10cc : 20 Years 1972-1992 : 14CD Box Set Review

10cc 20 Years CD Box Set Review: A Comprehensive Dive into the Art Pop Masters’ Legacy

The arrival of the “10cc 20 Years” box set, covering the span from 1972 to 1992, was an event I had eagerly anticipated. With 14 CDs and 145 tracks, this collection promised an exhaustive journey through the discography of one of the most innovative bands in pop and rock history. Now, having delved into this treasure trove, I’m thrilled to share my thoughts on what is undoubtedly a significant release for any 10cc fan or music collector.

Upon first glance, the box set impresses with its design and presentation, reminiscent of the high-quality releases from Esoteric and other premium reissue labels. The packaging, adorned with album artwork and a detailed track listing, sets the stage for what promises to be a comprehensive exploration of 10cc’s storied career.

The albums, from the self-titled debut to “Meanwhile,” are presented in faithful reproductions of their original artwork, with gatefold sleeves for those originally released in that format. The attention to detail in these reproductions is commendable, offering a nostalgic trip for long-time fans and a visually appealing introduction for newcomers.

10cc has always defied easy categorisation, blending pop sensibilities with a progressive and experimental edge that set them apart from their contemporaries. From hits like “I’m Not in Love” and “Dreadlock Holiday” to deeper cuts that showcase their musical and lyrical ingenuity, this box set covers the full spectrum of their output.

The remastering across the board is exceptional, breathing new life into these classic recordings. The clarity and depth achieved here make for the definitive listening experience of 10cc’s catalog. Whether it’s the intricate production of “The Original Soundtrack” or the live energy of “Live and Let Live,” each album benefits from the careful remastering process.

A highlight of the set is the inclusion of two discs dedicated to non-album B-sides, single versions, and rarities. Tracks like “Waterfall” and “Gizmo My Way” offer insights into the band’s creative process and provide fans with material that may have been previously overlooked or hard to find. These additions underscore the depth of 10cc’s musical explorations and their willingness to push boundaries.

Accompanying the CDs is a substantial booklet penned by the band’s biographer, Liam Newton. This text-heavy biography delves into the band’s history with authenticity and detail, offering fans and newcomers alike a rich context for the music. The inclusion of remastering credits and a thoughtful essay adds value to the set, making it not just a collection of music but a piece of history.

The “10cc 20 Years” box set stands as a testament to the band’s enduring legacy and their unique place in the music world. While the price point may be a consideration, the quality of the remastering, the comprehensive track listing, and the thoughtful packaging make this set a worthy investment for fans of the band and aficionados of art pop alike.

Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine

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