10cc – I’m Not In Love (1975)

“I’m Not in Love” is a song written by Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman of the English group 10cc, from the album The Original Soundtrack. The lyric reveals a narrator in denial about the title’s ostensible theme. The song on the b-side “Good News” also appeared as a bonus track on the Japanese version of the album. A collaborative effort built around a title by Eric Stewart, “I’m Not in Love” is notable for its innovative production, especially its choral backing. The song was originally written around a Bossa nova beat, but group member Lol Creme suggested slowing the tempo, while another group member, Kevin Godley, suggested replacing the beat with a built-up wall of voices. The ethereal sound was created by laboriously building up multiple overdubs of the voices of Stewart, Graham Gouldman, Godley and Creme singing a single note in unison. This multi-track was then mixed and dubbed down onto 16-track tape. This process was repeated across all 16 tracks to create a lush 256-voice “virtual” choir that could “sing” chromatic chords. A number of these prepared multi-tracks were then cut into several endless loops, each of which contained the basic notes of the main chords used in the song. The chorus loops could then be played by using the mixing desk rather like a keyboard—each chord could be sounded by bringing up the fader for that loop. The instrumental break featured the repeated spoken phrase, “Be quiet, big boys don’t cry…”, spoken by Kathy Warren, the receptionist of their own Strawberry Studios where the band recorded the track. In this pre-sampler period, the group was able to simulate a large polyphonic choir, creating a dramatic tonal effect similar to that produced by the well-known choir sounds of the Mellotron and Birotron, but with a far richer sound, and in full stereo. Godley and Creme’s “Gizmo” (also known as “Gizmotron”) guitar effects device invention also is used to create a bowed cello effect that surfaces in the middle and closing sections of the song under the endless looped voices. The same voice loop effect was used in Billy Joel’s ballad “Just the Way You Are”, released two years later.



10cc-im_not_in_love

Billy Joel – Just The Way You Are (1977)

The Stranger is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on September 29, 1977. While his four previous albums had been moderately successful, The Stranger became Joel’s true critical and commercial breakthrough, spending six weeks at #2 on the U.S. album charts. It remains his best-selling non-compilation album to date, and was ranked number 70 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Much of the album’s success is attributed to Joel’s collaboration with producer Phil Ramone, whose innovative production methods complemented the album’s listing; this fruitful partnership would continue for a decade. Singles released from the album include “Just the Way You Are” (which won the Grammy for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year). This album overtook Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water to become the best-selling album on the Columbia Records imprint at the time.



thestrangerbillyjoel

Don’t go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don’t imagine you’re too familiar
And I don’t see you anymore
I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times
I’ll take you just the way you are

Don’t go trying some new fashion
Don’t change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care

I don’t want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are.

I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you.

I said I love you and that’s forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are.

[In memory of Phil Ramone - dedicated to H.K.]

Ronnie Spector – Say Goodbye To Hollywood (1977)

Billy Joel’s 1976 hit Say Goodbye to Hollywood was inspired by Ronnie Spector. Ronnie herself covered it in 1977 backed by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Ronnie recorded her first solo album in 1980 produced by Genya Raven, which was a prelude to her work with Joey Ramone in the late 1990s.


[via Jens Unmack - in memory of Clarence Clemons]