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Two CD set. Eric Stewart is most known for his tenure with the Mindbenders in the 1960s, and 10cc from 1972 to 1995. In 1968, he became a co-owner of Strawberry Studios in Stockport, where he developed skills as a recording engineer and record producer. His involvement in Strawberry was instrumental in the eventual formation of 10cc. Stewart has collaborated with Paul McCartney on three of his albums recorded between 1982 and 1986. He has also recorded three solo albums and released Viva La Difference in 2009. This compilation brings together tracks from all his solo albums and some tracks from his period in 10cc for the first time. Compiled and co-mastered by Eric, these two discs showcase the talents of one of the UK's best producers and writers. Some of these tracks are available on CD for the first time.
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Eric licensed the majority of his tracks from his best solo album "Frooty Rooties", as well as the one he liked from the soundtrack "Girls" adding in solo tracks from his last two solo albums that he owned the rights to for this collection. This set also includes four tracks from the last 10cc album which was, essentially, two solo albums (Eric and Graham) put together. The two had fallen out by that time and hadn't worked together in years.(Eric supervised the mastering himself). This gives us a great overview his his solo career but the real reason most fans will want this are the tracks that have never appeared on CD before and have been out of print since the release of "Frooty Rooties" and "Girls" in the 1980's.
I personally would have liked a three CD set with a CD of some of Eric's demos and unreleased tracks but what we get here is very fine indeed. The only thing I dislike about this collection is that it isn't chronological with the material mixed based on creating a flow for each disc. While I would say that's normally OK, the problem here is that the material recorded in the 1990's and 2000's don't quite fit in in terms of the sound due to the long period between albums. You can, of course, created your own chronological play list.
The packaging is solid and the new essay is exceptional with comments from Eric about each track (and their respective albums). For fans of Stewart and 10cc this will be an essential album especially for those who want to have the rare tracks from the first two albums that Stewart recorded in 1980 and 1982.