Song Review by Dave Thompson

The first song 10cc recorded following the quartet's decision to abandon session work and form its own band instead, Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman's "Waterfall" was demoed at the band's own Strawberry Studios in early 1972. The group had recently completed work on Neil Sedaka's latest album and, when Stewart traveled to London to master the tapes at the Beatles' Apple studios, he took an acetate of "Waterfall" with him, hoping to persuade Apple to release it as a single. Months later, he received a rejection slip saying that the song wasn't commercial enough to be released -- by which time, bandmates Kevin Godley and Lol Crème had come up with another song which was "Donna." That became 10cc's first single -- "Waterfall" would remain unreleased until early the following year, when it backed the group's "Rubber Bullets" smash hit. A haunting, West Coast-flavored power ballad more suited to Stewart, Godley, and Crème's earlier incarnation as Hotlegs than to the wildly inventive 10cc, "Waterfall" was passed over for inclusion on the band's debut album, finally making its LP debut on the 1975 100cc collection. It then reappeared on the 1977 Live and Let Live live album, recorded in London following Godley/Crème's departure, by which time it had metamorphosed into an eight-minute concert anthem, highlighted by some characteristically excellent Stewart guitar work and a disconcerting mid-section reggae break.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
10cc 1973 Original Masters 0:00
100cc 1975 UK 3:41
Live and Let Live 1977 7T's 0:00
10cc/Sheet Music 1990 DCC Compact Classics 3:41
Early Years 1994 Castle Music Ltd.
Best of the Early Years 2000 Music Club International Records 3:42
Two from Ten 2000 Recall (UK) 4:02
The Complete UK Recordings 1972-1974 2004 Varèse Vintage / Varese 3:41
I'm Not in Love: The Essential 10cc 2012 Spectrum Music / Universal 7:48
Tenology 2012 Mercury Records / Universal 3:39