English rockers 10cc split the difference between soft rock and art pop, a distinctive blend that resulted in five straight UK Top 10 albums in the mid-’70s.
• Original members Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley, and Lol Creme had played together in various configurations since 1964. All four wrote songs, sang, and played multiple instruments. After releasing singles as Hotlegs, Doctor Father, and Crazy Elephant, they became 10cc in 1972. A self-titled album followed in 1973.
• The band began a run of Top 10 albums in 1974 with Sheet Music, which reached No. 9 in the UK. One of the album’s three singles, “The Wall Street Shuffle,” peaked at No. 10 in the UK.
• Each of the band’s next four albums—The Original Soundtrack (1975), How Dare You! (1976), Deceptive Bends (1977), and Bloody Tourists (1978)—made the UK Top 5.
• The group also notched 11 UK Top 10 singles during the ’70s, including three that went to No. 1: 1973’s “Rubber Bullets,” 1975’s “I’m Not in Love,” and 1978’s “Dreadlock Holiday.”
• Despite 10cc’s success, creative tension prompted Creme and Godley to split off in 1976 during sessions for Deceptive Bends. Gouldman and Stewart completed the album with backup tour drummer Paul Burgess before adding guitarist Rick Fenn, drummer Stuart Tosh, and keyboardist Tony O’Malley to the band—the start of frequent lineup changes.
• Stewart damaged his left ear in a 1979 car crash that prevented him from playing music for six months, forcing 10cc to cancel touring plans. When they returned in 1980 with Look Hear?, punk and new wave had become ascendant, and the album only reached No. 35 in the UK.
• After 10cc’s 1981 album Ten Out of 10 failed to chart and 1983’s Windows in the Jungle stalled at No. 70, the band went on hiatus while Stewart and Gouldman worked on other projects.
• All four original members got back together for 10cc’s 1992 album ...Meanwhile, which didn’t chart. Stewart and Gouldman were left on their own again to make 1995’s Mirror Mirror, 10cc’s last album before splitting again.
• Gouldman revived the 10cc name in 1999 with Fenn, Burgess, and others for regular tours, which sometimes featured guest appearances from Godley. Gouldman and Godley also occasionally wrote songs together into the 2010s.