10cc – I’m Not In Love (1975)

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“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

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