Song: Rubber Bullets
Rubber Bullets is from 10CC’s debut album, 1973’s 10CC. The stock in trade of the lads from Stockport, England’s was liberally mixing up musical motifs via terrific technical chops and seamlessly glossy production. Routinely they would switch between straight-ahead pop and arty, recombinant mutant creations - either way their musical dexterity shone though, with creamy vocal harmonies and tempos and moods dramatically changing on the fly.
In Northern Ireland rubber bullets were being used to counter rioting; in America, the Kent State massacre had occurred in Ohio only a year previously - the song, with its satirical focus on forceful state intervention, fit right in. For a song about a violent prison riot, it’s decidedly gleeful. Released as 10CC’s first single, the track shot straight to the top of the UK charts. Riffing on the innocent golden Americana of the Beach Boys and using crazy double-tracked guitars, it’s an ambitious slice of crafty pop peppered with pungent vocal commentary. Fantastic vocals and a punchy attack make this track an infectious standout. Check out the live version below.