Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
They remain an enigma, the product of fusion, of two distinct writing styles between the members that graced the name and the now iconic nature of the band, a natural progression from the 60s fashion in which they could trace the first roots of the group and one that quite rightly is still performing today, albeit with only one original member at the helm. 10cc were a group of diversity, of experimentation and of a solid reliability, you could not fault them in the day and anyone taking time out to devour the rich back catalogue will soon follow the point that you don’t have to just like 10cc, you have to love them unconditionally as well.
I’m Not in Love: The Story of 10cc is a rare treat for television, a look back with almost reverence but undisguised bitterness seeping through at how the band came into being and how it came to near complete destruction, of how like The Beatles, 10cc were a band that was so much greater than the sum of its parts, even when that includes Graham Gouldman who was responsible for a huge number of hits enjoyed by other bands in the youthful and fresh faced previous decade.
The names Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Lol Crème and Kevin Godley might not mean much to modern audiences but their talent was legendary, the songs they produced, the albums they recorded are timeless and still pack a punch that takes the musical stomach by surprise and as the documentary explored, it came down an awful lot to innovation and refusing to let mediocre become a line in the sand.
I’m Not in love is still so revered as a high mark of 70s popular music that the story behind it, the dogged determination in a way to rival anything that was caught on tape was astonishing and one that many young performers would do well to explore themselves, rather than allowing a computer whizz to generate the mood, to get their hands dirty and learn these valuable lessons in production.
It is hard to recapture any emotion that came from a period that is no longer with us, the stories perhaps aged by time, the references oblique to some and yet for all that 10cc’s music is still evocative, the sheer depth so impressive and as each song was investigated, a sense of affection could be felt, perhaps even devotion in many cases, it is certainly irresistible to not hear tracks such as Dreadlock Holiday, Rubber Bullets, I’m Mandy Fly Me, Donna and The Wall Street Shuffle and fall in love.
A positive documentary about one of the founding fathers of Art Rock and experts in rich satisfying music; I’m Not in Love: The Story of 10cc is a narrative that truly understands what music can mean to those that listen and to those that perform.
Ian D. Hall