What does it sound like?:
This four cd box, as the title suggests, covers the band’s hits, what they did after their break up, and also their activities in the years before 10cc.
The first disc, During, is basically a greatest hits selection, running through their best singles – it’s great to hear again songs such as The Dean And I, Rubber Bullets, and I’m Mandy Fly Me – really there’s not a duff track on here. Great stuff, the songs have aged really well, and hearing them again brought back lots of memories.
Moving on to the second disc, After, we have their post 10cc work. A few excellent Godley & Crème singles, followed by the catchy Building A Bridge To Your Heart by Wax (Gouldman with Andrew Gold) kicks things off in fine style. We even get a McCartney track from the Press To Play era when he was working with Eric Stewart, (the single mix of Pretty Little Head, appearing on cd for the first time), and a few pieces from Crème’s period with Art Of Noise. It does run out of steam a bit towards the end, but it’s still pretty good listening in the main.
The Before years is split over the remaining two cds. The first, The Strawberry Hit Factory, for me is the weakest of the whole set. I’m really not sure what to make of it, as it comprises twenty long forgotten singles recorded at their studio in the late sixties and early seventies. It really is a weird collection, including the forgotten ‘classic’ Funky City by the Manchester City FC squad. I don’t think this is a disc I will be revisiting too often – or at all in fact! Fortunately, the fourth cd, showcasing early recordings each member was involved in, saves the day. There are some pop classics here and no mistake – A Groovy Kind Of Love, Bus Stop, No Milk Today, and For Your Love to name but a few. You also get Neanderthal Man by Hotlegs, three Neil Sedaka hits on which they acted as his backing group, and who can forget the psychedelic sounds of Sheffield’s very own Rameses?!
There’s a very good forty page hardback book too to complete the set.
For those less inclined to invest in four cds worth, there’s also a truncated two cd version available.
What does it all *mean*?
This set reminded me what a super band 10cc were – I shall be renewing my acquaintance with the original albums for sure.
Goes well with…
Remembering your teenage years.
Might suit people who like…
The seventies, great pop songs.