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10cc’s ‘I’m Not In Love’: Is It Really A Love Song?

10cc’s I’m Not In Love is one of rock and pop’s most loved love songs, released in 1975 it topped the charts in the UK and almost did the same in America.

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10cc I'm Not In Love

10CC’s ‘I’m Not In Love’ is one of rock’s greatest love songs, one that is loved by everyone. Work on the song began in late 1974 and was finished in 1975 so that it could be included in the band’s ground-breaking album, The Original Soundtrack .

The level of care taken by Stewart and the band over this record is no better illustrated than through the three weeks that Stewart spent recording Gouldman, Godley and Creme singing “ahhh” 16 times for each note of the chromatic scale, building up a “choir” of 48 voices. Eventually Creme suggested that Stewart should create tape loops, these were 12 feet in length raising technical challenges of their own.

Eric Stewart was inspired to write ‘I’m Not In Love’ because of a chance remark by his wife. “Gloria said to me one day, ‘you’ve stopped saying I love you’. ‘Yes, but if I keep saying it, it would no longer have any meaning’. While this was inconsequential banter between us the notion stuck in my mind and when I put the idea to my song-writing partner of a song which said ‘I’m not in love’ and then proceeded to give all the reasons why the singer was totally in love he thought it was great.”

Originally Eric and Graham thought the song would be a shuffle beat, Latin tinged, number along the lines of ‘The Girl From Ipanema’. In the end it turned out very differently. The backing track for the song turned into something akin to the ‘wall of sound’ and when they added the studio secretary saying ‘Big Boys don’t cry, be quiet, big boys don’t cry’ in the middle of the song they knew they had something very special.

“The appeal of the song,” according to Eric, “is simple. It’s exactly what people want to say to their loved one. It’s become ‘our record’ to countless couples. Somehow it conveys that initial rush of pleasure that the four of us had when we recorded it.”

The Original Soundtrack came out in March 1975 in the UK and ‘I’m Not In Lover’ was released, first in the US, in early May, making the Hot 100 on 17 May. It steadily climbed the charts until it made #2 on 26 July, where it stalled for three weeks, kept from No.1 by Van McCoy’s DISCO classic, ‘The Hustle’, The Eagles and ‘One Of These Nights’ and The Bee Gee’s, ‘Jive Talkin’ The single made the UK charts on the last day of May and a month later it spent two weeks at the top.

10cc’s The Original Soundtrack can be bought here.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. CrazyCre8tiv

    May 17, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    I don’t care – the music is amazing!
    Its like a human synth all the way through the track 🙂

  2. John

    May 17, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I interviewed Eric Stewart in 1975 in Boston, 10cc being my favorite group, I asked him why with all the songs they had written – and jokes – why they never wrote a pure “love song.” He said that they did: “I’m Not In Love”. While I understood what he meant, it is still in the usual 10cc ironic tone and not a direct love song. It is such a shame they broke up, the best band ever!!

  3. Barnaby

    May 17, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    I rue the day when Godley and Creme left 10cc as the classic original line up of the band could do no wrong. The Smiths, The Happy Mondays. Oasis, I wouldn’t give them house room! Move over Joy Division,,,,10cc are the best band to have ever emerged from Manchester!

  4. Alice

    August 4, 2016 at 7:26 am

    What has ever happened to this awesome band???

  5. Pierce Henseleit

    May 10, 2017 at 3:41 am

    I’m not in love is not only a classic,but it is timeless as well.

  6. Mark

    May 17, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    I love 10cc. Very artistic fellows.

  7. Vinny Donnellan

    May 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Ive been listening to I’m not in love since it came out in 1975.
    I never ever get tired of listing to it, try listening to it in a darkened room with good volume, it will blow you away.

  8. Cor Dekker

    May 17, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    You won’t believe it! Whilst reading the article on my IPad , I’m not in love started playing on my background music app. Incredible!!

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