Top Artists – 10cc

Universals’s Reissue of 10cc’s Masterpiece on Heavy Vinyl Gets Panned

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Universal 180 Gram LP

Sonic Grade: F

This new Universal Super DeLuxe import LP appears to be the regular vinyl version that, for all we know, might actually still be in print in Europe. It appears to have been specially pressed on heavy import vinyl for our domestic market as part of the new Universal Heavy Vinyl series. Either that or it’s being made from the old metalwork for the LP that would have been available most recently in Europe (out of print by now I should think).

Which is a very long-winded way of saying that it is not in any real sense remastered, if such a claim is being made for it or the series. Rather it has simply been repressed on Heavy Vinyl in Europe and imported to the states. None of which is either here nor there because the record is an absolute DISASTER.

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10cc – 10cc – Our Shootout Winner from 2014

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

These British original pressings are surprisingly hard to find; Sheet Music is a tough one these days too. We’re lucky to find one clean copy of either title in a given year. We’ll be looking harder from now on though, because this record sounds great and the music is a blast.

One interesting finding from this, our first extensive shootout, was that some of the domestic pressings could actually sound quite good, something I would not have expected to be true for this album (or Sheet Music for that matter). (more…)

10cc – Sheet Music – Our Shootout Winner from 2010

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

A KILLER SIDE ONE backed with a STRONG side two. We just finished our first shootout in years for this great album and this copy has a side one that just couldn’t be beat. The sound is lively, full-bodied and rich with exceptional clarity and transparency. Those of you who have gotten a kick out of our Deceptive Bends or Original Soundtrack albums are obviously going to find a lot to like here.

Side two has nice weight to the bottom end and good presence, but doesn’t have the last degree of resolution that side one gives you. There’s a touch of grain on the vocals, but that’s par for the course. We gave this side an A+, which means it should beat the pants off most copies out there.

If you are not familiar with this recording, you will find few rock records as dynamic immediate, punchy and as full of ambience and openness as this. Eric Stewart was and is a studio wizard and he worked his magic big time on this album.

I would have to say that this is the most consistently well written 10cc album, with every track being excellent, one song flowing into the next and never a dull moment to be found. This is arguably the best record they ever made, although I’m such a fan, I think they’re all great! (The first five albums anyway.) (more…)

10cc – Deceptive Bends – Our Shootout Winner from 2008

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame and another in our series of Demo Discs for Bass.

The remarkable level of transparency found on this copy allows you to pick out each background vocal and follow it throughout the choruses. The bass here is PERFECTION: it’s deep, punchy and POWERFUL. When you get the right pressing of this album, the bass is so good it will make every other rock record you own sound positively anemic.

This is the kind of recording that will have you asking yourself “Why don’t my other rock records sound like this?” (more…)

10cc – Deceptive Bends – A Tough Test for Sibilance

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Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you go about critically evaluating your copies of Deceptive Bends.

On side two the tonal balance is especially critical. Any boost to the top end will cause the vocals on the second track to SPIT LIKE CRAZY. This is a good test for how well your cartridge and arm are doing their jobs. 

Sibilance is a bitch. The best pressings, with the most extension up top and the least amount of aggressive grit and grain mixed in with the music, played using the highest quality properly set up front ends, will keep siblilance to a minimum.

VTA, tracking weight, azimuth and anti-skate adjustments are critical to reducing the spit in your records. (more…)

10cc’s The Original Soundtrack – Is There a Better Sounding Record on the Site?

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On any given day a White Hot side one of The Original Soundtrack could very well be the best sounding record on the site.

“On any given day” being a day when we don’t have a hot German copy of Dark Side of the Moon to offer, or a killer Eagles first album, or a top copy of the self-titled BS&T, or an RL Zep II, or a White Hot Teaser and the Firecat. Most days we don’t have such records on the site, and on those days this 10cc album is a recording Tour De Force that would be bigger, bolder, more dynamic, and more powerful than anything we could throw against it.
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10cc – How Dare You!

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  • You’ll find solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this outstanding early UK pressing of 10cc’s fourth album, How Dare You! – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This wonderful LP will show you that 10cc’s commitment to Audiophile Recording Quality was – at the time – beyond reproach 
  • Forget the dubby domestic stuff and the no-doubt-awful Heavy Vinyl, this early British pressing is huge, spacious and rich, with prodigious amounts of bass, like no other copy you’ve heard
  • 4 stars: “…a well-crafted album that shows off 10cc’s eccentric humor and pop smarts in equal measure… it remains a solid album of witty pop songs that will satisfy anyone with a yen for 10cc.”

With this superb British pressing some of you who might consider yourselves more devoted fans of the band will finally be able to hear what a good recording this is. The typical domestic copy is a disaster as are some of the British originals and reissues; we should know, we cleaned them, played them and heard them for ourselves. (more…)

Letter of the Week – How Dare You!

How Dare You!

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom,   

Now, thanks for 10cc. I know I know… for some weird reason I never listened to them and… wow. Just wow! I hesitated between 3 albums on your site and ended up getting Dare because my wife really liked that album — we were listening on crappy Amazon MP3 to pick a LP from you guys. 

But Original Soundtrack… came a close second. And actually Deceptive Bend is great too, just that I wanted my first 10cc to be with the original crew.

10cc – 10cc

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  • With a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side one and a side two that’s close to it, this copy was great fun to play 
  • The sound is big, lively, clear and present, probably pretty close to what the band was going for 
  • 4 stars: “Displaying a command of pop styles and satire, 10cc showed that they are a force to be reckoned with on their first album. Hooks abound, harmonies shine, and instrumentation is dazzling without being overdone. Whether doing loving parodies of the music they grew up with or satirizing contemporary issues, 10cc show themselves to be top-level purveyors of pop on their debut recording.”

One interesting finding from this, our first extensive shootout, was that some of the domestic pressings could actually sound quite good, something I would not have expected to be true for this album (or Sheet Music for that matter). (more…)

10cc – Deceptive Bends – Listening in Depth

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Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with specific advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you go about critically evaluating your copies of Deceptive Bends.

We’ve long been huge fans of this album both musically and sonically. It’s the kind of recording where the sound JUMPS out of the speakers. It reminds me of Crime Of The Century that way. It’s also one of the most DYNAMIC popular recordings I know of. If this album doesn’t wake up your system, it’s time to scrap it and start over! Musically it’s one of my all time favorite albums, a real Desert Island disc. 

One of the many elements that combine to push this album well beyond the bounds of most popular recordings is the thought and care that went into the soundstaging. Listen to the stereo separation on any track — the sound of each instrument has been carefully considered within the context of the arrangement and placed in a specific location within the soundfield for a reason — usually that reason is for MAXIMUM EFFECT.

That’s why we LOVE 10cc. Their recordings from this era are an audiophile dream come true. Compare that to some of the stereo mixes for the Beatles albums, where an instrument or vocal seems to panned to one channel or another not because it SHOULD be, but because it COULD be. With 10cc those hard-left, hard-right effects make the songs JUMP. They call attention to themselves precisely because the band is having a blast in the studio, showing off all the tricks they have up their sleeves. They want you to get as big a kick out of hearing them as they did conjuring them up. (more…)