The rare and estimable ability to create both catchy, bitesize singles that sounded great on the radio, and sophisticated, ambitious album content, was never better illustrated than in the hands of 10cc. By the time they reached their third long player, The Original Soundtrack, that skill had become second nature to these four innovative British musicians. The album made its UK chart debut on March 22, 1975.
Self-produced as usual, the record soon had the calling card of a typically amusing, irreverent hit single. Within a few weeks of “Life Is A Minestrone” reaching No.7 in the UK, clamour for “I’m Not In Love” to be released as a swift follow-up led to that extraordinary ballad racing to No.1.
The album itself showed 10cc in their most confident and expansive form to date. It opened with the episodic Kevin Godley and Lol Crème composition “Une Nuit A Paris,” all eight minutes and 40 seconds long. For all of the band’s pop sensibilities, The Original Soundtrack contained some dark lyrical themes. Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart addressed the pornography trade on “Blackmail” and the drug trafficking industry on “Flying Junk.”
A 40-week soundtrack
Soundtrack debuted on the British album survey at No.6 and spent its first ten weeks inside the Top 10. It peaked at No.3 in the ninth of those, in May. The album stayed in the Top 40 all the way into October and reappeared intermittently until well over a year after its release. The LP’s aggregate of 40 chart weeks remained the best tally of 10cc’s career.
The NME’s notoriously acerbic Charles Shaar Murray was fulsome in his praise. He marvelled at 10cc’s creative autonomy on The Original Soundtrack. “Once they scuttle into Strawberry Studios,” wrote Murray, “and get stuck into their composing, arranging, producing, engineering, overdubbing, compressing, mixing and so on and so forth, they mess your mind around a treat.”
Buy or stream The Original Soundtrack.