10Cc - Meanwhile

10cc – Meanwhile

89 / 100

1992 saw a ‘sort of’ comeback reunion for British pop legends 10cc.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: 10cc
ALBUM: Meanwhile
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: 513279-2
YEAR: 1992
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Eric Stewart – vocals, guitars, rhodes piano, grand piano, slide guitar, strings * Graham Gouldman – guitars, vocals

Guests: Kevin Godley – lead vocals (‘The Stars Didn’t Show’), backing vocals * Lol Creme – backing vocals * Michael Landau, Gordon Gaines, Andrew Gold – guitar * Freddie Washington – 5 string bass * David Paich – Hammond B3 organ, melody synth * Mac Rebenack (Dr John) – grand piano * Paul Griffen – synths * Jerry Hey – horn arrangement, trumpet * Gary Grant – trumpet * Dan Higgins, Kim Hutchcroften – saxophone * Bill Reichenbach – trombone * Bashiri Johnson – percussion, tambourine * Jeff Porcaro – drums, percussion * Frank Floyd, Fronzie Thornton, Curtis King, Tawatha Agee, Vaneese Thomas – backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Woman In Love * 02 Wonderland * 03 Fill Her Up * 04 Something Special * 05 Welcome To Paradise * 06 Stars Didn’t Show * 07 Green Eyed Monster * 08 Charity Begins At Home * 09 Shine A Light In The Dark * 10 Don’t Break The Promise



1992 saw a ‘sort of’ comeback reunion for British pop legends 10cc. The two key components to the band this time around were Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman, who also provided most of the songwriting for ‘Meanwhile’. Former members Lol Creme and Kevin Godley were also involved, providing vocal assistance, and staying out of the production tension that would ensue with the recording of the album.

Though the reunion was well-timed, the resulting album did not live up to the expectations of the demos which came before. The duo it would seem, were not very happy with the way things turned out production wise, and were quoted as saying that they thought Gary Katz was not a good choice for them. Despite their purist and perfectionist protestations, the sonic quality of the album is still very good, well to these ears at least.

Katz bought in a handful of players, including the L.A session kings Jeff Porcaro, David Paich and Mike Landau, but their contributions were fairly low-key to be blunt. Overall, ‘Meanwhile’ fuses the 80’s pop vibe of British acts with high production values with an edgy American feel. It has all the hallmarks of a failed recipe, and perhaps the reluctant ownership of the album by Messrs Stewart and Gouldman was an indication that not all was well in the camp.

The Songs

The album starts out promisingly enough, with ‘Woman In Love’. If latterday Alan Parsons material grabs your gearstick, then this will appeal. Big vocal melodies on this one. ‘Wonderland’ is another likeable tune, with its shuffle beat and understated approach.

‘Fill Her Up’ moves into the realms of a cranky/sassy rocker, but is spoiled by a forgettable tacky chorus and a naff riff. ‘Somewhere Special’ reverts back to their unique brand of pop, highlighting all the elements that made them something special a decade earlier.

‘Welcome To Paradise’ is a R&B/reggae flavoured piece that is full of promise, but the overall Caribbean vibe doesn’t do anything for me. Kevin Godley sings the lead on ‘The Stars Didn’t Show’, and his vocal is lovely to be honest, reminding me of the warmth of a guy like Glenn Shorrock (Little River Band).

I liked ‘Green Eyed Monster’ despite the ploddy arrangement. ‘Charity Begins At Home’ is a perky little pop rocker, with a hint of the aforementioned Little River Band in the mix, particularly from their later years. This is good.

‘Shine A Light In The Dark’ hints at the American rock influence on the album, less so pop. Sounding more organic, a guy like John Mellancamp could get away with something like this. The album ends with the lush ‘Don’t Break The Promises’, which was a co-write with Paul McCartney. Nice track, with good use of acoustic aspects.

In Summary

The duo would go on to release one more album in the 90’s their final studio album in fact, entitled ‘Mirror Mirror, from 1995, which Eric has revuewed here.

By then, their creative differences was evident in the way that record was bought together, with both members recording separately and bringing the songs together during the final mixing phase.

Not exactly a statement of unity, after all their years together. Still, for what it’s worth, I would be preaching to the converted if I said that all serious fans of British pop should include a smattering of 10cc albums in your collection.

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