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Tenology (Coffret 4 CD + DVD) CD+DVD, Compilation
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Description du produit
10cc, groupe de pop rock britannique, est formé de quatre musiciens, auteurs et producteurs accomplis, plus préoccupés par leur musique que par la célébrité: Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley et Lol Creme Ils ont régné sur les ondes durant les années 70 aux côtés de Queen, Rod Stewart, Elton John et David Bowie. De Donna (leur premier single en 1972) jusqu'à Dreadlock Holiday (leur dernier tube en 1978) en passant par le classique I'm Not In Love, 10cc a su porter la pop vers des sommets que peu ont atteints grâce à leurs mélodies et à la richesse de leurs arrangements. Tenology est un coffret 4CD + 1 DVD : > Les CD1 et 2 sont consacrés aux singles > Le CD3 à des titres tirés des différents albums > CD 4 à des B-sides et des raretés > Le DVD montre leurs apparitions en TV et propose de remarquables clips.
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As I got older, my musical taste expanded. Punk/New Wave. But 10cc was a constant. 'Bloody Tourists' was pretty good. Yeah, Look Hear? was disappointing. (Really disappointing.) But I remember listening to 'We've heard it all before', 'Power of Love' and 'Don't ask' (from their next album, '10 out of ten') over and over again at college, even if they were nowhere near as 'cool' as the likes of the REM, Echo and the Bunnymen and Big Audio Dynamite that then dominated by collection.
I remember stumbling across 'Windows in the Jungle' at a local record store. It came wrapped in the loose plastic bag (as opposed to shrink-wrapped), the sign of an IMPORT. (Meaning, no one could be bothered to release it in the US.) I wasn't really thinking much about 10cc at that point, but bought it almost on reflex. And I remember the disappointment of the hookless, virtually Gouldman-less, long, sad attempts to ape Steely Dan. It was the last 10cc album that I would buy for over decade. ('Meanwhile...' is the only 10cc album I've never owned. Never felt like I was missing anything. The less said about the shameless, cynical 'Mirror Mirror'--which I did unfortunately purchase-the better.)
Over the years, I've remained a music obsessive. My taste has deepened and widened. Hip Hop, Reggae, Brit Pop, Indie...anything with above average smarts, a bit of edge and hooks (always hooks) still catches my ear. And I've refused to be stuck in any particular era. But my appreciation for 10cc has remained. The original 72-76 era was woefully undiscovered in the States. Only 'I'm not in love' and 'Things we do for love' made any significant impression on the charts here. But their first four albums are just about as strong a run as any band had at that time. Up there with the likes of Roxy Music and Steely Dan (though all three bands only share a certain cool, cynical detachment). Why is 10cc not remembered as well? Perhaps because when they fell off, the drop was so sheer (spot the reference 10cc-heads). They definitely became less loved critically after Godley and Creme left. And not without reason. Despite the relative successes of 'Deceptive Bends' and 'Bloody Tourists', the band lost almost all their edge. They became known as pop lightweights, not without reason. And their biggest hit from this period (though, again, not in the US where it stalled outside the Top 40) 'Dreadlock Holiday' has not aged well. (Hey, most of us didn't know much about actual reggae in 1978.) Even as they re-expanded the band, the insecurity in Gouldman and Stewart became audible. And, as happens, they flogged the horse for too long.
Yet I continued to think of 10cc fondly. I bought the various, often-botched CD re-releases. I even found (what turned out to be) a Russian bootleg of Look Hear? on ebay, which I bought hoping it somehow was better than I remembered. It wasn't.
But the quartet of the self-titled debut, 'Sheet Music', 'The Original Soundtrack' and 'How Dare You' have all continued to sound as good as they ever have. (Give or take a few tracks here and there on the latter two.)
So all of this was in my head when I saw there was a 40th anniversary box set. Initially, I was pretty excited. That was quickly diminished when I saw the track listing. There was very little there that a hardcore 10cc fan hadn't already owned, often having purchased the songs more than once over the years. Even the b-sides and rarities weren't all that rare, having been appended to the aforementioned CD re-releases. So why did I (or *you*) need to purchase most of these songs for the 3rd/4th time? For me, establishing that Universal had the good sense not to region lock the DVD (meaning it would play in North American players) is what did it. Mostly, the opportunity to see the brief 'BBC In-concert' performed live by the original quartet.
Which brings me, finally, to 'Tenology' itself. Are there any revelations among the 4 CDs and 1 DVD? Not many. Am I glad I purchased it? Absolutely.
For starters, in terms of presentation, Universal actually showed 10cc and its fans a good deal of respect. The box is nice and sturdy, adorned (as is only fitting) with a new Storm Thorgerson design. Inside, you're first presented with a thin hardcover (!) book. The book is really well done. In the absence of a good 10cc biography in print, it's nice to have contemporary reflections from all four of the original band members on the (72-76) history of the band. And, yes, that's the emphasis. Gouldman and Stewart, while proud of 'Deceptive Bends', are no less aware than the rest of us of the dipping quality, particularly after 'Bloody Tourists'. In addition to the short(ish) recap, filled with (as of this writing) recent quotes from all four, the lyrics to every song on the box are included. Right off, this made the set feel like a good purchase. Beneath that, a die cut 'well' holds all 5 discs. The discs themselves come in those thin, cardboard holders. But unlike some I've gotten, these are actually well sized. You don't have to dig the CD/DVD out, inevitably scratching/scuffing them. They slide out nicely.
As to the contents, well, if anyone is still reading, you're either a masochist or a truly hardcore 10cc fan. What you get is almost all the tracks (with an exception or two from each album) of the first four albums, spread across Discs 1 & 3. It's a mish-mash of album and single edits, occasionally mislabeled on the box. (For instance, the running time of Look Hear's 'One two five' suggests it's the almost interminable album version. Mercifully, it's actually the single edit.) Disc 2 starts with a high (heh) in 'Dreadlock Holiday' and slides all the way down to the singles from Meanwhile... Consequently, it's the least essential of the discs. And that's probably being kind. I imagine this one will be the one most of us will come back to least. The only two things on all three discs that I hadn't heard before are the (Voodoo Mix) of 'People in Love', indeed covered in a swampy morass of vocals and other sounds. And, for me, preferably to the Adult Contemporary version of the song that was the band's last hit (reaching 40) in the US. The other 'new track' is called 'The recording of 'The Dean and I'", a BBC (?) audio documentary detailing how the song was, well, recorded. I didn't make it through all 7 minutes myself.
On Disc 4 are the b-sides and, I must say, 10cc knew which songs to throw away. Okay, that's harsh. These are definitely, for the most part, lesser songs of the eras they represent. But some of the 72-76 cuts are at least interesting. And Stewart made sure they all *sound* fantastic. In fact, the productions on some of these are among the most interesting, as Stewart either wanted to make up for the less stellar songwriting or just tried out things he couldn't on the albums proper. For my taste, only 'I'm so laid-back, I'm laid out' (B-side to 'People in Love') is one I'd put on a mix. Unusually funky with a great vocal from Gouldman, it's easy to hear this a song that simply didn't fit musically onto 'Deceptive Bends', rather than a song that just wasn't good enough. Everything sounds good. Nice and bright.
Finally (you can exhale), the DVD. Clearly, the highlight is the above-mentioned concert-ette from '74. Seven songs, starting with 'Silly Love' and running through songs from the first two albums, ending with a jam (for 10cc) of 'Rubber Bullets' that, in seemingly typical BBC fashion, is faded under the credits. For a band so richly produced, with four vocalists, two of whom possessed truly unique voices (Godley and Creme) its astonishing how good they are in concert. Mostly, that they could reproduce the sounds on those albums so closely. (A side note, the audience for this show could only be called 'live' in the sense that most of them, presumably, had pulses and breath. Like most BBC audiences for pop shows from the 70s, they look they were either tricked into attending the taping or are there as some form of punishment. At the end of a really beautiful version of 'Fresh Air for my momma', they cut to a couple who look they may have been awakened from a nap by the smattering of applause around them.)
No, 10cc was not the most dynamic live band. They had no image, don't always seem that interested in each other being there and lack a focal point....but just listen. The rest of the DVD is filled out by assorted, usually mimed, appearances on a variety of televised pop shows. Most of these don't beg watching more than once. There's also a handful or so of promotional videos, most of which aren't that different from the mimed pop shows. The videos for 'Dreadlock Holiday' and 'One two five' are mildly interesting as being early versions of the kind of conceptual-lite things that would appear the first couple of years on MTV, but a few years before MTV existed. Otherwise, you're not liable to come back to most of these either. The quality of the video is mostly fine, especially considering the age and source material. For the most part, they look like good standard def video. The promo videos look a little less good but, again, all things considered, they're fine.
So that's "Tenology". Would it have been nice to have some genuine rarities? More demos and such? Absolutely. But they may no longer even exist. Did it need solo Gouldman and Stewart or duo Godley and Creme? Probably not. Frankly, most of the former was pretty forgettable (Yeah, Animalalympics included.) And the latter really needs it's own box. Or least two good discs that do a damn sight better job of getting G&C on CD then Renaissance did with their muddy releases of Consequences and L.)
So...do *you* need it? If you somehow made it all the way through this--and, holy crap, I've just looked at the preview and seen how long it is--the answer must be yes.