Over a decade of witty, cinematic pop from Manchester's Becker & Fagen

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Sheer Smart Attack

Hard to believe now, but Queen?Britain’s Second Favourite Band, remember?were once considered an inferior 10cc, their “Bohemian Rhapsody” an attempt to outstrip “Une Nuit A Paris”, the magnificent three-part pseudo-operatic suite from The Original Soundtrack. Not sure how this happened, but fast-forward 30 years and Queen are rock royalty, while 10cc, if they’re lucky, might get VH1 to do a Bands Reunited on them.

But 10cc, capable of brilliant singles and sustained feats of satirical invention that played at 33rpm, are the greatest British pop group of the post-Beatles era. And although they have long been ill-served by a series of budget compilations, this latest two-disc set?comprising their eponymous 1973 debut album and the all-time-classic 1974 follow-up, Sheet Music, in their entirety, plus every B-side from the same period?does them justice. Pseudonymous work aside, The Complete UK Recordings includes everything they put down for Jonathan King’s label before their million-pound transfer to Mercury in 1975.

It’s the perfect showcase for 10cc’s Total Pop. No other band has ever boasted four multi-instrumentalists and vocalists who produced and engineered themselves and wrote in every conceivable member permutation.

Art school kids and future video auteurs Kevin Godley and Lol Cr