After proving they could keep 10cc alive as a duo act with 1977's successful Deceptive Bends, Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman pressed on in 1978 with Bloody Tourists. Although it scored some notable hits, it was a less consistent and less memorable affair than its predecessor. The problem with Bloody Tourists is that it feels like a group of session musicians trying to come up with songs in the 10cc style instead of a proper 10cc album. The eccentric humor that once flowed freely feels forced on this album: "Reds In My Bed" is a lame stab at Cold War satire that never really succeeds in saying anything while "Shock On The Tube (Don't Want Love)" tries to be daring with its tale of a subway sex fantasy and instead comes off as smutty and dull. Another problem is that the music propping up these narratives is lacking in both hooks and inspiration: the backing track for "Take These Chains" is a dull attempt at rockabilly that sounds like an especially poppy Eagles outtake and "The Anonymous Alcoholic" has a disco-parody portion that merely sounds like a mediocre example of the music it is supposedly sending up. However, the album's singles present a few bright moments: "For You And I" is a lovely ballad that fortifies its attractive melody with some strong vocal harmonies and "Dreadlock Holiday" chronicles the exploits of a hapless tourist in Jamaican against a catchy pop-reggae backdrop. Sadly, these are the first two tracks on the album so when they have passed there isn't much to look forward to. In the end, Bloody Tourists is competent enough to keep the 10cc's hardcore fans happy but the casual listener is advised to track down its hits on a compilation.
Performance Credits10cc Primary Artist
Graham Gouldman Organ,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Electric Piano,Tambourine,Vocals,Background Vocals,Human Whistle
Duncan Mackay Synthesizer,Piano,Violin,Keyboards,Electric Piano,Background Vocals
Eric Stewart Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Electric Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals,Moog Synthesizer,Slide Guitar
Paul Burgess Percussion,Conga,Drums,Glockenspiel,Marimbas,Tambourine,Timbales,Triangle,Background Vocals,Bells,Snare Drums,Vibes
Rick Fenn Guitar,Vocals
Rick McCollum Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar,Saxophone,Tambourine,Background Vocals
Kate Spath Cello
Tony Spath Piano
Stuart Tosh Percussion,Drums,Tambourine,Vocals,Background Vocals,Bells,Snare Drums
Technical CreditsGraham Gouldman Composer,Producer
Eric Stewart Producer,Engineer
Keith Bessey Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If 1977's pop masterpiece," Deceptive Bends" found 10cc in a comfortable yet experimental groove, 1978's " Bloody Tourists" leans a little more into the experimental side of things. While the album's tracks lack the polish of some of their more accomplished studio work it is that very quality that lends an edginess to their narrative and brings this recording to life. Stewart and Gouldman are partying down here with some likeminded friends. " Reds in my Bed" is more sardonic than sarcastic and its vagueness and lack of resolution capture the spirit of the " Cold War" era perfectly. Likewise, " Shock on the Tube (Don't want Love)" captures the ambiguous sexual mood of the late 70's more acurately than any " pop" psychologist could hope to. " Take These Chains" with its catchy bass chorus is typical of the creative riffs that permeate this album and make it so memorable and fresh. Ditto for " The Anonymous Alcoholic" , which is somehow hilarious and and a cautionary tale at the same time. " Lifeline" soars into majestic heights few " pop" songs achieve and is a perfect intro to " Tokyo" , a gleaming, shimmering high tech portrait of a modern oriental city. " Old Mister Time" evokes the science fiction feel of a Phillip K Dick novel and boasts some of the most creative vocal harmonies ever recorded. " For You and I" and " Dreadlock Holiday" are certainly 2 of the brightest moments on this album, but it would be a tremendous mistake not to give the rest of the album its due. The musicianship is spectacular and for all its complexity has the feel of a live album or at least one recorded in just a few takes. It still sounds fresh after all of these years and is my choice for the " essential" 10cc recording!