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10cc

Submitted by Robin Blackburn 10cc were one of the most successful British pop groups of the 1970s, and are still widely remembered for their hugely successful song, ‘I’m Not in Love’. All four members could sing lead vocals, write songs, and play a variety of instruments, leading to a diverse, but sometimes fragmentary sound. The band formed in 1972, but the four members had worked together in various combinations, as songwriters and musicians, since the early sixties. Indeed, their roots go back even further to their childhoods in Manchester: Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart met at school, and Kevin Godley and Lol Creme grew up together. By 1969, the four were a group, but not yet called 10cc. Instead, they spend a couple of years working at Strawberry Studios in Stockport - which was co-owned by Stewart - where they wrote and recorded formulaic pop songs for release under various group names. Godley, Creme and Stewart even recorded an album under the name Hotlegs, and all four co-produced and played on two Neil Sedaka LPs. Finally, they decided to form their own group and signed to Jonathan King’s UK Records label in 1972. The band’s first single, ‘Donna’, was a huge hit, reaching No.2. More success followed, including their first No.1, ‘Rubber Bullets’, and the band’s breakthrough second album, ‘Sheet Music’. After touring America, the band signed to Mercury Records in 1975, and released ‘The Original Soundtrack’ from which was taken their best known song, ‘I’m Not in Love’. A British No.1 and American No.2, the song is remembered for its innovative backing track, which was entirely composed of multi-layered vocals, creating a dreamy choir-like effect. One further LP, 1976’s ‘How Dare You!’, followed, but shortly after its release Godley and Creme left the band to become a duo. Stewart and Gouldman continued until 1983, but with diminishing success, and both also embarked on solo careers. All four original members did reunite in 1992 for the ‘...Meanwhile’ album, but this was followed by a Stewart and Gouldman album, ‘Mirror Mirror’, which was 10cc only in name. Godley and Creme went on to success as a duo, and are now widely respected video directors, while both Stewart and Gouldman continue their solo careers and various collaborations.