SW RECOMMENDS: GODLEY & CREME
Who are they? Kevin Godley and Lol Creme started out as one half of the British art-rock group 10cc but left to pursue more leftfield music. Between 1977 and 1988, the British duo created seven albums and released hit singles such as “Wedding Bells,” “Under Your Thumb,” and “Cry.”
What should I listen to? “Consequences” (1977) is a triple record that seamlessly blends ambitious pop music with an audio play about the end of the world. British comedian Peter Cook voices all the characters in the surreal comedy about a couple who are negotiating a divorce while weird meteorological phenomena rage outside. (At one point, Cook hilariously deadpans: “The hurricane that destroyed Honolulu was moving north toward Florida.”) The album’s ambitious music includes a guest appearance by legendary jazz singer Sarah Vaughan on “Lost Weekend.”
What Steven says: “Consequences” is one of the most ambitious, if not the most ambitious, concept records of the ’70s.
The original inspiration for the record is that Godley and Creme wanted to show off the Gizmotron, a mechanical device they had invented to create cello-like or violin-like textures on the guitar. The whole album was orchestrated using guitars and the Gizmotron. I contacted Lol Creme a few years ago because I wanted to get one. He said the only ones that were ever made have all rusted and don’t work anymore. It’s a piece of technology that’s now lost in time and this album was its calling card.
Godley & Creme were two of the all-time great studio innovators. To simulate what it would sound like for someone to get buried alive, they got hold of a dummy, put microphones inside it and shoveled dirt on top of it. There’s also piece called “Flood” that begins with the sound of a man brushing his teeth and then turning off the tap. But the tap begins to drip and then more and more drips join in until there’s an entire rhythm track consisting of dripping taps. At the time, there were no samplers, so they’re using tape loops. It’s beautifully executed. Every moment of that record is crowned with brilliant ideas that, at the time, wouldn’t have been easy to have realized.
This isn’t a progressive rock album. It’s just a Godley & Creme album. It’s full of great melodies. “Consequences” was slaughtered by critics at the time, but it’s a masterpiece and deserves to be reevaluated.
You might like this if you like: The more experimental, studio-produced side of 10 cc.