10cc – The Original Soundtrack – Our Shootout Winner from 2009

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame.

WHAT A RECORD! Both sides are lively, energetic, super transparent and full of ambience. There’s more depth to the soundfield, more WHOMP to the bottom end and more texture to the instruments than you’re going to hear elsewhere. The bottom end is KILLER with some seriously meaty, well-defined bass. The drums sound AMAZING — just listen to all that THWACK to the snare. The overall sound is BIG, BOLD, LIVELY, DYNAMIC, and POWERFUL — in other words, As Good As It Gets!

As good as the DCC Gold CD is, this record has all the MAGIC of ANALOG vinyl — and then some. It’s the kind of sound you will never hear coming from a CD or digital source of any kind, trust me. If there isn’t a huge difference in sound between the Hoffman DCC gold CD and your LP, I can tell you without fear of contradiction that you either A): Need a better front end (turntable, arm, cart, phono stage — which of course we are happy to help you with) or B): have a bad copy of the vinyl. (C would be a combination of the two, which, if I can say it without sounding too smug or arrogant, is the most likely scenario. I haven’t run into too many audiophiles who own a hot copy of The Original Soundtrack, or have the kind of system that can play a record like it. As I am fond of saying, this is the kind of record that is guaranteed to bring any audiophile stereo to its knees.)

The recording itself is a Tour De Force, one reason I’ve been demonstrating my stereo with it for more than thirty years. The extended suite that opens side one, One Night in Paris, has ambience, sound effects, and incredibly dynamic multi-tracked vocals at its climax that will make your jaw drop.

My Personal Brit Copy

I bought my reference Brit copy at Beanos when I was in England many years ago, for those who have been record shopping there. Not too many of these came across the Atlantic, so British pressings of 10cc are quite rare. It should be noted that most record buyers in England do not take very good care of their records. I found this out the hard way when I got home with suitcases and boxes full of LPs, only to find that many were noisy and full of groove damage. Actually that’s not fair; Americans don’t take very good care of their records either. It’s just that American records are quite common and so we expect them to be treated poorly. By the way, the same guy cut both the Brit copies and the domestics, so don’t expect the country of origin alone tell you what to expect from a given pressing. There are Super Hot copies from both countries and the only way to know how one sounds is to play it.

Reinventing The Wall of Sound The Right Way

This is the kind of record that makes you sit up and take notice. It’s classic 10cc everything-but-the-kitchen-sink “Wall of Sound” sound (minus the Phil Spector distortion), the kind big speaker guys like me live for. Supertramp, Yes, Ambrosia, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Zeppelin, Bowie — to this day I’m a sucker for that Cinerama soundstage these bands like to play on. It’s one of the reasons I am a proud owner of the Legacy Whisper speaker system, complete with its eight fifteen inch woofer driver complement. You need that kind of piston power to produce The Really Big Sound with Super Low Distortion at Really High Levels. The louder the better. (We have a pair of highly modified Focuses set up in our listening room as well. Three twelves per channel moves a fair amount of air too.)

We’re CRAZY About This Album

This was my first 10cc album, and I fell in love with it, completely. Used to play it all the time. Une Nuit A Paris, the suite that opens side one, is just an amazing demo track. As you may have read elsewhere on the site, it’s the kind of sound that requires a big powerful stereo to reproduce. Even back in 1975 I had speakers as tall as I was that weighed 300 pounds apiece, so playing a record like this was just a thrill.

It still is. I still love it. And I recommend it highly for those who are fans of the band. If you don’t know who 10cc are, this album and this band will probably make no sense to you, but if you have an open mind and like “art rock” from the ’70s, you may really get a kick out of this one.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Une Nuit a Paris:
Part 1 — One Night in Paris
Part 2 — The Same Night In Paris
Part 3 — Later The Same Night In Paris
I’m Not in Love
Blackmail

Side Two

The Second Sitting for the Last Supper
Brand New Day
Flying Junk
Life Is a Minestrone
The Film of My Love

AMG 4 1/2 Star Rave Review

10cc’s third album, The Original Soundtrack, finally scored them a major hit in the United States, and rightly so; “I’m Not in Love” walked a fine line between self-pity and self-parody with its weepy tale of a boy who isn’t in love (really!), and the marvelously lush production and breathy vocals allowed the tune to work beautifully either as a sly joke or at face value. The album’s opener, “Une Nuit a Paris,” was nearly as marvelous; a sly and often hilarious extended parody of both cinematic stereotypes of life and love in France and overblown European pop. And side one’s closer, “Blackmail,” was a witty tale of sex and extortion gone wrong, with a superb guitar solo embroidering the ride-out. The Original Soundtrack’s best moments rank with the finest work 10cc ever released.