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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 28 August 2007
Making parodies of late 1950s pop songs may not sound like a good premise for an album, but 10cc's debut album is littered with them. What makes them work is the then-futuristic sound that the band conjured up, the sheer guitar sounds, the imaginative vocal arrangements, the wit, and the energy of the whole.
Lol Creme's astonishing falsetto leads the way on the band's breakthrough hit, 'Donna,' while the follow-up number one, 'Rubber Bullets' is a perky take on the subject covered in 'Riot In Cell Block No. 9,' the old Coasters song. The third big hit, 'The Dean And I,' is the slickest track and, arguably, the best song of the three.
'Sand In My Face' is a funny take on bodybuilding, almost as good as the singles. The one flop single, 'Johnny Don't Do It,' doesn't differ enough from its target, 'Tell Laura I Love Her,' but is well done nevertheless. The other songs are not bound in the past. 'Speed Kills' is a startling rocker with a vocal arrangement that sounds as if it was designed for a slower track. Eric Stewart's 'Headline Hustler' points more toward the band's later, more pointed content. 'Fresh Air For My Mama' is a more poignant, delicate song, part of which is cannibalised from a track they recorded in their earlier Hotlegs guise. But the other two songs emphasise the humour of the project, most of it seemingly under the influence of Godley and Creme.
There are also some wonderful b-sides on this reissue, the major highlight being Stewart and Gouldman's country-rock tinged ballad, 'Waterfall.' Anyone who likes melody, wit and invention in their pop music should like this.
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on 23 July 2016
I have incredibly vivid memories of this self-titled 10cc debut album. As a music loving nine year-old, Radio One had drip fed me three very catchy singles in the months leading up to this classic album’s release. 10cc had a rich, warm and unmistakable sound. Consisting of four multi-talented individuals, Lol Crème, Eric Stewart, Graham Gouldman and Kevin Godley signed with UK Records in July 1972 after initially being rejected by the Beatles Apple label. ‘Donna’, a throwback to the old 1950s doo-wop sound, was the first of four eventual singles taken from the album. A catchy, if somewhat tongue-in-cheek parody, ‘Donna’ was chosen by DJ Tony Blackburn as his record of the week. It certainly gave 10cc enough exposure to launch the single into the nation’s Top 30, with the single peaking at the No 2 position in October 1972. Hoping to repeat the success of ‘Donna’ their next release ‘Johnny don't do it’ failed to enter the chart and perhaps lacked the catchy light irony of ‘Donna’. However, by June 1973 the group scored their first No 1 with the hugely successful ‘Rubber bullets’, a racy homage to the film Jailhouse Rock. More significantly, ‘Rubber bullets’ featured what would become a signature sound of 10cc, the double-speed guitar. It was a technique that had been used to good effect on Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, a landmark album also released in the same year. On the back of a number one single, the public were perfectly primed for the group’s debut album which was released in July 1973. In August 1973 ‘The Dean and I’ became 10cc’s fourth single release and gained another Top 10 hit. In terms of singles sales, the group were certainly gaining plenty of mileage off the back of their first long player.
As an album, ‘10cc’ still works incredibly well and retains a particular freshness in its sharp, familiar retro sound. It’s full of brilliantly crafted songs, from the lyrically humorous ‘The hospital song’, the silky tenderness of ‘Fresh air for my mama’ and the powerfully brilliant guitar and drum driven ‘Speed kills’ - it all still works quite brilliantly. 7T’s reissue CD provides beautiful mastering and superb pin sharp clarity. In addition to the original album content, 7T’s have included five bonus tracks which tie in with the album’s history and timeline. ‘Hot sun rock’ is a non-album instrumental which appeared as a B-side to the single ‘Donna’, ‘4% of something’ is an obscure but nevertheless welcome B-side from ‘Johnny don't do it’. Also included is the recording of ‘Waterfall’ a beautiful composition which was first considered for 10cc’s debut single and was previously rejected by Apple - although it’s still somewhat puzzling to understand exactly why? Thankfully, ‘Waterfall’ later appeared as the B-side to ‘Rubber bullets’, so rightfully now enjoys its place here. ‘Bee in my bonnet’ was also a non-album track and originally appeared as a B-side to the marvellous ‘The Dean and I’. There is also a single version edit of ‘Rubber bullets’ which rounds off and completes the album’s history very nicely. The packaging includes a well-produced 16 page colour booklet carrying the original LP artwork, lyrics to every song, sleeve notes by ‘History of Rock’ editor Mike Heatley and pictures of numerous European singles sleeves. I certainly won’t be parting with my original vinyl, but this expanded CD will certainly be relegating it to semi-retirement status. A damn good release and highly recommended.
Darren Allison, Cinema Retro Magazine
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on 8 March 2009
If you put together four time-served session musicians who had until recently been churning out novelty pop singles for the Kasenetz-Katz partnership and let them loose on an album you'd be forgiven for not expecting too much from them. Instead on this fine debut album 10cc produced, like their name was wryly intended to suggest, a lot more; a surprisingly sparkling set of witty, literate and deft pop songs.

Taken as a whole you can hear the group working out its "sound" whilst trying to engage the public. 10cc's first pair of singles, both excellent 50s parodies -- the doo-wop "Donna" and the generic death song "Johnny Don't Do It" -- appear early and it's hard not to avoid the impression that the group were very aware of the then popularity of glam rock, with its obvious 50s roots. Nevertheless, both songs contain the hallmarks of 10cc at their best; keen observation, mordant irony and humour.

Two other excellent singles, "The Dean And I" and "Rubber Bullets" -- the latter propelled to number one in the charts by a misguided BBC ban -- are included and demonstrate those same 10cc hallmarks without the conceit of parody. If the rest of the tracks aren't quite up to the same high standards nevertheless there's a lot of fine writing and wit so none disappoint. You can also hear the musical ambition of the group developing, a trait that was to be fully realised in the construction and sound of tracks on their future LPs.

This early effort highlighted the unique combination of craft and imagination that the four members of 10cc brought to the group and, even if slightly unfocused, is a rewarding and highly likeable album.
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on 22 January 2017
I have to admit that since they first came on the scene, I only associated 10cc with the iconic classic, "I'm not in Love". I had never really explored the rest of their music, but I'm so glad I did, albeit now, via Amazon. This is a cheeky little collection, mixing 50's retro sounds with their own distinctive style - a snazzy fusion of rock, pop and blues.
If you've only ever heard "I'm not in love" then this is a great CD to start with, it's fun, upbeat and perfect car music too!
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on 14 July 2013
Given the circumstances when this was recorded it's a remarkable album. Some excellent songs - Donna, Rubber Bullets, The Dean and I, The Hospital Song - and one or two that are not up to it. There are some nods towards later developments and, throughout, a feeling that the band put everything into producing a solid work with some great singing. It's stood up to the tests of time very well.
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on 9 June 2015
Great with the single version of rubber bullets ad one of the bonus tracks. One minus is between rubber bullets and the next track there is a very annoying sound gap. I believe rubber bullets should join straight onto the hospital song.
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on 3 December 2011
10cc's first album, "10cc" deserves some consideration. This includes all the early singles, "Donna" (almost a direct steal from The Beatles' 50's pastiche, "Oh Darling"), "Rubber Bullets", "The Dean And I" all of which are classic 'American-style' pop songs redolent of the early 60's. "Rubber Bullets" still gets plenty of airplay on the majority of 'golden oldies' radio, "The Dean And I" to a lesser extent.

Other songs, such as "Johnny Don't Do It" which opens the "10cc album", follows the trend of the three singles and "Sand In My Face" is a riposte to the 'Charles Atlas' adverts so commonplace in the 60's and 70's. 'Dynamic Tension can do this for you, dynamic tension - make a man out of you'.

There are a couple of weak tracks, quite obviously album fillers, tucked in here ("Headline Hustler" does not stand out here at all) but, the (original) album closes with the very witty "Hospital Song" with a superb vocal which I'm sure ONLY Kevin Godley could do. Then Eric Stewart shows off his slide guitar prowess on the weaker "Ships Don't Disappear (Do They?) with the wonderful line "better be nice to Vincent Price" and then the wonderful (again American-style - think West Side Story) "Fresh Air For My Mama" where once again, Godley gets to perform the vocal that, probably, only he can do.

I give "10cc' a three star qualification and here's a fine and promising debut and an album with a hint of promise to come. Don't pay a fortune but, still, not to be missed!
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on 12 February 2016
What a lovely album from a band that are still going strong, some good tunes from a band that wrote some classics and not just for themselves. This is an essential album if you like good songs that are well written and sound great.
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on 17 January 2013
good quilty sound great song writers still good today as they always were,brought bake a lot off memories made me feel old
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on 28 November 2015
Regreat not buying it 40 years ago, great leap back into the 70's.
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