from any member of 10cc.
10cc created absolutely wonderfully orchestrated pop/rock. Sometimes a little too pop, but for a while their pop had a hard edge. All too quickly their dominance of the charts ended as the age of disco began, and was then supplanted by New Wave. But for a little while there was that wonderful music. I hope you find what I found in this classic rock.
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VINE VOICEon September 8, 2000
Fine one-disc collection from an overlooked, transitional 70s pop-rock band. 10cc's only crime was that it did well what many rock bands did better; borrowed musically from 50s rock, British music hall, progressive rock's world-view and the Beach Boys/Trade Winds harmony school to create an often interesting, sometimes groaningly derivative musical mix. (Bassist Graham Gouldman came to this mix honestly, recording 60s hits like "Game Of Love" with Wayne Fontana's Mindbenders.)
Some songs hit the satirical mark ("Wall Street Shuffle" is more appropriate today than ever, "Dreadlock Holiday" is a great ska singalong). Other jokes fall flat lyrically and musically ("Jailhouse Rock" packed more wit into just over two minutes than its redux here, "Rubber Bullets," did in more than five. And life is not a minestrone or cold lasagna, no matter how good the song sounds.)
Surprisingly, 10cc's biggest pop hits represent its best acknowledgement of its influences. "I'm Not In Love," (#2, 1975) comes closer than any 70s hit to "Pet Sounds'" symphonic and lyrical grandeur. Eric Stewart's plain, near-perfect vocals capture the vulnerability of losing yourself to love; only "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" better expressed those feelings. 1977's Top 10 "The Things We Do For Love" and its follow-up, "People In Love," recall Paul McCartney's sunny 70s symphonies; "People In Love" actually blueprints Air Supply's early 80s hits. Godley & Creme's 1985 "Cry," (with its influential video later duplicated in Michael Jackson's "Black And White") nicely completes and updates the collection.
This isn't an essential collection. "I'm Not In Love" and "The Things We Do For Love" often show up in 70s hits collections and the group's original albums are more complete conceptually (not to mention containing stellar LP tracks like "Feel The Benefit" from "Deceptive Bends"). Nonetheless, "The Very Best Of 10CC" is a fine introduction for newcomers or a good one-disc gathering for longtime fans; it reflects a satirical view rarely seen in pop music since.
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on July 10, 2000
How any real 10 CC fan could give this compilation less than five stars is beyond me. This has some of their best and brightest. No other group is even remotely close to being like 10 CC. They were so original. The CD is also interesting to listen to how they evolved from their earlier recordings (filled with wit and Beach Boys/60s music influence) to the beautiful and haunting "I'm Not In Love." (By the way, this CD has the complete, unedited version!) To me, most of the best album tracks (and hits) are included on this release. If you are a big fan of 10 CC however, I would also suggest purchasing The Original Soundtrack and Deceptive Bends. An extra added plus on this CD is the inclusion of Godley & Creme's "Cry." I listen to this CD constantly. It brings back so many great memories of the music and times of my high school days - times when groups tried to be unique, different and have a style of their own. 10 CC certainly had a style all of their own that nobody else has even come close to touching. This CD is a must! Haunting, clever, beautiful, witty, pop & rock with a lot of heart & soul! So what are you waiting for - buy it!
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on December 2, 2001
I am a HUGE fan of 70's music and this CD is 70's music at its absolute wittiest, catchiest and most phenomenal!! I'm slightly new to 10CC's music, so I figured I'd purchase this CD first. When I first listened to it, I could believe my ears, it was that good-it left me wanting more! Bands and musicians of this level of intelligence just don't come by easily in this day and age of "three-chord knowledge" bands that seem to flow out of the airwaves endlessly nowadays.
I remember when "I'm Not In Love" first came out when I was only 7 years old in 1975-back when "real" music was around. It still leaves me awestruck to this day every time I hear it. I like the fact that the full-length version of this song is on this compilation. To me, they are more than just art-rock or prog-rock-if you listen to songs like "Silly Love" or "Wall Street Shuffle", the crunching guitar sounds prove that they could rock with the best of them. They could alson sound funky too, as in songs like "Good Morning,Judge","Dreadlock Holiday", and even "Art For Art's Sake". True genius!!
Truly, one of the most unique bands in the world. I'm definitely going to expand my collection.
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on June 11, 2006
Purchase this terrific CD collection, place it in your stereo, put on a good set of headphones and enjoy! This is classic 70s popular music at it's finest; the digital remastering does great justice to the works of Stewart, Creme, Gouldman and Godley.

Included on this single-disc set are 15 of 10cc's best recordings. As a teen in the late 70s, I was familiar with their biggest radio hits: the haunting I'M NOT IN LOVE, the infectious THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE, and the philosophical FOR YOU AND I. Upon purchasing this collection, I was pleasingly introduced to a dozen other gems from this talented group, and I would recommend it to anyone.
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on October 10, 2007
10 cc, which disbanded in 1983 (been a while, huh?), is one of those groups that made a difference in the musical landscape of the seventies, not only in the U.K., but also in Europe (not that much in the U.S. I believe).

This collection is a must have and a piece of the puzzle for any serious music collector. Of course, who has never heard the mega hit "I'm not in love"? But there was much more, and a good part of that can be found here.

The collection starts off with a rather silly song that sounds like a fifties tune, reminding a little bit the beach boys. I had never heard this song and when I put the cd in the player I even pulled the cd out thinking I had made a mistake, that this was not 10cc. Well, I happen to know all the other tracks on this collection (except for "Rubber Bullets", another beach boyesque/beatlesque track), so I wasn't thrown off and I didn't have to check again, but this shows you how innovative, unconventional and creative 10cc was.

None of the remaining tracks are similar or alike. Each has different sequences, taking you on a musical rollercoaster, nothing mechanical and foreseeable here...

The lyrics are witty ("Life is a minestrone") and sometimes sarcastic enough("the Dean and I", "Good morning Judge") without being completely subversive ("Wall Street Shuffle", still very current if you listen closely). The lyrics on "Art for Art's sake" are a sharp criticism of materialistic and empty minded people. Very daring, especially considering the cut is from an album called "How dare you". You see, there again we go with the wit !

What I also find interesting about 10cc is that cross influence between Alan Parsons Project, ELO, Supertramp and Queen. At times, they are close to symphonic rock, then they can get really rocky with sharp guitars ("Silly love", "I'm Mandy..."), or even country like ("Good morning Judge"), making them a unique band with no real comparison, hence even more interesting. By the way, I remembered "I'm Mandy fly me" from a long time ago, and I've listened to it again with this cd. Can anybody try to clarify who Mandy could be ? Still searching... ;) If you like "I'm not in love", don't miss "People in love", a beautiful track that Paul Mc Cartney himself would have sold by millions if he had composed and sung it.

In short, a great band, a great collection of songs. Sad they couldn't continue any longer although we have WAX and GODLEY & CREME which are a continuation of 10cc after the split. Get it, have fun while listening to it, get in a British mood, and regret we don't have bands like this anymore today.
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on June 24, 2005
Don't be fooled by the title of this single CD anthology: "The Very Best of 10cc"; frankly, the title alone is basically criminal. 10cc are one of the very best bands ever, and this disc isn't even close to a definitive collection of their work. Yes, I realize the selections on this disc are based on chart success, and there's no arguing that a majority of the tracks do belong on any collection claiming to truly offer the very best of 10cc. However, there are numerous gripes with this disc.

The original 10cc lineup formed in 1972 and consisted of Eric Stewart, Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley, and Lol Creme. Godley & Creme left in 1976 to focus on their own work together, and their big mid-'80s hit "Cry" is added at the end of this disc. Apart from "Cry", none of the tracks here are from past 1978--10cc's 1980-1983 albums typically get the short end of the stick as if they're mere hiccups, which is outright sad. As innovative and fun as their first couple albums are, they're not exactly the most tear-jerking albums ever made--in sharp contrast to this, 10cc 'matured' a great deal over the years, culminating in 1983's appallingly overlooked "Windows In The Jungle" which is one of the best albums ever made by anyone. Another problems is that some of the tracks on this disc, although hits, don't rank among their best work--the musically bubblegummy "Rubber Bullets" is catchy, but dumb in an eyeroll-inducing way; the rocker "Silly Love" has grating electric guitar chords; and "Life Is A Minestrone" is pompous and repetitive.

Instead of getting this disc, you're much better off getting the "Ultimate Collection" which is a 2 CD set that also has a 3rd 'bonus disc'. The first disc of the "Ultimate Collection" is nearly an exact copy of "The Very Best of 10cc"--all of the tracks here are also on that set. In addition, you get a terrific sampling of their '80s work as well a couple brilliant songs from their early '90s comeback.

All that said, you do get a pile of terrific songs here that demonstrate their songwriting prowess as well as their chameleon-like stylistic variety--there's simply no arguing with the inclusion of the ultra-catchy doo-wop tune "Donna"; the bouncy, super-fun, hook-filled "The Dean And I"; the brilliant, lyrically incisive pop-rocker "The Wall Street Shuffle"; the super-lush, otherwordly US hit "I'm Not In Love"; the witty, multi-part "Art For Art's Sake"; the infectious funk-rocker "Good Morning Judge"; the infectious reggae tune "Dreadlock Holiday"; a couple of lovely ballads with "People In Love" and "For You and I"; and the masterfully harmonized pop-rock confection and huge US hit "The Things We Do For Love".

10cc don't receive anywhere near the accolades they deserve. Their body of work merits serious attention. Although I was impressed with 10cc from the start, it took me quite a while to realize the staggering depth of their brilliance, both as a band and in terms of the individual members, partly because of the out-of-print/ 'buried treasure' nature of a ton of their work. In a just world, songs like "Yes I Am!" (from "Windows In The Jungle") and "Don't Turn Me Away" (from 1981's "Ten Out of 10") would have been huge international hits. "Don't Break The Promises" (co-written by Paul McCartney) from the 1992 "...Meanwhile" album is one of the most heart-breakingly beautiful songs ever recorded. Even with "I'm Not In Love" being a ubiquitous hit, I don't think most people would think to put "10cc" and "heart-breakingly beautiful" together in the same sentence very often, demonstrating how misunderstood they remain. Godley & Creme, though at times excessive, were unstoppably imaginative and had brilliant composing talent. Graham Gouldman is one of the best songwriters ever, and Eric Stewart is one of the best vocalists ever and one of the top musical geniuses in history. Despite some flaws here and there, the "Ultimate Collection" is a great place to start with 10cc and a recommended alternative to this collection.
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on May 26, 2009
Even if this cd contained 15 identical, back-to-back versions of 'I'm Not in Love,' I would buy it. That there's more is just icing on the cake.

I remember hearing 'I'm Not in Love' as a kid, when it first came out. Back then, it both frightened me alittle, yet mesmerized me at the same time. It STILL has that same affect on me today. Its haunting, mysterious, almost Gregorian chant-like quality is not of the 70s, nor the 80s, nor of any other decade. It defies having any year placed upon its inception. The whole piece -- the way it fades in with the sound of a heartbeat, and then draws you inward as though you're floating lifeless in water -- is an amazing feat of audio imagery. And the 'big boys don't cry' part -- it's as if the Lorelei herself is beckoning us to our impending doom with her secretive, sensuous whisper.

In terms of dreamlike hypnoticism, Fleetwood Mac's 'Hypnotized' (aptly named) captures this same, semi-comatose effect. For sound quality and production, the only other song to ever remotely come close, in my opinion, is -- and this may seem like a very strange comparison -- Billy Joel's 'Just the Way You Are.' It has a somewhat similar, other-worldly background quality, though not nearly as prominent.

If 10cc had only recorded 'I'm Not..Love', and nothing else, it has enough originality and lush sophistication to it to cement their legacy in the annals of modern music.
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VINE VOICEon July 23, 2013
I have posited on other album reviews that I believe 10cc to be the kind of band Monty Python would have dreamed up if they'd decided to take on modern pop in the 70's, instead of the wonderfulness of The Rutles. Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme were already experienced pop writers and performers in other peoples' bands before they joined forces as studio musicians in what was basically a bubblegum hit machine studio. From those beginnings, they became one of the most respected bands of the 70's, seeming to effortlessly blend elements of pop music with progressive rock all while maintaining an often dry wit and cheeky humor. This single "Very Best Of" disc gathers the best of their 45's from their first six studio albums and bonuses you the Godley and Creme hit "Cry."

The band's origins as writers for hire on on display for the songs from their debut, "Donna," "The Dean and I" and "Rubber Bullets." The first two are borderline parody in that they so closely approximate bubblegum singles that it's hard to believe that anything would come of merit in the future. "Rubber Bullets," while still aping the Jailhouse Rock genre, satirically upends the style by having the song delivered from the standpoint of the prison staff. ("I love to hear those convicts squeal, it's a shame these slugs ain't real.") If there was any indication of the brilliance to come, that was where you'd find it.

By "Sheet Music," the band was going full-steam. "Silly Love" and "The Wall Street Shuffle" threw so many styles in the blender that trying to explain the band was an impossibility, even if American audiences weren't catching on as yet. But by the next album, "The Original Soundtrack," that would change. The double bladed "I'm Not In Love" floated all the way to number two in 1975 and broke the band in the states. Sung from both sides of the story, the singer delicately kisses off a love affair - or is he? and that made the enigmatic song such a charmer. The goofy "Life Is a Minestrone" is also included, but the album is sold short.

Having finally broken the states, the band delivered their artiest album yet, with "How Dare You?" While "I'm Mandy Fly Me" and "Art For Art's Sake" were both brilliant singles (and "I'm Mandy" may have been one of the best 'mini-opera' songs of the decade), they missed the top 40, but are definitely among the band's best. That also was when creative tensions caused the rift between Godley/Creme and Stewart/Gouldman to reach a breaking point. Stewart and Gouldman decided to keep the name 10cc and soldier on with "Deceptive Bends." They were obviously eager to please, because the ultra catchy "The Things We Do For Love" became the band's second top ten single and "People In Love" (which tried very hard to find the clever spot "I'm Not In Love" achieved) squeaked to number 40.

Sadly, it seemed that each team needed the other more than they wanted to let on. "Bloody Tourists" tried to capture the old magic, but the main single, "Dreadlock Holiday," was the first time the humor sounded forced. "For You and I," the album's ballad, just couldn't quite match the majesty of earlier, similar songs. Further albums went to a different label, but it didn't much matter as they continued on a slide of diminishing returns. Godley and Creme became video pioneers, directing for the likes of Duran Duran and The Police. It's no surprise then, that their big hit as a duo, "Cry," rose on the charts on the back of an eye-popping video. It was one of the first videos to use the face-morphing technique that eventually became famous on Micheal Jackson's "Black and White."

What makes the addition of "Cry" such a delight is that it that it makes "The Very Best of 10cc" a true representation of the band's work. These were all delightful singles and, at their absolute best, 10cc rivaled any of the 70's hitmakers for style and creativity.
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