Graham Gouldman formed what became Heart Full of Songs six years ago, purely for the pleasure of playing his songs in their simplest form, acoustically.
Then backed by fellow 10cc band members and opening the show at 10cc concerts, Graham performed a selection of the hits he’d written for other artistes.
The format became so popular that it adopted a name and undertook its first stand-alone concert tour in April-May 2013, touring again the following year.
10cc’s success over the past three years has been such that the first opportunity for Heart Full of Songs to tour again is this September-October.
Much has happened for Graham since he last took Heart Full of Songs, now a three-piece featuring Iain Hornal and Ciaran Jeremiah, on the road.
His status as one of the world’s leading songwriters was acknowledged with his induction into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame – an arm of America’s National Academy of Music – at a special ceremony in New York.
Previous inductees include Noel Coward, Irving Berlin, Burt Bacharach, Neil Sedaka, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Leonard Cohen and Sting.
America’s Broadcast Music Incorporated followed suit and anointed him an Icon of the Industry at a special ceremony in London, where he stunned the audience with an acoustic rendition of I’m Not In Love, accompanied by Lisa Stansfield on vocals.
More recently, a BBC4 documentary I’m Not In Love: The Story of 10cc, features clips of Heart Full of Songs and has been shown twice in the UK, while 10cc appeared on BBC1’s The One Show on 14 February and performed on BBC2’s two part Later …With Jools Holland on 9 May (two songs) and 12 May (three songs and an interview with Graham).
The story begins …
Born on 10 May 1946 in Manchester, Graham was given his first guitar at the age of 11 and started playing with local bands at 15. He received early encouragement to develop his musical talent from his mother Betty and father Hymie, who also contributed with suggested lyrics and song titles.
Graham played with various Manchester bands before forming The Mockingbirds in 1965 (with Kevin Godley on drums), and when the record label Columbia rejected Graham’s first single composition for the band, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The song, For Your Love, became a huge hit for The Yardbirds.
Working by day in a men’s outfitters shop and playing by night with his semi-professional band, Graham went on to write a string of hits, such as Pamela, Pamela for Wayne Fontana, For Your Love, Evil Hearted You and Heart Full of Soul (The Yardbirds), Bus Stop and Look Through Any Window (The Hollies), No Milk Today and Listen People (Herman’s Hermits), and Tallyman for Jeff Beck.
In 1972, along with Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, he formed 10cc and enjoyed a string of Top 10 hits, including three No 1s – Rubber Bullets, I’m Not In Love and Dreadlock Holiday – along with Donna (No 2), Art For Art’s Sake and Good Morning Judge (both reaching No 5), The Things We Do For Love and I’m Mandy Fly Me (6), and The Wall Street Shuffle (10).
It’s the enduring popularity of these tracks and Graham’s love of playing songs acoustically, that led to the formation of Heart Full of Songs, which features many of these songs, Bridge To Your Heart (from Graham’s time in Wax with the late Andrew Gold) and other compositions including film sound tracks and material from his acclaimed solo album Love And Work.
For lovers of perfectly-crafted music performed by the composer, a Heart Full of Songs concert is truly an exquisite experience.
I’m Not In Love (co-written by Graham) has been played over five million times on US radio.
YouTube videos of I’m Not In Love, both old and with the current 10cc band, have been viewed more that 30 million times overall.
Things We Do For Love (co-written by Graham) has been played over 3.5 million times on US radio.
Dreadlock Holiday (co-written by Graham) is featured on the soundtrack of the 2010 film The Social Network, about the founding of Facebook.
I’m Not In Love was part of the soundtrack of the film Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.
Bus Stop (written by Graham for The Hollies) has been played over four million times on US radio, while For Your Love (a hit for the Yardbirds) has been played more than two million times on US radio.
Wax, featuring Graham and the late Andrew Gold, sold more than two million albums worldwide, helped by hit singles Bridge To Your Heart and Right Between The Eyes.
I’m Not In Love is a lead track on the 2015 blockbuster Disney film Guardians of the Galaxy, which grossed $635 million (£512m) in its first two months in US cinemas and resulted in a No 1 album.
10cc has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.