After a three-week lay-off, but still buoyed by our recent chat with Graham, we plough into his interesting and eclectic work in the 70s.
Though not strictly up to the impossibly high standards of songwriting set by his 1968 album 'The Graham Gouldman Thing', some of Graham's solo dabblings in the early part of the 70s came close. It seems to Sean that his short stint as jobbing shirt-and-tie songwriter with Kasenatz and Katz in New York rather knocked the stuffing out of him. But he was given a new lease of life during a dizzying and prolific period of creativity with the other 10cc boys at Strawberry Studios playing on sessions with every Tom, Dick and Rameses that came through the door. He penned some interesting tunes too, including a single for CBS which Paul particularly admires.
We've already documented the major rift between Graham and Eric Stewart, that was further widened after the latter's near-fatal car accident when Gouldman took on two high-profile film projects. 'Sunburn' was, if not a classic, a light-hearted and hit 10cc tune in all but name, and arguably several degrees more heart-warming than anything on the band's album 'Look Hear' from the following year. The B-side's interesting too, with an (amusingly) familiar backing track and some interesting and possibly dark lyrics.
But the main course this week is most definitely Graham's final work of the 1970s, an unassuming soundtrack album for an equally unassuming animated film, semi-released in 1980 into an unfortunate political vacuum surrounding the summer and winter Olympics of that year. That the film 'Animalympics' and Graham's accompanying songs should disappear immediately into obscurity is a huge pity. This album literally bristles with fun, joy and musical ideas. The musical styles are at once pastiche and highly original. Styles range from white-boy Disco and Beatle-y pop, to anthemic or tender ballads, orchestral theme tunes, German Electronica, African tribal rhythms, AOR and The Who. This is a band really having fun! The melodies and musical hooks are literally bulging out of its grooves, and it's truly an album that can be played over and over. It's no Sheet Music, but it is in our opinion more enjoyable and cohesive than any album 10cc released thereafter.
Hope you have as much fun as we did, and see you very soon for more digging around the archives!