|Godley & Creme|
Years: 1976 - 1988
Styles: Art Rock, Experimental Rock, New Wave, Pop Rock, Progressive Rock
Kevin Godley - Bass Guitar, Bongos, Clavinet, Congas, Drums, Gizmo, Percussion, Rototoms, Triangle, Vocals, Xylophone (in band: 1976 - 1988)
Lol Creme - 12 string acoustic guitar, Acoustic bass guitar, Acoustic guitar , Bass Guitar, Clavinet, Farfisa organ, Fender Rhodes , Gizmo, Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Vibes, Vocals, Xylophone (in band: 1976 - 1988)
Kevin Godley and Lol Creme met in the late 1960s and for a brief time were in a band together. Through the 1960s they played in different bands, with Godley briefly in The Mockingbirds with Graham Gouldman, who would later work with Godley and Creme in 10cc.
After recording a one-off single under the name of Yellow Bellow Room Boom for UK CBS in 1967 ("Seeing Things Green" b/w "Still Life"), and one under name Frabjoy & Runcible Spoon ("I'm Beside Myself" / "Animal Song"),.the pair began their professional music career together in 1969, performing pop music in Strawberry Studios at Stockport near Manchester with Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman (often mistakenly referred to as being "Bubblegum Music", perhaps because they were contracted by Kasenetz & Katz, who produced bubblegum sub-teen pop in the US on the Buddah label). Their first chart success was as members of the short-lived Hotlegs, which evolved into 10cc in 1972. 10cc enjoyed chart success, most notably with their 1975 single "I'm Not in Love", a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
After the recording of 10cc's fourth LP, "How Dare You!" (1976), Godley and Creme left the band to perfect a device they dubbed "The Gizmo" (Gizmotron), a module which attached to the bridge of an electric guitar. The Gizmo used small motor-driven rotating wheels which were pressed into contact with the strings, thus creating a continuous, violin-like "bowing" effect on all or any combination of strings, generating infinite sustain in voicings ranging from a single note to a full chord. The device was originally conceived as a cost-saving measure for 10cc.
The group already owned and operated their own studio, and all four were talented singers and multi-instrumentalists who could also produce and engineer their own records, so their plan was that by using Gizmo-fitted electric guitars, with additional studio processing and overdubbing, they could create an almost infinite variety of sonic effects and orchestral textures "in-house", saving them the considerable expense of hiring session players to add these textures using traditional instruments.
After recording a demonstration single using the Gizmo, their label (Mercury Records) allowed them to continue the project, and over the next year it expanded into a sprawling 3-LP concept album "Consequences" (1979) with an environmental theme. It featured a guest vocal by Sarah Vaughan and an extended comedy performance by Peter Cook, and was issued in a lavish boxed set package with an accompanying booklet.
The duo gradually regained critical favour with a trio of innovative albums in the late 1970s and early 1980s – "L" (1978), "Freeze Frame" (1979) and "Ismism" (1981, released as "Snack Attack" in the United States).
"Freeze Frame" (1979) included several songs that gained airplay on alternative radio in many countries, notably "I Pity Inanimate Objects" and "An Englishman in New York", which was accompanied by an innovative music video. The album and its accompanying singles also featured several notable guest performers – Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera played guitar on and co-produced the album tracks "Random Brainwave" and "Clues", Paul McCartney contributed backing vocals to the song "Get Well Soon" and Roxy Music saxophonist Andy Mackay played saxophone on the single-only track "Wide Boy" and also appeared in the song's innovative promotional video. 1980) and the instrumental single "Submarine" b/w "Marciano" (Sept. 1980).
They made the UK Top Ten with the singles "Under Your Thumb" (a song about the ghost of a suicidal woman who returns to haunt a rail commuter) (No. 3) and "Wedding Bells" (No. 7) in 1981, both from "Ismism" (1981). The single "Snack Attack" was also a minor hit. Their 1972 pre-10cc single "The Boys in Blue" (written by Godley, Creme, Gouldman and included in the album "Strawberry Bubblegum: A Collection of Pre-10CC Strawberry Studio Recordings 1969–1972)" was played at most Manchester City football club matches in the 1990s and is still occasionally played there.
In 1983, they released "Birds of Prey" which took their music in a more electronic direction, using electronic drum machines for the entire album.
Their 1984 single "Golden Boy" was included on 1985's "The History Mix Volume 1" album which celebrated 25 years of recording together. The album, co-produced by J. J. Jeczalik of Art of Noise, remixed samples of their previous recordings to a disco beat. This album also contained the single "Cry" which, helped in part by the video, became their biggest US hit, reaching No. 16. The song reached No. 19 in Britain. A video cassette was also released with visual imagery to complement the music.
Godley & Creme released their final album, "Goodbye Blue Sky", in 1988. This album abandoned electronic instruments and used harmonicas, organs, and guitars to tell the story of the earth on the brink of nuclear war. The pair ended their working relationship soon after the release of the album.
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