10cc: Bloody Tourists (1978)

bloody tourists album coverThe last of the melodic money shots, if their next album is any indication. 10cc had swelled to a sextet following their last tour, though the focus remains the sharp songwriting of Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart. Bloody Tourists isn’t the adventurous 10cc of old, having settled into a kind of Kinks/Wings pop quirkiness since Deceptive Bends. It is the last album to contain what could be considered essential 10cc songs: “Dreadlock Holiday” (the best pro-marijuana reggae novelty song you’ll ever hear) and “For You And I” (immaculate pop in the vein of “I’m Not In Love”). Just a notch below them are intelligent album cuts like “From Rochdale To Ocho Rios,” “Life Line” and “Reds In My Bed” (sung by Stuart Tosh, who sounds like a lost Davies brother). The rest of the album is less memorable but still ambitious for pop music, and the only way 10cc can fail is when they lack ambition. There is no unifying theme on Bloody Tourists that I can find, though the narratives are often written from the perspective of someone in a dangerous environment: an englishman in Jamaica, an alcoholic at a bar, a reluctant spy in Russia. And one track, “Life Line,” feels like a leftover from How Dare You (albeit a tasty leftover). If you enjoy the melodic craft of 10cc minus the spills and thrills, Bloody Tourists is a bloody well done pop album in spots. It’s a little like riding the “safe” rollercoaster at the amusement park, but not everyone pined for the queasy contributions of Godley and Creme.

Original LP Version
A1. Dreadlock Holiday (Eric Stewart/Graham Gouldman) (4:28)
A2. For You And I (Eric Stewart/Graham Gouldman) (5:20)
A3. Take These Chains (Eric Stewart/Graham Gouldman) (2:36)
A4. Shock On The Tube (Don’t Want Love) (Eric Stewart) (3:38)
A5. Last Night (Graham Gouldman/Rick Fenn) (3:10)
A6. The Anonymous Alcoholic (Eric Stewart/Graham Gouldman) (5:38)
B1. Reds In My Bed (Eric Stewart/Stuart Tosh) (4:08)
B2. Life Line (Graham Gouldman) (3:26)
B3. Tokyo (Eric Stewart) (4:29)
B4. Old Mister Time (Eric Stewart/Duncan Mackay) (4:27)
B5. From Rochdale To Ocho Rios (Graham Gouldman) (3:41)
B6. Everything You’ve Wanted To Know About!!! (Exclamation Marks) (Eric Stewart) (4:25)

All songs arranged by 10cc.

CD reissue bonus track
13. Nothing Can Move Me

The Players
Paul Burgess (cow bells, congas, marimba, triangle, a go go bells, timbales, drums, concert bass drums, clockenspiel, disco drums, military snare drum, tambourine, roto-toms, vibes, percussion, backing vocals), Rick Fenn (lead guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals, organ, Moog solo, polymoog, Moog brass, sax, Rick Fenn’s dorking horns, acoustic guitar, fretless bass, tambourine, percussion), Graham Gouldman (lead vocal, bass, electric guitar, cabasa, backing vocals, six string bass, acoustic guitar, harmony vocals, fuzz bass, bass zither, wind chimes, tambourine, percussion, whistle), Duncan Mackay (Yamaha CS80, grand piano, violin, backing vocals, electric piano, Moog, Taurus bass pedals, tambourine, percussion, steel drum solo), Eric Stewart (lead vocal, electric guitar, electric piano, backing vocals, organ, maracas, Moog trumpets, polymoog strings, lead guitar, grand piano, slide guitar, harmony vocals, cow bell, fuzz guitar, M/C), Stuart Tosh (drums, backing vocals, tambourine, snare drum, cow bell, jingle bells, trombone, bongos, disco drums, congas, lead vocal, cabasa, military snare drum) with Kate Spath (cello on B4), Tony Spath (backing vocals on B5). Produced by Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman; engineered by Eric Stewart, Tony Spath, Keith Bessey; mixed and re-mixed by Eric Stewart.

The Pictures
Cover design and photos by Hipgnosis. Graphics by George Hardie.

The Plastic
Released on elpee, cassette and 8-track in September 1978 in the UK (Mercury, 9102 503/7231 303), the US (Polydor, PD/CT/8T-1-6161), Australia, Germany, India, Israel and the Netherlands (Mercury, 6310 504), Canada (Polydor, PD/PD4-1-6161) and Japan (Mercury, RJ-7504) with gatefold cover and lyrics innsersleeve; reached #3 on the UK charts and #69 on the US charts. Some regional versions feature custom picture label of beach scenes in some cases (I’m not sure if these were first pressings or just early pressings). 8-track features slightly different track order.

  1. Re-issued on cassette in 1983 in the UK (Mercury, PRIMC 6).
  2. Re-issued on compact disc in Germany (Mercury, 826 921).
  3. Re-issued on compact disc in 1989 in Japan (Mercury, PPD-3044).
  4. Re-issued on compact disc on December 5, 1991 in Japan (Mercury, PHCR 6035).
  5. Re-released on expanded, remastered compact disc in 1997 in the UK and the US (Mercury, 534 973) with 1 bonus track.
  6. Re-issued on expanded, remastered compact disc on February 18, 1998 in Japan (Mercury, PHCR-4420) with 1 bonus track.
  7. Re-issued on expanded, remastered compact disc on December 12, 2001 in Japan (Mercury, UICY-9176) with 1 bonus track.

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