Years: 1963 - present
Styles: Beat, Classic Rock, Mod Rock, Pop Rock, Soft Rock
Graham Gouldman - Bass Guitar, Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1963 - present)
Gouldman was born in Broughton, Salford, Lancashire, England into a Jewish family. He played in a number of Manchester bands from 1963, including the High Spots, the Crevattes, the Planets and the Whirlwinds, which became a house band at his local Jewish Lads' Brigade. The Whirlwinds – comprising Gouldman (vocals, guitar), Maurice Sperling (vocals/drums), Bernard Basso (bass), Stephen Jacobson (guitar, bongos), Malcolm Wagner and Phil Cohen – secured a recording contract with HMV, releasing a recording of the Buddy Holly song "Look at Me", backed with "Baby Not Like You", written by Lol Creme, in June 1964.
In 1966–67, Gouldman recorded singles with two other bands, High Society and the Manchester Mob, both of which featured singer Peter Cowap. In March 1968, he stepped in as a temporary replacement for bassist Bob Lang in the Mindbenders, writing band's final single, "Uncle Joe, the Ice Cream Man". The band dissolved eight months later.
Gouldman signed a management agreement with Harvey Lisberg in 1965, and while working by day in a men's outfitters shop and playing by night with his semi-professional band, he wrote a string of hit songs, many of them million sellers. Between 1965 and 1967 alone he wrote "For Your Love", "Heart Full of Soul" and "Evil Hearted You" for the Yardbirds, "Look Through Any Window" (with Charles Silverman) and "Bus Stop" for the Hollies, "Listen People", "No Milk Today" and "East West" for Herman's Hermits, "Pamela, Pamela" for Wayne Fontana, "Behind the Door" for St. Louis Union (covered by Cher), "Tallyman" for Jeff Beck and "Going Home", which was a 1967 Australian hit for Normie Rowe.
A year later he released three singles as a solo artist, before recording his debut solo album, "The Graham Gouldman Thing".
Gouldman’s reputation as a hit songwriter attracted the attention of bubblegum pop producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz of Super K Productions, who invited him to New York to write formula bubblegum songs. In what he later called a "creative lowpoint", Gouldman accepted. One of his first tasks for Super K was writing and singing lead vocals on "Sausalito (Is the Place to Go)", which was released in July 1969 under the name of the Ohio Express.
In December 1969, Gouldman convinced Kasenetz and Katz that the series of throwaway two-minute songs he was writing could all be performed and produced by him and three friends, Godley, Creme and former Mindbender Eric Stewart, at a fraction of the price of hiring outside session musicians. He proposed the quartet work at Strawberry Studios, a Stockport (Cheshire), recording studio in which he and Stewart were financial partners. Kasenetz and Katz booked the studio for three months.
When the three-months production deal with Kasenetz-Katz ended, Gouldman returned to New York to work as a staff songwriter for Super K Productions while the remaining three continued to dabble in the studio. In late 1970, Gouldman returned to the UK to join Stewart, Godley and Creme – who had in the interim scored an international hit single with "Neanderthal Man" under the name of Hotlegs – on an abbreviated British tour supporting the Moody Blues.
The four musicians continued work at Strawberry Studios, producing and backing artists including Cowap, Dave Berry, Wayne Fontana, Herman's Hermits and Neil Sedaka, as well as recording quite a number of one-off singles on many different labels (RCA, Pye, etc.) using many different performer names (Festival, Tristar Airbus, The New Wave Band, Grumble, etc.). In July 1972, they were signed by entrepreneur, producer and recording artist Jonathan King and given the name 10cc.
Over the course of the next 23 years, 10cc scored three UK No.1 singles and five Top 10 albums, with Gouldman co-writing some of their biggest hits, including "The Wall Street Shuffle" (1974), "I'm Not in Love" (1975), "I'm Mandy, Fly Me" (1976), "Art For Art's Sake" (1976), "The Things We Do for Love" (1977) and "Dreadlock Holiday" (1978).
When Kevin Godley and Lol Creme departed in 1976 to explore new musical territories, Gouldman remained with Stewart, continuing the band essentially as a two-piece, although with regular collaborators including Rick Fenn, Paul Burgess and Stuart Tosh. 1980's "Look Hear?" album marked the end of the band's run of chart success, and 1983's "Windows in the Jungle" became the last 10cc album for almost a decade.
In 1979, Gouldman scored a minor hit with his single "Sunburn", written for the Farrah Fawcett / Charles Grodin film of the same name. Two years later he produced the Pleasant Dreams album for the Ramones – a record dismissed by the band's guitarist, Johnny Ramone, as "too slick".
From 1984 to 1990, Gouldman teamed with American singer Andrew Gold, with whom he had co-written material in 1981, to form Wax. They produced four albums. During the late 1990s, Gouldman wrote with a few different writers; including Paul Carrack on his minor 1997 hit "The Way I'm Feeling Tonight", and Kirsty MacColl on her final album, "Tropical Brainstorm", in 2000.
Gouldman included a new version of "Ready to Go Home" on his 2000 solo album, "And Another Thing...". On the liner notes of his solo album, he noted: "It reflects my feelings at the time. I suppose I was trying to put a positive slant on his passing, remembering all the things we had done together and his artistic legacy to me. The last verse of the song best reflects my feelings on this. This song has been recorded by many artists and remains one of my favourites. Very emotional."
Gouldman began touring as "10cc featuring Graham Gouldman and Friends", with his band comprising Rick Fenn, Paul Burgess, Mike Stevens and Mick Wilson. They first performed in 1999, at Birmingham's Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. After the release of his solo album, he got the lads back together to celebrate 30 years of 10cc in 2002, billed as "Graham Gouldman celebrates 30 years of 10cc".
In July 2006, Godley and Gouldman's website offered four downloadable tracks: "The Same Road", "Johnny Hurts", "Beautifulloser.com" and "Hooligan Crane". The songs are the initial 'offering' of a group of songs they have been working on over the past two years. During this period, Gouldman wrote the main riff in the McFly song "I've Got You".
In April 2013, Gouldman and friends completed a sixteen date tour of the UK. The band were supported by singer-songwriter Garron Frith. In May 2013, tickets went on sale for Status Quo's annual UK Winter Tour of medium to large arenas, with 10cc as support.
In February 2014, it was announced that Gouldman would be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the 45th annual induction ceremony which was held in New York on 12 June at the Marriott Marquis Hotel.
© Boar 2011 - 2019