Godley & Creme were an English musical duo and video-production team comprised of multi-instrumentalists Kevin Godley and Lol Creme. They first charted in the comedy-rock act Hotlegs, which morphed into 10cc.
After four albums and a string of hits with 10cc, Godley & Creme recorded as a duo, starting with the 1977 triple-album Consequences, a mix of spoken word and sonic demonstrations of the Gizmo, their patented guitar-effects device.
In 1978, they issued the proto-zolo Mercury album L, followed by the similarly off-kilter Freeze Frame, featuring the cult hit “An Englishman in New York.” They scored further hits with the electro-pop “Under Your Thumb” and the ’50s pastiche “Wedding Bells” from their 1981 release Ismism (Snack Attack in the US.) Their biggest transatlantic hit was the 1985 single “Cry,” accompanied by a face-morph video.
Kevin Godley (b. Oct. 7 1945) and Lol Creme (b. Sept. 19, 1947) first teamed in the folk-psych combo Yellow Bellow Room Boom, which issued the single “Seeing Things Green” (b/w “Easy Life”) on CBS in June 1967. It features the two singers on drums and guitar, respectively. They first became friends as children in Prestwich, Lancashire.
Godley began his music career as the drummer in Manchester beatsters The Mockingbirds, which issued five singles during 1965–66, mostly written by Graham Gouldman, who concurrently wrote hits for the Yardbirds and The Hollies. Gouldman soon left to cut a solo album, then joined fellow Mancunian act The Mindbenders, led by guitarist/singer Eric Stewart. After that band folded, Stewart then Gouldman became partners in Strawberry Studios, a state-the-art facility in nearby Stockport.
After Yellow Bellow folded, Godley and Creme dropped by Strawberry to cut the single “I’m Beside Myself” (b/w “Animal Song”), released as Frabjoy and Runcible Spoon. By late 1969, the pair were studio bodies alongside Gouldman and Stewart. For the next year, they produced records for the American bubblegum writer-producer team Jerry Kasenetz and Jeffry Katz of Super K Productions (Ohio Express, Crazy Elephant).
In 1970, during Gouldman’s brief absence, the others formed Hotlegs and scored a UK #2 hit with the percussive-pop experiment “Neanderthal Man.” The project spawned two more singles and the 1971 Philips album Thinks: School Stinks. With all four back at Strawberry, they produced a few more acts (Ramases, Neil Sedaka) and released a pair of 1972 singles as 10cc.
Between 1973 and 1976, the 10cc lineup of Godley, Creme, Gouldman, and Stewart released four albums: 10cc (1973), Sheet Music (1974), The Original Soundtrack (1975), and How Dare You! (1976). Godley and Creme contributed harmonies in 10cc and collaborated in assorted songwriting pairings with Goudlman and/or Stewart on the band’s material. Each member took turns singing lead; Godley distinguished by a deadpan baritone and Creme by a comical falsetto.
As an exclusive team, Godley and Cream co-wrote the songs “Donna,” “The Dean and I,” “The Hospital Song,” “Hotel,” “Old Wild Men,” “Clockwork Creep,” “Somewhere in Hollywood,” “Brand New Day,” “The Film of My Love,” and the cabaret suite “Une Nuit a Paris.” Their contributions as a duo are often cited as the quirkier songs on the first four 10cc albums, which feature Creme (along with Gouldman and Stewart) on electric/acoustic guitar and assorted keyboards (Mellotron, synthesizer, piano) and Godley on drums and sundry percussion.
By side two of How Dare You!, the songwriting credits are split between two camps: Gouldman/Stewart and Godley/Creme. The latter pair contributed “Head Room” and “Don’t Hang Up,” plus the opening instrumental theme. Shortly after that album’s release in January 1976, Godley and Creme conceived their Gizmo-oriented side project, which ballooned into a proposed triple-album. Stifled by the musical bounds and time constraints of 10cc, they left the band to work as a duo.
- Consequences (1977)
- L (1978)
- Freeze Frame (1979)
- Ismism (1981)
- Birds of Prey (1983)
- Goodbye Blue Sky (1988)
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