15. 10cc, Bloody Tourists

10cc wasn’t a band that was going to let a little thing like a break-up slow them down. The quartet that started in the late nineteen-sixties and began formally using the name 10cc in 1972 reached a serious impasse in 1976, with original members Kevin Godley and Lol Creme deciding they could no longer work within the current environment, splitting off to do their own thing, beginning with that year’s triple-album set Consequences. Godley and Creme felt the other creative pair in the band, Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart, were ultimately creating music that was too safe. If commercial success was a measure of safe acceptability, the departing band members may have had a point. It was Gouldman and Stewart who crafted the band’s biggest hit to date, the worldwide #1 (and #2 charter in the U.S.) “I’m Not in Love.”

With Godley and Creme gone, 10cc was filled out with former back-up drummer Paul Burgess and eventually keyboardist Duncan Mackay. Bloody Tourists was the second album released under the 10cc name after the official split. The group wasn’t commanding the same level of attention they’d had previously, with none of the album’s singles cracking the Billboard Top 40, although lead offering “Dreadlock Holiday” (reportedly inspired by the experiences of Justin Hayward, lead singer of the Moody Blues, while vacationing in the Caribbean) came close. The song did manage to top the charts in their native U.K., the third time they’d accomplished that feat. In general, though, the album was considered lackluster, a sign that maybe persisting under the 10cc name wasn’t the best strategy. Gouldman and Stewart reporting satisfaction with the absence of friction upon the departure of their bandmates, but there’s something to be said for the give and take of a fractious collective when making music.

10cc never really has any other hits, although there were three more albums by the band before a more decisive break-up (naturally, there were reunion efforts years later). It may have been the natural atrophy of a pop act that brought about the end of there commercial prospects. There was also the problem of a serious auto accident involving Stewart, in 1979, that hampered the ability of the band to move forward (among other things, Stewart’s hearing was impaired). Godley and Creme kept making music together, too, snagging their own U.S. Top 40 hit with the odd pop opus “Cry.”

Previously…
An Introduction
–26: Darkness on the Edge of Town
–25: Give Thankx
–24: Caravan to Midnight
–23: Next of Kihn
–22: 52nd Street
–21: Crafty Hands
–20: Luxury You Can Afford
–19: Some Girls
–18: Mr. Gone
–17: Stage
–16: Pieces of Eight

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