10cc are an English rock band founded in Stockport, England, who achieved their greatest commercial success in the 1970s. The band initially consisted of four musicians – Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley, and Lol Creme – who had written and recorded together for some three years, before assuming the name "10cc" in 1972.
10cc featured two songwriting teams, one "commercial" and one "artistic". Stewart and Gouldman were predominantly pop songwriters, who created most of the band's accessible songs. By way of contrast, Godley and Creme were the predominantly experimental half of 10cc, featuring an "art school" sensibility and cinematically-inspired writing.
Every member of 10cc was a multi-instrumentalist, singer, writer and producer, and the writing teams frequently switched partners, so that Godley/Gouldman or Creme/Stewart compositions were not uncommon. After Godley and Creme left the band in 1976, Gouldman and Stewart were the main creative forces behind 10cc. Stewart left the band after 1995 and Gouldman continues to lead a touring version of 10cc.
Most of the band's albums were recorded at their own Strawberry Studios in Stockport and Strawberry Studios in Dorking, with most of those engineered by Stewart. 10cc was co-managed by Ric Dixon and Harvey Lisberg at Kennedy Street, who had represented the individual members of the band since the mid-1960s.
Three of the founding members of 10cc were childhood friends in the Manchester area. As boys, Godley and Creme knew each other; Gouldman and Godley attended the same secondary school; their musical enthusiasm led to playing at the local Jewish Lads' Brigade.
Their first recorded collaboration was in 1964, when Gouldman's band The Whirlwinds recorded the Lol Creme composition, "Baby Not Like You", as the B-side of their only single, "Look At Me". The Whirlwinds then changed members and name, becoming The Mockingbirds . The Mockingbirds recorded five singles in 1965–66 without any success, before dissolving. The guitarist in both The Whirlwinds and The Mockingbirds was Stephen Jacobson, brother of well-known writer Howard Jacobson.
In June 1967, Godley and Creme reunited and recorded a solitary single under the name "The Yellow Bellow Room Boom". In 1969, Gouldman took them to a Marmalade Records recording session. The boss Giorgio Gomelsky was impressed with Godley's falsetto voice and offered them a recording contract. In September 1969, Godley & Creme recorded some basic tracks at Strawberry Studios, with Stewart on guitar and Gouldman on bass. The song, "I'm Beside Myself" b/w "Animal Song", was issued as a single, credited to Frabjoy and Runcible Spoon.
Gomelsky planned to market Godley & Creme as a duo, in the vein of Simon & Garfunkel. Plans for an album by Frabjoy and Runcible Spoon faltered, however, when Marmalade ran out of funds. Solo tracks by Godley and Gouldman, however—both involved Stewart and Creme—were released in a 1969 Marmalade Records music sample album, 100 Proof. Gouldman's track was "The Late Mr. Late"; a year later, Godley's song "To Fly Away" reappeared as "Fly Away", in the debut Hotlegs album, Thinks: School Stinks.
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