10cc

The Complete UK Recordings 1972-1974

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AllMusic Review by

Varese's double-disc set The Complete UK Recordings is a welcome, even necessary, addition to 10cc's catalog, collecting everything the band recorded for Jonathan King's UK Records in the early '70s. That is, it contains the entirety of their first two albums -- 1973's 10cc and 1974's Sheet Music -- along with non-LP singles and B-sides, alternate versions, and single mixes. Given that these two records have floated in and out of print on CD over the years (including a version of the debut on Snapper that had the tracks sequenced as if it were on shuffle play), and have never had a full-fledged U.S. release, this is a valuable reissue, and the two records have never sounded this good, nor have they been presented with much care as they are here. While the alternate single mixes are largely of interest to dedicated fans (and they're the target audience for this, after all), the other non-LP material holds its own with 10cc and Sheet Music, which are the band's two strangest and weirdly inventive records. While the albums that immediately followed Sheet Music -- in particular The Original Soundtrack and Deceptive Bends -- were more accessible, this pair of LPs prove that 10cc were fearless from the outset, willing to fall on their face and happy to indulge in pure ridiculousness. It's not for every taste, even for those who like the band's soft rock hits, but for those who like their pop progressive and spiked with silliness, these two 10cc albums are essential listening, and the best place to hear them is on this exemplary reissue.

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