For the most part, 10cc featured two strong songwriting teams, one 'commercial' and one 'artistic'. Both teams however injected sharp wit to lyrically-dextrous and musically varied songs. Stewart and Gouldman were predominantly pop-song-writers, who created most of the band's accessible songs.
In contrast, Godley and Creme -who went on after the band's breakups to make a series of records together- were the predominantly experimental half of 10cc, featuring an Art School sensibility and cinematic inspired writing. However, every member was a multi-instrumentalist, singer, writer, and producer.
"Donna", released as the first 10cc single, was chosen by BBC Radio 1 disc jockey Tony Blackburn as his Record of the Week, helping to launch it into the Top 30. The song peaked at #2 in the UK in October 1972. A similar 50's influence/ can be found in many of the band's pop songs, on-through 1977's American radio standard "The Things We Do for Love".
After a series of moderate hits the band signed a major deal with Mercury Records- the catalyst for the deal was one song – "I'm Not in Love".
The band's producer recalled: "At that point in time we were... struggling. We were absolutely skint, the lot of us, we were really struggling seriously, and Philips Phonogram wanted to do a deal with us. They wanted to buy Jonathan King's contract. I rang them. I said come and have a listen to what we've done, come and have a listen to this track.
And they came up and they freaked, and they said "This is a masterpiece. How much money, what do you want? What sort of a contract do you want? We'll do anything, we'll sign it".
On the strength of that one song, 10cc did a five-year deal with them for five albums and paid a serious amount of money. The Original Soundtrack, an LP which was already complete, was released just weeks later. The album went on to both a critical and commercial success.
It is also notable for its opening track, Godley & Creme's "Une Nuit A Paris (One Night In Paris)", an eight-minute, multi-part "mini-operetta" that is thought to have been an influence on "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. Its melody can also be heard in the overture to Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 musical "Phantom of the Opera".
"I'm Not in Love" then gave the band their second UK #1 in June 1975. The song also provided them with their first US chart success when the song reached #2....