Song History: 10cc - I'm Not in Love (1975)
Every listener knows this song... At one time, it blew up the Top Charts of many countries, and brought the group unheard of popularity! How did one of 10CC's biggest hits "I'm Not in Love" come about?
Creating a composition
The idea of the song, as well as authorship, belongs to the leader of the group - Eric Stewart. Later, he shared with reporters the following details of his inspiration:
“I met a gorgeous girl named Gloria when I was 18. She is 16. Three years later we got married. And after a few years, Gloria told me: “You don’t understand ... the phrase “I love you” means so much more!” I told her that if I said "I love you" all the time, it would sound at least ridiculous, and even meaningless ... But after our conversation, I began to wonder how I can express my feelings without using this phrase ... You can say that the song "I'm not in love" has become a rhetorical conversation with myself!
“... It took me about two days to write the text. When I showed it to the other guys, they said, "I'm not in love"? What the hell? Can't you just tell Gloria that you love her?! Everyone was indignant, and only our bassist Graham Gouldman agreed to work on this song ... We both liked The Girl From Ipanema, so we decided to achieve a similar style of bossa nova. And then Kevin Godley - our drummer - said that this is complete crap ... "
At first, "I'm Not in Love" sounded like a traditional ballad set to bossa nova rhythms. But when Stuart and Gouldman presented the demo to the other musicians, they ruthlessly rejected it...
Then Kevin Godley decided to save the song by radically remaking it! The bassist came up with the idea: “What if we record it without instruments? Let their role be played by…our voices!”
The idea seemed to inspire everyone. However, its implementation was not an easy task ... It was required to record several choral vocal passages that would serve as a "substrate" for the main vocals. Finally, a recording masterpiece was born! It is based on 16 takes of backing vocals, mixed 256 times!
By the way: the musicians still added an instrumental sound ... Oh, and yes: at the same time they connected the studio secretary - Kathy Redfery! It is she who whispers: "Quiet, the big boys don't cry..."
Release and achievements
Released in May 1975, "I'm Not in Love" became the group's second number one. The song, which was initially rejected by everyone, became No. 1 in Britain and No. 2 in the United States within three weeks! In the UK, the single was released in a full length version of over six minutes; in the US and Canada, it was released in a 3:42 edited version.
In the end, it was "I'm Not in Love" that earned the band a million dollar contract with Philips Phonogram! In an interview, Eric Stewart recalled:
“... Then we all somehow made ends meet. We lived in poverty, and then Philips Phonogram itself wanted to buy out King's contract! When they came to our studio and listened to "I'm Not in Love", they were just blown away! They asked, "How much money do you want?" This song turned out to be fateful for us!
An interesting fact: it is with "I'm Not in Love" that the famous film "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014) begins! Chris Pratt's character is listening to the song on his old Walkman.
Subsequently, director Bruce Gowers filmed a video for "I'm Not in Love" in which the band performs the song in a studio. It came out really well!