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 groundbreaking 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 Love” was released, first in the US, in early May, making the Hot 100 on May 17 . It steadily climbed the charts until it made #2 on July 26, 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.