Saturday, July 30, 2011

10cc -- "Silly Love" (1974)

He's been up all night
Breakin' his head in two to write
A little sonnet for his chickadee
But between you and me
I think its 
S-s-s-s-s-s-silly!
I bought four 10cc albums when I was in law school.  Think about that -- four 10cc albums!

Obviously, I was not in my right mind -- the pressure, the boredom, the horrible food and living conditions and climate, the assholes that surrounded me . . . it was a miracle that the craziest thing I did was buy four 10cc albums.

My law school dormitory
In trying to decide what 10cc song to feature in this "Records I Listened To in Law School" post, I sampled nearly all the songs on those albums.  OMG, what a bunch of crap!  (My apologies to the law students who lived on the first floor of good ol' Shaw Hall with me -- I think I played those albums a lot.)

To be fair, not all of it is crap -- there were a few reasonably good songs on each LP.  But even the good songs were often very uneven, consisting of two or three different song fragments unnaturally combined into a single song that was usually less than the sum of it parts.

10cc
As I've noted, I had (have?) a weakness for silly, tongue-in-cheek rock songs full of puns and odd rhymes and pseudo-intellectual nonsense.  Think Sparks . . . or City Boy . . . most of all, think 10cc.  (It's surprising that I wasn't a big Queen fan, too, but I did have some standards.)  Let's face it -- part of the band's appeal to me was probably the story behind their name.

Occasionally, 10cc played it straight instead of camping it up.  When they did, they produced sappy, girly love songs that made Chicago sound a little scary and rough around the edges.  

By far the worst songs on the albums I own -- "I'm Not in Love" and "The Things We Do for Love" -- fit in that category.  Of course, they were the band's two biggest singles in the U.S. because most people are stupid and have no taste!  I thought they were awful songs then, and they haven't gotten one bit better over the past 35 years.

(I'm sorry if you've always just adored those songs, and I've hurt your feelings.  But give me a break . . . those songs blow . . . I refuse to provide a spoonful of sugar to make that medicine go down more easily.)

Before I chose "Silly Love" to feature in this post, I thought about using "The Worst Band in the World."  I also considered "The Second Sitting for the Last Supper," and "Life Is a Minestrone" and "Une Nuit á Paris" and "Art for Art's Sake" and "Honeymoon With B Troop" and "I Bought a Flat Guitar Tutor."

(Look it up, folks -- those are all real 10cc songs.  Some of them are good, but most of them are just a waste of time.)

"Silly Love" was originally released in 1974 on the band's second album, Sheet Music.  I never owned that album -- I have it on a compilation album titled 100cc: The Greatest Hits of 10cc, which features 10 songs chosen from the band's first two albums.  (I'm sure you can do the math.)


I was inspired to buy that compilation album because I was absolutely besotted with 10cc's third studio album, The Original Soundtrack.  The cover to that album features a detailed black-and-white drawing of a "Moviola" film editing machine, and most of the songs on the album are movie-related.  I plan to post about a couple of those songs in the future, so I won't get into the lyrics now.

"Silly Love" is a pretty silly song, but it does feature some kick-ass guitar playing.  Shoot me, but I think the words -- which poke fun at traditional love-song lyrics and include some outrageous puns and other wordplay -- are pretty clever. 

Here's the first verse:

You put the life into living
You brought a sigh into sight
You make my legs turn to water
You bring the stars out at night
But they ain't half so bright 
As your eyes! 

The romantic clichés get a little bass-ackwards in the next verse:

You take the beauty out of beautiful
You play the strings of my heart
You take the wonder out of wonderful
Oh my, oh my, oh my, if you were mine
The rain would turn to sweet sweet wine 

After the chorus, which is quoted above, we get this:

You got a smile like a Rembrandt
You got the style of a queen
You are the petal of a rosebud
Next to you all the others could be weeds
You're the only one my garden needs 

Next comes a bridge verse of sorts -- or a trio, if you're a traditionalist.

Oooooh, you know the art of conversation
Must be dying
Ooh, when a romance depends on
Clichés and toupées and "threepés"
(That last word is meant to rhyme with "toupées," of course.) 

Finally, another chorus, which alludes to the rhymes of "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" ("To my honey I'll croon love's tune/Honey moon, keep a-shinin' in June"):

We're up to here with moonin' and June-in'
If you want to sound sincere
Don't rely on Crosby's croonin'
Take a little time
Make up your own rhyme
Don't rely on mine
'Cause it's 
S-s-s-s-s-s-silly!

Here's "Silly Love"



Here's a link you can use to buy it from Amazon:

1 comment:

  1. "(It's surprising that I wasn't a big Queen fan, too, but I did have some standards.)"

    Fucking knobhead.

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