Album Review ? 10cc: Live and Let Live and Look Hear?

Sad to say, but these are two of the lesser albums in the hitherto redoubtable 10cc canon. 
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Sad to say, but these are two of the lesser albums in the hitherto redoubtable 10cc canon.

The first was a double-live package brought out in the wake of Deceptive Bends and essentially recreating that album around a handful of hits but already showing just how badly the band miss the errant Godley and Creme. The second was the follow-up to the Graham Gouldman-Eric Stewart duo’s last hit record, the “Dreadlock Holiday” inspired Bloody Tourists.

And, whereas the live set can at least point to the presence of seven hit singles, a clutch of great rockers, and a masterful Stewart guitar solo through the epic “Feel The Benefit,” Look Hear? is simply unremarkable soft rock, shot through with just enough facetiousness to remind us that 10cc used to be considered witty.

The fact that Stewart was still recovering from a serious auto accident does offer some extenuating circumstances, of course, and there are a few moments to cherish. “One Two Five” was one of mainstream rock’s better pokes at disco culture, with its maddening obsession on how many beats to the minute a song had, and “Don’t Send We Back” raises a sympathetic smile. Songwriters the caliber of Stewart and Gouldman do not lose their muse overnight, after all. But if the live album highlighted the best they could muster, albeit with that same metallic edge that the live 10cc always felt the need to splash on, Look Hear? is marking time and filling space — and the end of the band was already in sight, it just hadn’t noticed it yet.

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