I’m Not in Love
Writer(s): Eric Stewart, Graham Gouldman (see lyrics here)
First Charted: May 10, 1975
Peak: 2 US, 3 CB, 2 GR, 3 HR, 5 RR, 10 AC, 1 CL, 12 UK, 12 CN, 3 AU, 7 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.4 UK
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 3.0 radio, 99.82 video, 244.72 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
10cc formed in Stockport, England in 1972. All four members were singers, songwriters, and multi-instrumentalists. They found their greatest success in the UK with five consecutive top-10 albums in the 1970s. In the United States, the group’s big break came with the song “I’m Not in Love,” from the group’s third album. It landed in the runner up spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks – behind three different #1 songs. 10cc had previously only charted with “Rubber Bullets” (#73) in 1973. They would reach the top-40 only once more with 1976’s “The Things We Do for Love” (#5). In the UK, “I’m Not in Love” was the second of the band’s three chart-toppers and eleven top-10 hits.
With the suggestion that the band should write a ballad, members Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman decided, as Stewart said, if we “were going to write a love song anyway, we decided to turn it on its head and say ‘I’m Not in Love,’ which would be very 10cc, but the songs says ‘I do love you.’ You don’t want to admit it, but you keep giving all the reasons why you are in love. It is a twist on words like that country song, ‘She Thinks I Still Care.’” KL
Stewart wrote most of the song as an apology to his wife for not telling her often enough that he loved her. WK He argued that if he said it to her too often, it would lose its meaning. Gouldman then helped him finish it. It originally had a bossa nova rhythm, but bandmates Kevin Godley and Lol Crème didn’t like it. That version was scrapped, but Stewart convinced them to give the song another try. Godley agreed, but had the idea of recording it only with vocals and no instruments. WK
By multi-tracking their voices and using tape loops, they created the backing vocals and basic melody for the song. It was only then that they added instruments, but kept them to a minimum. They included a bass drum sound which Godley played on a Moog synthesizer that “was very soft and more akin to a heartbeat” WK than a drum sound. They also added a recording of Kathy Redfern, the secretary at the recording studio, whisperingthe phrase “Be quiet, big boys don’t cry.” WK On his Freaky Trigger blog about UK #1 songs, Tom Ewing says “no other No. 1 sounds quite like it.” FT
The song won Ivor Novello Awards (the British equivalent of the Grammy) for Best Pop Song, Internatoional Hit of the Year, and Most Performed British Work.
First posted 12/6/2022.