10cc: Look Hear? (1980)

Look Hear? is another unpredictable delight. Oh, wait, I must have fallen asleep face down on the Warner Bros. promotional insert again. Said insert also claims that this is the first album from the new lineup, a distinction that actually belongs to Bloody Tourists. And did you know that Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman wrote the majority of 10cc’s hits? I’ll bet Lol Creme and Kevin Godley didn’t. Okay, enough of picking on Warner Bros., who got what they deserved when Look Hear? tanked like a wet sweater in a swimming pool. As sheepish a collection of pop songs as they’ve recorded, this album audibly retreats into the ‘70s at a most inopportune time. 1980 produced a quantum leap in popular music thanks to albums like Remain In Light, Scary Monsters and Peter Gabriel III. Not that anyone expected 10cc to keep pace, but Look Hear? isn’t even running in the right direction. Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart still deliver a few pleasant melodies on songs like “I Hate To Eat Alone,” “How’m I Ever Gonna Say Goodbye” and “I Took You Home,” but nowhere (except possibly “Lovers Anonymous”) is there a hint of the playful subversion that made their music so palatable in the past. It was enough to end their brief affair with Warner Bros., who could now correctly claim that Look Hear? was the last album recorded by the new lineup. Granted, 10cc wasn’t the only intelligent band to sputter into the ‘80s (Camel and Gentle Giant come to mind). A few limp nods to reggae also slip into the mix, at no time recapturing the cuteness of “Dreadlock Holiday.” If you want to know where 10cc’s talent went, don’t look here; pick up Godley & Creme’s Snack Attack instead.

Original LP Version
A1. One Two Five (Eric Stewart/Graham Gouldman) (5:10)
A2. Welcome To The World (Duncan Mackay/Rick Fenn) (3:40)
A3. How’m I Ever Gonna Say Goodbye (Graham Gouldman/Rick Fenn) (3:36)
A4. Don’t Send We Back (Rick Fenn) (3:16)
A5. I Took You Home (Eric Stewart) (5:13)
B1. It Doesn’t Matter At All (Eric Stewart/Graham Gouldman) (3:59)
B2. Dressed To Kill (Eric Stewart/Graham Gouldman) (3:26)
B3. Lovers Anonymous (Eric Stewart/Graham Gouldman) (5:05)
B4. I Hate To Eat Alone (Graham Gouldman) (2:53)
B5. Strange Lover (Eric Stwart/Graham Gouldman) (3:40)
B6. L.A. Inflatable (Eric Stewart/Graham Gouldman) (4:31)

CD reissue bonus tracks
12. One Two Five (single edit)
13. Only Child

The Players
Paul Burgess (drums, percussion, marimba, timpani), Rick Fenn (lead guitar, electric guitar, backing vocal, lead vocal, acoustic guitar), Graham Gouldman (lead vocal, bass, electric guitar, backing vocal, acoustic guitar, congas), Duncan Mackay (Yamaha CS80, organ, clavinet duo, harpsichord, vocoder, piano, tubular bells, electric piano), Eric Stewart (lead vocal, electric guitar, lead guitar, backing vocal, electric piano, harmony vocal, vocoder, slide lead guitar, maracas, percussion), Stuart Tosh (backing vocal, percussion, timpani). Produced by 10cc; engineered by Eric Stewart and Tony Spath.

The Pictures
Sleeve design and photography by Hipgnosis. Illustration by George Hardie.

The Plastic
Released on elpee and cassette in May 1980 in the UK (Mercury, 9102 505), the US (Warner Bros., BSK/M5 3442), Australia, Germany and New Zealand (Mercury, 6310 507/7109 207), Canada (Mercury, SRM/MCR4-1-3838) and Japan (Mercury, RJ-7656) with lyrics innersleeve and insert; reached #35 on the UK charts and #180 on the US charts. Mercury and Warner Bros. versions feature different album covers. Some regional versions include a poster.

  1. Re-issued on compact disc in Germany (838 828).
  2. Re-issued on compact disc in 1991 in Japan (Mercury, PHCR-6036).
  3. Re-packaged with 10cc (first album) on 2-for-1 compact disc on March 30, 1999 in Russia (UK Records, 10cc-419).
  4. Re-released on expanded, remastered compact disc on June 28, 2006 in Japan (Mercury, UICY-93081) with 2 bonus tracks.
  5. Re-released on expanded super high material compact disc on November 26, 2008 in Japan (Mercury, UICY-93820) with 2 bonus tracks.

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