A repost from the past, just in case you might've missed it ---
Kevin Godley/Lol Creme and 10cc
Friday, June 29, 2012
Godley & Creme's 1977 release, 'Consequences' was a quirky, uneven, and extremely self-indulgent three record boxed set that gave new meaning to the word 'sprawling.' The genesis for the package began as a humble one; a simple demonstration record for a clever little device called 'The Gizmo' which had been invented by the two former members of 10cc. This unique gadget was supposedly capable of providing guitarists with a new and wide variety of sonic textures when attached to the bridge of their instrument. But being the adventurous (and mischievous) lads that they were, the pair just couldn't control their impulse for excess. The once straightforward project snowballed out of control to quickly become a conceptual monster; a textbook exercise in immoderation containing an intriguing but overwrought storyline that collapsed under its own weight, and ironically more dialogue than actual music. This was to have been a musical demonstration record after all. That said however, the extremely funny dialogue remarkably came courtesy of the outlandish Peter Cook of Derek & Clive fame. Making use of a sharp wit and multiple voices, his comedic presence certainly had its moments, but it ultimately served to make 'Consequences' an even more esoteric record than anything previously produced by Godley & Creme, either as a duo, or as part of 10cc. And that's no small understatement.
Now I was for one was never fully able to embrace the music of 10cc, perhaps for the same reasons that most others could not. The band was simply too clever for their own good. While Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart offered an accessible pop sensibility to the group, their counterparts Godley & Creme often pushed the envelope just a bit too far with their razzle dazzle. Tongues firmly embedded in cheek, they often unwittingly alienated their audience with a cunning that many found somewhat overbearing and far too droll. It was that directional tug of war within their ranks I contend that sadly prevented the band from ever gaining the popularity they could have earned. Although consistently interesting, the total package was always just slightly out of reach for the average listener (save for the few 'hits' that broke through). While my opinion of Godley/Creme and 10cc has not wavered dramatically over the years, I nevertheless have always appreciated the intelligence, originality, tunefulness, and undisputed musicianship that they brought to the table. And as I've learned more about recording techniques, engineering, and studio tricks of the trade, I've also come to admire their highly adventurous production values.
Upon its first released, critics and fans alike both concluded that 'Consequences' could have been a much stronger recording if only it had been reigned in and edited with a bit of objectivity. So with that in mind it should come as no surprise that I've attempted to do just that; an attempt at presenting a revamped version of 'Consequences' in a brand new light. While having edited quite a bit out of the original, I admittedly have still failed to reign it in however. Rather than paring it down to the equivalent of a single LP, '...Reconsidered, Vols.1&2' remains as sprawling as ever, but happily more tuneful (if only slightly more focused). Eliminating what I perceived as unnecessary and over-indulgent, I instead inserted numerous (and far more musical) selections from the 10cc catalog, all of which were crafted during the period when Godley & Creme were still active members. I had also hoped to retain enough of the dialogue to keep the already convoluted storyline alive, but I'm afraid its now even more tangled than before. I might at least take credit for having kept all the best parts, and also for preventing the dialogue from overshadowing the music as it did on the original.
So what did I accomplish, if anything? Not a whole hell of a lot really. 'Consequences' is a monster that just can't be tamed. However, I think that the addition of the 10cc material does make for a far more rewarding (and certainly more musical) listen. Believe me, if you heard the overreaching six-sided beast in it's native form, you'd likely agree that this version delivers far more bang for the buck, and much less filler.
"As a G major, Mr. Stapleton, you handle the baton."
2 ) "This divorce is just a formality, isn't it?"
3) Don't Hang Up
4) 'A Hole With Or Without Prejudice'
5) Brand New Day
6) Mine, Yours, Ours* / Burial Scene, Pt.1*
7) Art For Art's Sake / Fireworks*
8) The Second Sitting For The Last Supper
9) '10 O'Clock On A Wet And Windy April Morning'
10) Sleeping Earth (Excerpt)*
11) The Flood*
13) 'The Strange Look'
14) Lost Weekend*
15) 'An Atmosphere Of Studied Chaos'
Une Nuit a Paris Suite16) One Night In Paris
17) The Same Night In Paris
18) Later The Same Night In Paris19) "Not the weather, surely?"
21) Flying Junk
"Lead me in with a count of seventeen, Mr. Stapleton!"
1) Five O'Clock In The Morning*
2) I'm Not In Love
3) Burial Scene, Pt.2*
4) "As I understand it..." / 'Popular Music'
5) The Worst Band In The World
6) "Ah, Mrs. Stapleton! Did you hear the news?"
7) The Wall Street Shuffle
8) Cool, Cool, Cool*
9) "The phone's gone dead!"
11) 'The Only Possible Explanation'
12) Office Chase*
13) Mr. Blint's Prelude (from 'Blint's Tune')* / Wind*
14) Life Is A Minestrone
15) 'Theories In Practice'
17) "I think something must be happening!"
18) I'm Mandy, Fly Me
19) "This is chaos! There is no television!"
20) Fire (Reprise)*
21) End Credits (The Film Of My Love)
Source material for 'Godley/Creme & 10cc Reconsidered' comes from the following:Godley & Creme
**The History Mix, Vol.1 (1985)
Sheet Music (1974)
The Original Soundtrack (1975)
How Dare You! (1976)
You can find the original source material for 'Consequences' at Willard's Wormholes