10Cc - Mirror Mirror

10cc – Mirror Mirror

89 / 100

Like The Beatles in their early days, 10cc were as innovative as they were catchy, exploring the potential of pop beyond the superficial and turning their effervescent song craft into pure musical art.

Written by: Eric

ARTIST: 10cc
ALBUM: Mirror Mirror
LABEL: Critique Records
SERIAL: 01624 15430-2
YEAR: 1995
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Eric Stewart – lead vocals, lead guitar, keyboards, percussion * Graham Gouldman – lead & backing vocals, guitar, bass, percussion, mandolin

Additional Musicians: Paul McCartney – strings, electric piano, frogs, crickets, percussion * Adrian Lee – bass, programming, arrangements, keyboards, brass, percussion, accordion, vibes, acoustic guitar, backing vocals * Andrew Gold – lead & backing vocals * Rick Fenn – lead guitar * Ian Thomas – drums * Steve Pigott- keyboards, drum programming * Gary Wallis – drums, percussion * Gary Barnacle – saxophone * Peter Thoms – trombone * Lise Aferiat, Nicola Burton – violin * Chris Goldschieder – viola * Andrew Hines, Patrick Jones – cello

TRACK LISTING: 01 I’m Not In Love (Rework Of Art Mix) * 02 Peace In Our Time * 03 Ready To Go Home * 04 The Monkey And The Onion * 05 Why Did I Break Your Heart * 06 Code Of Silence * 07 Take This Woman * 08 Grow Old With Me * 09 Age Of Consent * 10 Everything Is Not Enough



I’ve made no secret here or elsewhere over my unabashed love for 10cc, the original band and the Eric Stewart-Graham Gouldman era. Like The Beatles in their early days, 10cc were as innovative as they were catchy, exploring the potential of pop beyond the superficial and turning their effervescent song craft into pure musical art.

While later albums were less concerned about pushing the envelope, Messieurs Stewart and Gouldman produced intelligent music that almost always contained big hooks and memorable lyrics. Fast forward to 1995 and ‘Mirror Mirror’ hit the CD bins with what appeared to be very little if any promotion and a whole lot of public apathy. Adding insult to injury the disc did not chart in the UK or America and it was heartbreaking to watch.

The band that were once the darlings of critics and gave us the groundbreaking ‘I’m Not In Love’ as well as the pure-pop confection of ‘The Things We Do For Love’ found itself buried behind the grungy throngs and Britpopping also-rans with what was one of their better late period releases and to date, their final studio album.

The Songs

The argument has been made that ‘Mirror Mirror’ really wasn’t a 10cc album, just two solo projects mashed together. There’s some stock to this position since both Gouldman and Stewart began recording separately with the intention of coming together later to finish the record.

That didn’t happen and the duo merely appears together on one track, the universally panned redo of ‘I’m Not In Love (Rework of Art Mix)’; one of only three songs that bare a shared songwriting credit. Why it was necessary to re-record one of pop music’s true masterpieces is certainly questionable but I can’t find fault with this version and while staying true to the original, there are subtle differences and I suppose it could have been much worse.

With that aside we get into the meat of the album with ‘Peace In Our Time’; a hook-laden tune that has more in common with Tears For Fears or China Crisis than what we usually expect from 10cc, but it works exceptionally well. Graham Gouldman’s ‘Ready To Go Home’ is a rework from his 2000 solo album ‘And Another Thing..’, this time with the late Andrew Gold taking over as guest lead vocalist. Nice with a slightly somber tone, but very effective.

Gold was asked to join 10cc in the 1980’s and one wonders what might have been if he said yes? It boggles the mind. Gouldman’s Stackridge styled ‘The Monkey And The Onion’ is sweet while the ballad ‘Why Did I Break Your Heart’ featuring Eric Stewart’s plaintive vocal is one of the disc’s main drawing points.

‘Code Of Silence’ features Paul McCartney on a variety of instrumentation and bug sounds (I kid you not) but you’d be none the wiser since it’s good but slightly average. Although the remaining tracks are on the weak side, with the exception of the funky ”Everything Is Not Enough’; there’s nary a disappointment anywhere and ‘Mirror Mirror’ should have put 10cc back on the musical map.

In Summary

Storm Thorgerson’s clever art work was a big incentive for collectors who were kept busy with several different versions of the CD released in various markets. We reviewed the more common U.S. issue here but the Japanese disc is the one to own containing ‘Yvonne’s The One’. This was a Stewart-McCartney co-write originally recorded for Macca’s 1986 album ‘Press To Play’ but never officially released, redone the second time around with Paul on rhythm guitar.

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Entire Album (Select Tracks)

Playlist: 10cc - Mirror Mirror (June, 1995)
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