By John Bruinsma
Pop music isn't made for eternity. But regularly, records manage to evade the "best before" date.

They had already made a standard album, "Sheet Music" (1974) and established their name world-wide with a classic hit single, "I'm Not In Love" (1975), when in 1976 the album was released that can be considered to be crucial in their complete works. "How Dare You" is the creation in which Lol Creme, Kevin Godley, Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman - together the British pop group 10cc - didn't spare their talents.De Gelderlander

10cc started in 1972 with a march that would meet with a response mainly on the European continent. What the pop loving audience held for the umpteenth hit group, turned out to be a rare bunch of musical and artistical experience, compositional quality, vocal strength and productional polish.

As a composer, Gouldman already had a couple of hits to his credit - "No Milk Today, Bus Stop" - when he still had to start writing "Wall Street Shuffle" and "I'm Not In Love" with Stewart who had developed himself as guitarist and singer in The Mindbenders. His productional and technical mastermind was formed in Strawberry Studios in Manchester, which he had bought, of which the name -not accidentally - refers to "Strawberry Fields Forever", by the Beatles.

The graphically educated Godley and Creme squared, with their input as songwriter, instrumentalist, singer and cover designer the separate craftsmanship of the tandem Stewart-Gouldman not just as makers of popmusic, but they also added another dimension, with their desire to stay off the straight and narrow. As Stewart and Gouldman on the other side, appeared to be the contra weight with which the experimental interest of Godley and Creme was kept in balance.

"How Dare You" is the sampling of 10cc, in all respects. An intriguing, perfectly produced, almost unreal record. With compositions in which peculiar leading characters and events require quite a bit of the imagination of the listener (you're welcome though).

A scapegoat bent on revenge in "I Wanna Rule The World"; a saving angel in "I'm Mandy Fly Me," psychopath in "Iceberg", a dumped husband in "Don't Hang Up." Dreamed little universes, casted in a mould of music that perfectly combines with the lyrics.

"How Dare You" was no revision exercise but a new phase in the development of 10cc. Or better put: de final phase. Because not long after the release of the record, the band split up in two. The leisure activity of Godley and Creme - the gizmo, a self-invented device with which an electric guitar can be played as a string instrument - turned out to be disastrous for the control over the centrifugal powers brought about by this unique quartet. After which Stewart and Gouldman carried on under the same flag and made other smash hits like "The Things We Do For Love" and "Dreadlock Holiday". Godley and Creme eventually found a new hobby when the gizmo was no success: the videoclip. Oh well, so much talent will find its way.

E-mail John Bruinsma.

This article was originally published in the Dutch newspaper "De Gelderlander", 3rd April 1999.

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