976 - 10cc 'Original Soundtrack' (1975)

My Rating: 3.38 out of 5
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: X
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums: X
The Mojo Collection: X

Chart Peak (UK/US): 4/15

Favourite Tracks: Blackmail, The Second Sitting For The Last Supper, I'm Not In Love
Least-Favourite Tracks: The Film Of My Love

According to the All-Time Top 1000 book this album is too clever for its own good, complaining that 'too many changes within a single track can be irritating' & 'sometimes it would be nice to have just one long lovely bit'. Yeah well maybe if you're the kind of person who marvels at the musical sophistication & intellectual lyricism of Whigfield's Saturday Night, but I found it a breath of fresh air. Sometimes it can feel a little like rock music has run out of ideas, after all there's only so much you can do with the same old blues progressions, 3-chord cycles & 'ooh baby' lyrics. But from the opening track Une Nuit a Paris you know that this is going to be different - conventional verse-chorus pop structure is abandoned in favour of an eclectic series of musical vignettes (I counted over 20 unique 'verses' in that song alone) that has more in common with the world of showtunes than pop. Yes it's complex, but that only serves to reward repeat listening & unravel deeper layers. And unlike a lot of mid-70s guff, this band doesn't take itself too seriously; there's none of that pompous overblown nonsense here - tongues are only ever taken out of cheeks in order to be stuck out & waggled at you.

I was also impressed by the technical sophistication throughout - I'm Not In Love would be tricky to create with today's samplers & digital recorders, never mind back in the days of tape loops & analogue studios. Then there's the musical proficiency - check out the venomous slide guitar solo in Blackmail or the frantic piano outro on Second Sitting For The Last Supper. Oh and did we mention the effortless stylistic about-turns, lyrical pastiches or genre changes? By the time you reach the album-closing The Film Of My Love, a mickey-taking cheesy ballad in the style of Renee & Renato, you realise that you've been on one hell of a journey - and that's what classic albums are all about, right?


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