portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Yeah you got it . . . . . . . 

On this day in music history: May 12, 1975 - “I’m Not In Love” by 10cc is released. Written by Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman, it is the eleventh single and biggest hit for the art rock band from Stockport, Cheshire, UK. “I’m Not In Love” is inspired by a conversation that Stewart has with his wife, she feels that he doesn’t tell her often enough that he loves her. He states in return, that by repeating the phrase “I love you” too often, that it lessened its meaning. Later he thinks about what he has said, creating the narrative around a man who outwardly denies his feelings for a woman he really is in love with. Showing the song to Gouldman, he suggests some chord changes and writes the bridge. Their band mates are initially unimpressed, and the song is nearly discarded entirely when it is recorded with a bossa nova styled arrangement. They dislike it so much, that the master is erased. A short time later, Eric asks if they can try re-recording it, but this time Kevin comes up with an unorthodox idea. He suggests that they create a track with a literal wall of voices featuring Gouldman, Godley and Creme singing. The trio spend three weeks recording the vocal phrase “ahhhh” sixteen times for each note of the chromatic scale, building up a choir of 256 voices that are spread across a sixteen track multi-track tape. Wanting the voices to repeat in perpetuity, they create several tape loops each twelve feet in length. Having made numerous tape to tape bounces of the choir section results in an audible degradation of the vocals, creating the eerie, soft sound that is one of the songs hallmarks. All four create the track moving the faders up and down, literally playing the mixing desk like a keyboard. The bass drum sound is created using a Moog synthesizer rather than a traditional drum kit, then adding electric piano, guitar and bass. The female voice whispering “be quiet… big boys don’t cry…” is that of Strawberry Studios secretary Cathy Redfern. After attempting to re-record his lead vocal, Stewart’s original guide vocal is used for the finished version. Clocking in at over six minutes, “I’m Not In Love” is issued as the second single from 10cc’s third album “The Original Soundtrack”. It is an immediate smash in the UK, quickly leaping to #1 on June 28, 1975. “Love” is nearly cut in half for the US and Canadian single releases, though many stations prefer to play the long version. It follows its UK success, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 on July 26, 1975, holding that position for three weeks. One of the most popular and enduring songs of the 70’s, “I’m Not In Love” is covered numerous times over the years, with versions by Richie Havens, Petula Clark, The Pretenders, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, and Will To Power. 10cc’s original recording is featured in numerous films including “Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason”, “The Virgin Suicides” and “Guardians Of The Galaxy”.

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