10cc - HOW DARE YOU
This is 10cc's finest album. Some tracks get in the way, like 'Head Room' and 'Iceberg', but there's some beautifully lush moments in 'Lazy Ways', 'I'm Mandy Fly Me' and 'Don't Hang Up'. Eric Stewart's guitar playing is especially notable, and the musical prowess of the group is apparent throughout.
The title track, and opener, is the sparkling instrumental, 'How Dare You', seamlessly followed by 'Lazy Ways' - a smooth song for summer. 'I'm Mandy Fly Me' is a wonderfully crafted pop song. A great pop song indeed, and somewhat underrated. 'I Wanna Rule The World' is 10cc at their most eccentric.
'Art For Arts Sake' is the first track on side 2, and has the most interesting lyrical content of any track on the album, and shows the band at their rocking best. 'Rock 'n' Roll Lullaby' is a charming singalong, and the final track, 'Don't Hang Up', allows Kevin Godley's wonderfully moving voice to really shine.
Irritating to very witty, lyrically, and musically - as always with 10cc, but this is no curate's egg, and, sadly, Creme & Godley's leaving the group soon after left us wondering what if...Along with Queen, 10cc were the most inventive and creative British group of the mid-'70s.
- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
Eric Stewart recalled the origins of 'I'm Mandy Fly Me' in a BBC Radio Wales interview...
"American Airlines used to have this beautiful poster that they displayed, of this gorgeous stewardess inviting you onto the plane. Now her name wasn't Mandy actually, it was something like, er, "I'm Cindy", a very American name. "I'm Cindy, fly me," which was a quite sexual connotation as well, but I remember seeing in Manchester this beautiful poster and just below it was this tramp, I mean a serious tramp, quite a raggedy guy, looking up at this girl, and I thought God, do you know, there's a song there. Look at that guy looking up at Cindy-fly-me and I know he's never gonna get on an aeroplane, I don't think, except in his dreams.
So I brought the idea back to the studio, where we were writing for the 'How Dare You' album, and put it to the guys: "Anybody interested in this 'I'm Mandy Fly Me'". I'd switched it to Mandy. And Graham (Gouldman) said: "Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. I've got some ideas, I've got some chords. Let's slot those things in, try it, mess it around". We wrote it, and we didn't like it. We scrapped it. It just wasn't going anywhere.
But, enter from stage left, ha ha, the 'wicked villain' Kevin Godley, twiddling his moustache. He says: "I know what's wrong with it. Let's sit down again." He said: "I think it just gets too bland, it just goes on, on one plane, your verses and your middles and your der-der-der, they're all going on the one plane. What it needs is someone to go 'Bash' on the side of your head". So we changed the rhythm completely, and we put two whacking great guitar solos in there, in the middle of this quiet, soft, floaty song. Once we'd got that idea in, it just gelled into something else. Again, impossible to dance to, as a lot of 10cc tracks were, but once Kevin had put that in, he became the third writer in the song, so we were quite democratic in that way."
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