10cc singer Graham Gouldman said the band “never set out to make hit records” and even deleted a version of I’m Not In Love which later topped the charts in the UK.
Gouldman, who is the only original member of the band which rocketed to fame 50 years ago, said they wrote and recorded what they loved and “fortunately other people liked it as well”.
After a career spanning five decades, the group are releasing a greatest hits album including a version of their first hit single titled Donna – which was released in 1972.
The 75-year-old revealed that the song was originally intended to be on the “B-side” of the record, which typically receives less attention than the A-side.
He told the PA news agency: “Our first single Donna is probably the greatest highlight because it started off our whole career, a song that was originally destined to be a B-side to a song that myself and Eric Stewart had written.
“We had a lot of interest from the Beatles record company Apple Records at the time so we thought ‘We’ve done the A-side but we better hurry up and do a B-side in case they take it’ and the B-side was Donna.
“But as we were recording it, we realised there was something special about it so we swapped them over and that became our first hit.
“We loved what we were doing and we never set out to really make hit records, we just wrote and recorded what we loved and enjoyed doing and fortunately other people liked it as well.”
10cc’s new greatest hits album will include rare tracks, live recordings and a never-before-released song that the band recorded for a Revlon make-up TV advert in the 70’s.
Gouldman said: “There are some guys who archive our stuff and hunt stuff down, they found a multi-track recording of an advert that we recorded for Revlon, we think it was about 1975 for a product called Natural Wonder.
“It was amazing to find this recording, it is definitely us, it’s got all the 10cc hallmarks and you can actually hear me counting it in.
“It’s really interesting and a real oddity to discover an unknown recording of 10cc, because when we recorded if there was anything that we didn’t like, we erased it, which is a shame in a way, because there was another version of I’m Not In Love that we recorded, but we hated it so we got rid of it, but it would have been curious to hear it now.”
During their 50 years, 10cc have had three number one songs with Rubber Bullets, I’m Not In Love and Dreadlock Holiday.
Gouldman added: “The music scene has changed dramatically, I think the charts in particular has changed.
“There’s a lot of self-made records, which is fine if the songs are good. I personally don’t think the quality of the song writing is as good as it was.
“There might be some great songwriters out there but everything seems to have to happen immediately because people’s attention span has shortened, probably due to social media.
“People don’t really listen to albums anymore which is a real shame.
“My generation likes to sit down with an album and put it on and have the album cover in front of you and read the lyrics and to be able to see who played drums or where it was recorded.
“Now, the music is free and I think not valued as much. I’m sure there’s some great bands rehearsing in little rooms now that will become massive and that will be great but generally how I see it there’s not very many artists that I listen to.”
Talking about the recent 10cc UK tour, Gouldman said the fans were “joyful” about being able to listen to live music following years of Covid-related restrictions.
He added: “We played at The London Palladium, there are certain gigs in the world that are special and that’s definitely one of them.”
The Things We Do For Love: The Ultimate Hits and Beyond will be released on May 6.