What's so great about Consequences?
Consequences sounds at first like one of the worst excesses of '70s rock music: a triple, boxed-set concept album. And yet the combination of some of Godley & Creme's most beautiful music, the haunting sound of their guitar 'Gizmo', the vocal talents of Sarah Vaughan and the comedic skills of Peter Cook make a wonderful listening experience.
Kevin Godley and Lol Creme were half of 10cc, a band they left to concentrate on the Gizmo and the album that would illustrate its versatility. They enlisted the help of British humourist Peter Cook (the former proprietor of Private Eye magazine, who died in January 1995). Cook wrote a play to go with the music, and he played almost all the parts himself.
The main action of the play takes place in the office of the increasingly drunken solicitor Mr Haig; he is negociating the divorce between Walter Stapleton and his French wife Lulu, represented by Mr Pepperman. They are continually interrupted by Mr Blint, an eccentric composer, who lives below; when the building was redeveloped he was the only tenant who refused to sell and a hole (ahhhhh!) remains in Mr Haig's floor which is, technically, Blint's attic; it is through this hole (ahhhhh!) that Blint addresses them.
The litigants are unware that larger forces are at work; the world is being threatened by an meteorological disaster. Weather is possibly being used as a weapon in a global war, and eventually it dawns on them that only Mr Blint can save them, with his arcane knowledge of pyramids, music and the number 17.
A portion of the music on side 1 (which is largely instrumental) was used in one of those arty cinema ads for Benson and Hedges - another case of '70s excess, this time in advertising. You know the kind of thing: lizards, swimming pools, helicopters. Nick Stuart worked with Kevin and Lol on the edit and sound effects in this advert, all of which were done with the aid of the Gizmo.
The only way to appreciate all of this is, of course, to listen to the darn thing. After years of casual searching, I found my first vinyl copy in 1985 in a secondhand record store in Boulder, Colorado. I paid $29.99 for it. I've been lucky enough to get my hands on the 3 main CD re-issues so I can enjoy the sound crackle-free. I'm old enough to remember vinyl - and I bloody love compact discs...