You can’t really tell by their big hit “The Things We Do for Love”, but if you listen to their albums, it’s clear that 10cc was always a band with a sharp sense of humor. That was as evident on their third album, The Original Soundtrack, as anywhere else. The best-known song on the album was also their first major US hit, reaching #2 — “I’m Not in Love”. Most of their songs don’t sound outright “wacky”, but they usually have a sly edge to them.
“I’m Not in Love” is a good example, with its story of a man trying to deny his feelings. He keeps a picture of her on the wall, but just because it “hides a nasty stain”. Lyrics aside, the interesting musical thing about that song is the lush “backing vocals”. The video for the song makes no pretense of them being real. You clearly see them controlling the obviously synthesized vocals, almost as though they’re bringing us in on another little joke.
Even the name of the band is tongue-in-cheek. 10cc is the average… uh… “per occurrence output” of a fertile human male.
This album is not the soundtrack to any film, but is itself kind of poking fun at the idea of epic film. It opens with a little mini-opera, “Une Nuit a Paris”, about how “one night in Paris is like a year in any other place”. There’s a song called “Blackmail”, where the singer takes incriminating photos of a cheating woman, which her husband actually ends up loving when he shows them to him.
“Life is a Minestrone” kind of speaks for itself, and the album ends with the overly syrupy (on purpose) “The Film of My Love”.
Give it a listen. You’ll want to see it again and again.