Vocalist/guitarist Graham Gouldman was a songwriter of pop hits during the 1960s.
Eric Stewart, meanwhile, got his break in The Mindbenders. As for Godley and Creme – they sloped off to art school but kept in touch with their pals in the music business.
When Wayne Fontana left The Mindbenders and the group found themselves hitless, Stewart wisely invested his earnings in a recording studio (Strawberry Studios) in the Cheshire town of Stockport.
Godley, Creme and Stewart would spend their spare time at the studio dreaming up pop songs, and one of these – Neanderthal Man – became a massive novelty hit in 1970, released under the name Hotlegs. Gouldman joined in and the quartet sent some of their tracks to pop impresario Jonathan King for evaluation.
In 1972, after signing to King’s UK label and rechristening themselves 10cc, the group released Donna, a recreation of 1950s Doo-Wop so authentic that people assumed the song was 15 years old.
The single reached #2 on the British charts, establishing not only a long-running string of major hits but also the quartet’s fondness for ironic and affectionate reclamations of musty pop styles.
The single Rubber Bullets topped the charts in 1973 and their eponymous debut album emerged to widespread critical acclaim.
1974’s singles included Wall Street Shuffle, Silly Love and Life Is a Minestrone and helped continue 10cc’s dominance of the English charts. Unfortunately, they had no success in the US prior to the release in 1975 of I’m Not in Love, which topped the charts at home and climbed to #2 in the States.
After 1975’s The Original Soundtrack and the next year’s How Dare You? Godley and Creme left the band to focus on video production as well as developing ‘The Gizmo’, a guitar effects device the duo invented.
In the wake of their departure, Gouldman and Stewart continued on alone, enlisting the aid of session musicians to record 1977’s Deceptive Bends, highlighted by The Things We Do for Love.
10cc returned in 1978 with Bloody Tourists, which yielded the cricket-influenced #1 reggae nod Dreadlock Holiday. Following a series of unsuccessful efforts, including Look Hear? (1980), 10 Out of 10 (1981) and Window in the Jungle (1983), the group disbanded.
In 1992, the original lineup of 10cc reunited for the LP Meanwhile, while only Gouldman and Stewart remained for Mirror Mirror (1993).
Vocals, bass, guitar
Vocals, guitar, keyboards
Guitar, keyboards, vocals