10cc : Tokyo
On September 1, 1978 10cc released Bloody Tourists, the second of the band's albums without the artsy Godley and Creme and the last of the band's classic titles. I loved this album when it came out. Hearing these polished, clever tunes takes me right back to my days as a teenager seeking musical refuge in a strict boarding school. Decades later I'm less impressed with the humor and the Caribbean influences of songs like "Dreadlock Holiday" and "From Rochdale to Ocho Rios". I'm no fan of "Shock on the Tube" and can't even enjoy the disco bridge of "The Anonymous Alcoholic". I guess I grew up.
The stand out track for middle aged me is the deep cut "Tokyo", based on production values I should quickly add.
Yes at this point 10cc was really missing Godley and Creme. Where the hell were they? The answer is below.
Godley and Creme : This Sporting Life
In 1978 Godley and Creme followed up their three album set, Consequences, with L. The first time I ever called my college radio station with a request was for "This Sporting Life", which led the DJ to complement me on my choice, ( Every one else wanted to hear something from the Violent Femmes debut). I found a cassette of this for 99 cents in the cutout bin at a Woolworth's in 1981. Best dollar I ever spent!
L is what we all wanted from the quirky and more surreal half of the original 10cc. "This Sporting Life", the 7:25 lead off track, begins by asking "Are you bored? Are you jaded? Has all enthusiasm faded?". It's a cosmic montage of a tune, a musical "Revolution No 9", that ends with a crowd chanting "jump, jump, jump" to a suicidal man on a ledge. L is one of 1978's great unknown gems.