45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant set but the wrong approach....
First up, the music is brilliant. It has been mastered well and the real bonus in this set is the DVD, which features a large chunk of the original line up in 'concert' which shows just how brilliant they were as a 'live' band. By why the wrong approach you ask ? Well I'll tell you. Basically every track from the original first four albums and the respective 'B' sides to...
Published 20 months ago by Mark Sach
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WHATCHA GONNA DO ABOUT IT, WHATCHA GONNA DO?
First, the good news: The selections from the 'How Dare You!', 'Deceptive Bends' and 'Bloody Tourists' albums are a great sonic improvement on the disastrous, dull, lifeless 1997 remasters. And the accompanying DVD features a great live concert from 1974 for the BBC, watched by a hilariously listless audience (it's akin to the zombie nightclubbers impassively gazing at...
Published 19 months ago by Obadiah Horseflesh
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant set but the wrong approach....,
First up, the music is brilliant. It has been mastered well and the real bonus in this set is the DVD, which features a large chunk of the original line up in 'concert' which shows just how brilliant they were as a 'live' band. By why the wrong approach you ask ? Well I'll tell you. Basically every track from the original first four albums and the respective 'B' sides to the singles is present bar the odd track. So why didn't they just put the all the albums in their original order and where there was a different single edit, put that at the end of each album. Not enough room ? Well the last disc (4) is 53 minutes long and as a CD can hold 80 Mins, there is plenty of room. The one really silly bit is that 'I'm Not In Love' isn't on here at all in the full length version. The single edit is here, now that is a major mistake. The packaging, though brilliant is also a little confusing. The first disc is titled the 'Singles' and as thus features the single edits, only that it has the full length 'Art For Arts Sake' and 'Somewhere In Hollywood' is the full length version which wasn't even a single. 'Dreadlock Holiday' doesn't even make this disc ? I think somewhere along the line someone had one idea but didn't tell someone else. Now if it was down to me, I would have done it like thus. Everything recorded during the first album sessions, including the 'B' sides, I would have headline under 'The 10cc' Sessions, and so on, 'The Sheet Music Sessions', 'The Original Soundtrack Sessions'. It isn't hard to do and logically it would have made sense. There record company people haven't got a clue !
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WHATCHA GONNA DO ABOUT IT, WHATCHA GONNA DO?,
First, the good news: The selections from the 'How Dare You!', 'Deceptive Bends' and 'Bloody Tourists' albums are a great sonic improvement on the disastrous, dull, lifeless 1997 remasters. And the accompanying DVD features a great live concert from 1974 for the BBC, watched by a hilariously listless audience (it's akin to the zombie nightclubbers impassively gazing at The Yardbirds going nuts in the 1966 film 'Blow-Up'). Clips from Top Of The Pops display invisible-gum-chewing Kevin Godley's bizarre taste in knitwear, and, on 'I'm Not In Love', Eric Stewart corpsing during the second verse. Of the specially-commissioned promos, 'Good Morning Judge' is adorable, with Graham Gouldman and Eric sporting a plethora of beards, wigs and cozzies. The moment when Eric (as the accused in the dock) and Graham (as the judge) kick over the furniture to mime the guitar solos is gloriously silly. The hardback book's Paul Lester essay with its interviews with the original four piece has much to commend it. And the two rarities - a rough-mix lo-fi version of 'People In Love' recorded with Lol Creme and Kev; and the soundtrack of a TV news item capturing 10cc as they record 'The Dean And I' - are fascinating, the former for revealing G & C's decision to leave the band was the right one, and the latter in showing that, beneath all the layers of vocal overdubbage, 'The Dean and I' is actually a ska tune! Who would have guessed?
For a band whose motto was 'Perfection Is Only Just Sufficient', the flaws in this collection are plentiful. (Let's get the DVD one out of the way quickly: Where is the promo for 'Don't Hang Up'?) They range from musicians having their names misspelt (Stuart Tosh and Duncan Mackay can't be too happy about being misremembered continually on all four CD sleeves), a producer going uncredited (Gary Katz, for the two songs from 1992), lyrics being transcribed incorrectly ('Sgt Baker started talking with a ballpoint in his hand'?), songs being assigned the wrong date ('Somewhere In Hollywood' is a 1974 release, not 1973, whilst 'Headline Hustler' is from the band's 1973 debut album, not 1974)…
CD2 is a hideous mistake, being all post-Godley & Creme material. Now, there's nothing wrong with the compilers making the case that there was life in the band after the art school loons left, but the song selection here is appalling. It's one drab and dismal ballad after another. Where is 'Lifeline' or 'You've Got A Cold' or 'Honeymoon With B Troop'? The decision to fill a CD with anodyne love songs - 'The Power Of Love', 'Feel The Love', 'Woman In Love' (yeah, we get the idea, chaps) - at the expense of truly great stuff ('Brand New Day', 'How Dare You!', 'Ships Don't Disappear in The Night [Do They?]', 'The Film Of My Love', 'Head Room', 'Speed Kills') by the original quartet is just plain nuts. And, since it's commonly agreed that it's the band's creative highpoint, why is the version of 'I'm Not In Love' that's included here the horribly-edited single of 3m45s instead of the magnificent 6m02s original cut? Infuriating and exasperating.
CD4 ('B-Sides And Rarities') lacks '18 Carat Man Of Means', the flip to 'The Worst Band In The World'. No great shakes in itself, I know. It's not the greatest song you've never heard, but it has some kind of historical value as the first song composed by all four members of the band, and, as such, warrants inclusion. And surely a rummage in the vaults might have turned up some outtakes - the original boss nova take of 'I'm Not In Love', maybe, or alternative mixes or performances with different vocalists - or anything!??!
It would have been too easy and predictable to deliver what old bores like me would have preferred - the first four 10cc albums, complete in their original running order, with a disc of ALL the b-sides and a fistful of previously unreleased stuff, blah blah blah, and a double disc of the complete 11/11/75 Santa Monica Civic Centre gig whilst you're about it (which you can find on the wolfgangsvault website), a DVD that featured the 'Don't Hang Up' clip and some Knebworth '76 stuff - but this representation falls short. What might have been interesting is dedicating each disc to a specific group member...
Whilst I'm griping, there are a couple of points I'd like to make concerning Paul Lester's otherwise unimpeachable essay. The first is this contention that Queen could never have conceived 'Bohemian Rhapsody' without 10cc's 'Une Nuit A Paris' paving the way. This is absolute balls. The Who, for one, were producing multi-part songs ('A Quick One While He's Away', 'Rael 1 & 2') seven years before. The only link I can see between '…Paris' and '…Rhapsody' is that 10cc's song ends in a murder and Queen's song begins with the singer confessing to one. The other point is about whether Frank Zappa was an inspiration to the band: A more important question might have been whether Zappa was influenced by 10cc. Joe's Garage is mentioned in 'Johnny, Don't Do It' a full six years before Frank's triple album. And 'You've Got A Cold' has a chorus hook extremely similar to Zappa's 'Dancin' Fool' single (released two years after 'Deceptive Bends').
The reason for this ghastly whinge is because this could have been a great opportunity to celebrate one of the great original pop bands - and, the way the record industry is going, most probably the last chance to do so - but, for the factors mentioned above, it falls short.
All in all, then: CD1 is all 4 or 5 star stuff (barring the awful 'People In Love' and catastrophic edit of 'I'm Not In Love'). CD2, apart from 'Dreadlock Holiday', is dreck - 1 star. CD3, with Kev & Lol in brilliant form, has 15 tracks of 5 star genius, let down by two so-so post-G & C cuts and one simpering wimpy limp. CD4 has one track of majesty ('Good News') surrounded by fluff and marginalia - 3 stars in all. And the DVD has more than its fair share of magic (despite the absence of 'Don't Hang Up', which I might have mentioned before) - 4 stars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Was a Present From Me Mother,
A few people have said they would have preferred s box set of exact replicas of the original CDs in there complete form. However, I feel this would have been out of keeping with 10CC who made a career out of recombining ideas from different places. I ordered this having already got most of the material on it but itnfelt like I was getting a new 10CC album. I had the same excitement as I did when waiting for the old releases which I had asked for as presents from my mother as I child. If there is anything I would have suggested as a difference in approach it would have been to also cover the parallel career of Godley and Creme in the manner of the earlier Changing Faces compilation. This would have made sense as there were intermittent cross overs such as G+C doing a video for 10CC and for Wax and the excellent History Mix album cleverly remixed material from the 10CC era. Also stuff from Hotlegs and Doctor Father and even Rameses would have been welcome inclusions and maybe material from the soundtrack albums for Girls and Animalympics. However, the choice seems to have been made solely on the basis of material release as 10CC and within those parameters it is a really good selection.
It is also a poignant farewell to Storm Thorgson who died recently. His fabulous designs made every 10CC album an adventure in art as well as sound. The new artwork for this album include heads with a series of words which could be cryptic clues to the origins of some of the influences on the music. It also includes a Dali-esque channel swimmer with drawers in his chest. The booklet contains a set of graphics which again are reminiscent of the George Hardie designs which appeared in the old album sleeves.
The Paul Lester sleeve notes are full of interesting insights which add greatly to the enjoyment of registering to the music. Importantly, the music from Bloody Tourists ( a sadly underrated album) sound so much better than the terrible CD release of a few years ago. You get a better glimpse into the lush sound of Duncan McKay's keyboards. Not sure how they did it as the original master tapes were badly damaged but it would be ice to see the whole album reproduced with this quality. Talking of McKay it is a great shame that he did not contribute more to the writing of BT and LH as he is a very accomplished songwriter who wrote and produced a great solo album before joining 10CC. I think the biggest mistake that Gouldman and Stewart made was to to take on partners on a more equal basis after G+C left as the real strength of the band was having so much diverse songwriting talent.
If you missed this album at the original price don't delay any longer as it will only et ore expensive and you MUST have it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not perfect.,
I didn't really like 10cc back in their day. It was all to do with the timing.
I was about fourteen when `Donna,' their first hit, was released and this coincided with my starting to leave bands such as Slade and T Rex behind and graduating to Zep and Deep Purple. So anything associated with Glam Rock or Teenybop was resolutely uncool. Of course 10cc were never remotely glam - at least in appearance - but as they were more pop than rock and they emerged at the same time, to my closed teenage mind they weren't cool. The falsetto voice was sissy and I couldn't see any difference between 10cc and bands such as the Rubettes and Kenny (`Do The Bump').
I did like `Rubber Bullets' 10cc's next hit, but wasn't moved to really follow the band and `The Dean And I', another brilliant track, passed me by. My prejudice against the band was confirmed a couple of years later when `I'm Not In Love.' became a huge hit and never seemed to be off the radio. As a teenager I just found it boring, and it was too long.
Fortunately I am much more open minded about music in my middle age than I was back then, although there are still some artists I can't stand! However 10cc are fully rehabilitated in my mind and I can now recognise `I'm Not In Love' for the masterpiece it is, indeed along with many of the bands other hits.
I'd had a greatest hits of the band for some time and, although I'd often thought about investigating them further, I'd never got round to it, but here was my opportunity.
Although this is a great collection of a truly talented band I would go along with other reviewers who suggest that it isn't perfect. The first four albums, and maybe even the first six are essential, and although you get all the hits on Tenology plus most of the best album tracks from those albums, there are still a few tracks missing in action. I would also agree that the second disc of the later material isn't in the same league as the earlier stuff. The DVD is worthwhile, but I'm not a great fan of videos and the concert, although worth seeing, is a little lacking both in terms of time and presentation as most seventies concerts were compared to modern ones. It doesn't really make for repeated viewing.
For someone who doesn't have any 10cc in their collection this would be a great, if expensive, purchase. However if you want to forgo the DVD, you could purchase those first six albums more cheaply.
Ultimately it would have made more sense to issue these six albums as a box together with the DVD, most of the B sides, which make up disc four of Tenology are included as bonus tracks anyway.
Having listened to 10cc intensely recently I would suggest that they are the most varied, and dare I say it, most talented band this side of the Beatles. Electric Light Orchestra, another band I didn't really care for in my youth, but can now appreciate, were ploughing a similar furrow of varied Beatles influenced classic pop/rock in the seventies, however I would suggest that 10cc were even more polished and varied.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Repress please Universal,
Is this box set likely to one back into stock? It was only available for a brief time. I want one. please re-press Universal!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Am I Really The Only One.....,
....who pretty much likes everything that 10cc ever did? Reading a few other reviews below, it would seem that I am indeed a rarity. Yes, Discs 1 and 3 are wonderful but for me so is Disc 2, the post Godley & Creme era. Anyone truly bemoaning the lack of rarities on here should take a listen to the different mixes of 'Don't Turn Me Away' and 'Run Away' from the much-maligned/underated 'Ten Out Of Ten' album, I would have bought the box set for those two alone! How I wish that a remaster of the entire 'Ten Out Of Ten' sessions was also on its way out! Disc 4 neatly compiles most of the B-Sides and the DVD rounds of a top-notch retrospective.
Of course, you'll never please everyone when you set about a career set such as this and they were right to lean heavily on the first five albums but those released after that also deserve a lot of attention. Sadly, they don't get enough of it.
One oddity though, the last album 'Mirror Mirror' has been completely ignored and yet its cover is one of the pointless postcards included with the set!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I don't like it....and I don't love it either!,
What a mish mash from one of the most important UK groups after the Beatles. At £45+ ? All the tracks on the CD's, and more, are available at half this price on Amazon anyway, and the video's are all downloadable from You Tube etc, for Free!
The booklet is full of mistakes, the postcards are cheap throw away garbage, and the most important 10cc song, 'I'm Not in Love' has been chopped down from it's original 6+ minutes to 3 minutes 43 seconds.....why???? Shame on you Universal.
2.0 out of 5 stars 'Collected' has a far better quality on the sound,
I bought this having already purchased a CD called 'Collected'. To be honest there is no doubt about it, 'Collected' has a far better quality on the sound, and this set of CDs, though much more comprehensive, has a terrible lack of detail, a lot of resolution just not here on these CDs. Not sure that everyone seems to really go for the sound quality as I see so many reviews that are ecstatic when the CDs they talk about are pretty dire considering what can be achieved these days. I would say give this one a miss, save your money and buy 'Collected' - a far better deal on your ears.
4.0 out of 5 stars just what i wanted,
this boxset was just what i wanted to remind just how good 10cc were as agroup. a little disappointed with the content of the dvd.
17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10cc Boxed - at last!,
Well about time too! I thought that a definitive boxed set of 10cc was never going to happen and that we were just going to have to make do with endless compilations of varying quality with only subtle changes in the track listing for variety. Good news indeed then that this box set nicely rounds up the singles, selected album tracks and b-sides/rarities over four discs and a DVD of TV performances and promo videos as well. The overall quality of the box itself is top notch and comes complete with a very nice quality 100 page hardback book. The five colour postcards are ok but not necessarily the images I would have chosen but hey, I'm no Storm Thorgeson! My only (slight) gripe is that the discs themselves come in flimsy card sleeves which does let things down slightly on the overall quality of the box set itself. Good to see the aforementioned Mr Thorgeson has been employed to look after the artwork and visual theme which I always felt (as part of Hipgnosis) was an integral part of 10cc's albums.
As for the music - well you know that needs no further introduction otherwise you wouldn't be reading this! Suffice to say that I haven't noticed any glaring ommisions from the track listing and each of the discs are mastered well and not harsh or too loud (for those of you worried about these things!). A great set then and as this is supposedly a limited edition, don't leave it too late and then realise that you have to pay stupid prices to get it in 12 months from now (like I have done with The Who's Live At Leeds and U2's Achtung Baby box sets!!). In 10cc's own words, you've got to get it while you can! Enjoy.
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