Various Artists – Strawberry Bubblegum

What 10cc did before they became 10cc

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The 23 tracks here were all written, sung or produced between 1969 and 1973 by one or more future members of 10cc. There’s Ohio Express’ yummy yummy “Sausalito (Is The Place To Go)”, penned by Graham Gouldman during his stint with US production-line bubblegum team Kasenetz-Katz. Godley (the one with the soulful croon) and Creme (he of the cartoon falsetto) use the Doctor Father alias for “There Ain’t No Umbopo”, the sort of novelty primitive-beat pop they finessed as Hotlegs for worldwide 1970 hit “Neanderthal Man”. Meanwhile, Eric Stewart, who part-owned Strawberry Studios (hence the LP title), produces and engineers most of this material, from the sublime?Festival’s “Today”, a prototype for 10cc’s multi-layered gossamer balladry?to the gorblimey?Manchester City’s “Boys In Blue”, tossed off by the group’s three Jewish geniuses in their sleep.

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