The Singles


Oscillating wildly between barb-witted social satire and heart-wrenching love ballads, Britain’s 10cc were often just too smart for their own good. Even their name, which makes cryptic reference to the amount of semen in the average ejaculation, was a joke that went over the collective head of their would-be fans. As forerunners of ’70s art pop, 10cc’s single releases were not always hits in America nor were they consistently representative of the bands best material. But that’s what separates “Best Of” collections from “Greatest Hits” packages. And while The Singles collection glaringly omits anything from Sheet Music (which means you miss out on the sheer brilliance of “Worst Band in the World” or “Rubber Bullets”), all that really needs to be said is that the deliciously morose “I’m Not In Love” — their first hit stateside in 1975 — is on here. “I’m Not In Love” is one of the greatest songs ever written — a true pop classic — which means it’s right up there with “All The Young Dudes” and “Shake Some Action.” Throw in the hilarious reggae rip-off, “Dreadlock Holiday,” and the cartoonish “Life is a Minestrone,” whose lyrics evoke food metaphors to explain the pitfalls and passions of life, and you’ve got yourself a fine sampling of a band who weren’t content to do the same song twice. “I’m Mandy Fly Me” is a mini-rock opera that recalls “Bohemian Rhapsody”-era Queen and forgotten progressive art pop bands such as 10cc’s Mercury labelmates, City Boy. “The Things We Do For Love” arguably their biggest commercial hit, is as perfect a pop song as any you’ll hear today, and “Wall Street Shuffle,” the acid-tongued attack on the world of high finance (included here as a live version), is more timely today than it was in 1977. Chronicles would do well to re-release 10cc’s catalog and expose their cerebral, dreamy art rock to a crowd that missed out on the first go around. That this collection omits a cumulative history-packed liner notes section is the one real shame here. Mercury Records, 825 Eighth Avenue, Eigth Floor, New York, NY 10019

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