Album: The Original Soundtrack, 1975
Justification: Yeah, I’m amazed this is on the list as well. You know whose fault it is? Brian Rietzell’s.
See, the former drummer of Redd Kross (and frequent drummer in Air) now mainly works in soundtracks and often has that sweetest of sweet jobs: “music supervisor”, which is basically the job of inventing a film’s mixtape. He’s amazingly good at this, coming up with the kick-ass soundtracks for Lost in Translation and The Virgin Suicides. No, Air did the score for The Virgin Suicides, which is also awesome, but there was a soundtrack that contained all these period-specific songs (and Sloan, for some reason): Heart, Todd Rundgren, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Styx and, significantly, 10cc.
This song was one of their biggest hits, it was the song that got them their record deal and it is still an amazing piece of recording – that backing track is 256 voices, or to be more specific it’s the four members of 10cc singing each note in unison, then overdubbing, then bouncing the overdubs down on the 16 tracks, then doing it again. It’s also the perfect example of how bands are meant to work: it was written by one of the band’s two songwriting teams, Eric Stewart and Graham Goulding, with the other two members coming up with the two most significant arrangement suggestions: Lol Creme suggesting slowing it right down and giving it a bossa nova rhythm, and Kevin Godley was the guy who came up with the multitracked backing choir.
The band didn’t last too long, though, at least not in this incarnation: it fractured down the middle the following year with Stewart and Goulding continuing under the name while Godley and Creme forming their eponymous duo and becoming one of the most successful makers of music videos in the 80s. Duran Duran‘s ‘Girls on Film’? Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Two Tribes’? The Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take?’ Wang Chung’s ‘Everybody Have Fun Tonight’? All theirs – and their video for their own hit ‘Cry’ was the first clip to use video morphing technology. And I did not give the slightest of shits about their former band until this song turned up on The Virgin Suicides and knocked me sideways.
THIS TIME IN 2010: Belly were cuting up with ‘Feed the Tree’.