Godley & Creme

The History Mix, Vol. 1

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A decade after Kevin Godley and Lol Creme walked out on 10cc and took half of that band's magic with them, the pair convened a reunion of sorts with The History Mix, Vol. 1, the ultimate ideal of all that the then-infant industry of remixing had to offer. The utterly gorgeous (and surprisingly successful) "Cry" notwithstanding, the basic premise of the album was to assemble a batch of the duo's past triumphs -- 11 in all, with only four pre- or postdating the 10cc era -- and then recycle them into five separate cuts that fall somewhere between Frank Zappa and a deranged interpretation of an early Residents album. All of which makes for a collection that is alternately infuriating (ten minutes of the hook line from "Business Is Business" spliced with the "humdrum" intro from "The Dean and I"), intriguing (the combination of key elements from "How Dare You" and "Neanderthal Man"), and plain compulsive (the gentle drift from "I'm Not in Love"'s whispered "big boys don't cry" into "Cry" itself is a masterpiece in its own right). With producer Trevor Horn at the helm, the overall sound of the album is very much a child of its age -- however, the only moment that has truly dated is the insertion of a reference to Hill Street Blues into a fragmented "Rubber Bullets." Nevertheless, it's an album that is best recommended only to fans who actually know the original songs, and who'll appreciate the fresh landscapes into which they've been spliced -- one reason, presumably, for the CD reissue of the album adding in a handful of other, more conventional Godley & Creme concoctions. They, at least, give the impression of a commercially valid experience. In its natural state, it's simply the sound of invigorating sonic madness.

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