God­ley & Creme

Body Of Work 1978-1988

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff Reissues - David Stubbs

Box set cov­er­ing the ca­reer of for­mer 10cc-ers.

This is not a com­pre­hen­sive collection – it doesn’t in­clude Con­se­quences, the 1977 con­cept triple al­bum God­ley & Creme made fea­tur­ing vo­cal con­tri­bu­tions from the im­prob­a­ble pair­ing of Peter Cook and jazz singer Sarah Vaughan. They in­stantly re­gret­ted the al­bum when they re­alised that while they were mak­ing it, punk had ar­rived like a tor­nado to blow away such con­ceits as theirs. Forty years on, how­ever, it’s a cu­rio worth hear­ing in its own right.

Com­menc­ing with 1978’s

L, how­ever, God­ley & Creme built up a record­ing ca­reer won­der­fully ad­ja­cent to the trends of the day, main­tain­ing their in­de­pen­dence of vi­sion.

This Sport­ing Life, from that al­bum, lies some­where be­tween Queen’s Bo­hemian Rhap­sody and Van Dyke Parks, while Sand­wiches Of You sounds like Zappa if he’d had a soul in­stead of a sneer.

Be­cause of their in­ven­tion of the ‘gizmo’ (a wheeled de­vice used to give a gui­tar a vi­olin-like ef­fect) and the har­mo­nizer (as used on I Pity Inan­i­mate Ob­jects, from 1979’s Freeze Frame, which used a key­board to play a sin­gle, pre­re­corded vo­cal note), it’s tempt­ing to re­gard God­ley and Creme as mere trick­sters.

They are clever, and eclec­tic in their range, from the Yello-es­que Ba­bies to the Steve Re­ichian synth-pop of 1981’s ghostly Un­der My Thumb. How­ever, as 1985’s Cry at­tests, theirs is the am­pli­fied sound of two hearts beat­ing strongly. They per­sisted un­til 1988, re­leas­ing their un­easily won­der­ful har­mon­ica con­certo apoca­lypse al­bum Good­bye Blue Sky be­fore low­er­ing the cur­tain on their part­ner­ship.

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