Blog Post – 10cc – I’m Not In Love
10cc – I’M NOT IN LOVE – More tape loops!
In this blog post, we take the way-back machine to look at the recording of a classic track, “I’m Not In Love” by 10cc. If you’ve heard this track, and most people have, that middle section with the ‘big boys don’t cry’ breakdown causes you to sit up and take notice! Actually, the single version that also was released removed that section, so as to not disrupt the flow of the song.
Did you also know that the song won three Ivor Novello Awards in 1976 for Best Pop Song, International Hit of the Year, and Most Performed British Work? Yes, and it’s been played on radio over THREE million times!
What is that strange ‘wash’ of sound in the background underneath the lyrics and instruments? How was that created? How about that pulsing kick drum sound? Read on…
10cc were known for endless studio experimentation and creativity. When Eric Stewart brought the song to the other band members, after having Graham Gouldman finish is, it was a bossa nova track and the two other members, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme didn’t like it. Godley went so far as to say “It’s crap! Leave it…”, which they did for awhile before returning to it when a studio employee was overheard whistling the melody! Godley suggested for it to work it had to be radically overhauled, which resulted in the lead vocal being mainly supported by backing vocals, but oh what backing vocals.
The band also decided that a full drum kit would overpower the song and make it less powerful, so the pulsing kick drum is actually a Moog synthesiser!
Three weeks was spent in the studio recording Gouldman, Godley and Creme singing “ahhh” 16 times for each note of the chromatic scale, building up a “choir” of 48 voices for each note of the scale. This was a great start, but the notes being sung stopped, as they ran out of air 🙂 How to remedy this? Well, how about tape loops? 12 resulting tape loops were printed, each devoted to a fader on the desk. That way you could play chords by raising the faders in succession. The edit points, where the loops where joined together were largely hidden by the general wash of sound, and resulted in a strange sustained chorus of voices. Nothing sounded like it then, and nothing as sounded like it since! Except for the track ‘Cry’, later released by the duo of Godley and Creme, many many years later. But, that’s for another post…
For more information, check out the ‘making of’ documentary below on YouTube.
If you want to unleash your inner 10cc, why not give us a call to discuss your grand vision! Maybe you just want to record a song with regular instruments, which is fine by us 🙂
Until next time, see you in the studio!