Amid the plethora of reunions, reformations and medically implausible resuscitations that have enlivened music in recent years, the return of 10cc probably isn’t too much of a surprise. Ever-present on the reissues scene, and re-emerging every few years anyway, the faithful old name was responsible for some of the signature hits of the ‘70s, such as “Rubber Bullets,” “I’m Not In Love” and “Dreadlock Holiday.”
But 10cc was also renowned for never doing things in quite the same way as anybody else might, which was one of the things that made the original four-piece so exciting. So, it was probably inevitable that, when they did reconvene, that proud tradition should be maintained.
The group has not released an album. Instead, music has slowly leaked out over the past year via their Web site. 10cc has not toured, although one member does still play out under the 10cc banner. They aren’t even called 10cc and, if you know the band’s history — formed by Lol Creme and Kevin Godley, Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman in 1972, then splitting into those same two halves in 1976 — they aren’t fronted by either of the permutations you might expect. Stewart today has a solo career; Creme is working with producer Trevor Horn. So, it’s Gouldman and Godley who take the spotlight, in the appropriate disguise of GG/06.
Because it isn’t a 10cc reunion after all. It’s something far better than that.
“It was Kevin who instigated it,” explains Gouldman. “After having massive success as a video director, he quite simply wanted to get back to making music, and the other thing was, we’d always stayed in contact throughout the years, whereas I’ve completely lost contact with Eric and Lol. Kevin and I were always in touch, even if it was just a Christmas card. And, while it’s difficult to tell if these things are going to work again after such a long time, there’s only one way to find out.”
Godley continues, “We had dinner in 1993 or so and discussed doing something together. Then nothing. Years went by. Then Graham asked me to write a lyric for him. My effort was too dark and got canned, but the experience got the juices flowing again. I’m not sure why it took us so long to attempt anything properly. Maybe the planets weren’t aligned. Or maybe we were cautious about revisiting the past, and failing to come up with the goods.”
Throughout the original 10cc’s four-year reign, Gouldman primarily wrote with Stewart, Godley with Creme. “It was very rare,” Gouldman says, “for the teams to swap over.” But Godley/Gouldman did pen three songs together – “Baron Samedi” (on the Sheet Music LP), “Iceberg” (from How Dare You) and the b-side “Channel Swimmer,” and Godley recalls, “my outings with Mr. G were always enjoyable and challenging. ‘Iceberg’ is one of my favorites… it originally began, as I recall, with a proposed monologue that went something like ‘Hey baby, I want to get down on all fours and shit in your handbag,’ or words to that effect. Part of my personal brief, when working with Graham back then, was trying to f**k him up.
“Lol and I were into structural changes and being outrageous, and I saw that as my job, to bring a slither of darkness into Graham’s life. And it worked, he was receptive to it, although he did balk at that monologue, as did everybody else. Now, because we’re older and wiser, I’m more appreciative of what he has to offer..."