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"I'm Not in Love"
Single by 10cc
from the album The Original Soundtrack
Released 31 May 1975
Format 7"
Recorded 1975
Genre Pop
Length 6:02
Label UK Records
10cc singles chronology
"Life is a Minestrone"
"I'm Not in Love"
"Art for Art's Sake"

"I'm Not in Love" is a song written by Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman of the English group 10cc, from the album The Original Soundtrack. The song revolves around the narrator or singer claiming numerous times, "I'm Not in Love," although by the end of the song he realizes he's fooling himself.


The 10cc version

A collaborative effort built around a title by Eric Stewart, "I'm Not in Love", is notable for its innovative production, especially its choral backing.

Originally written around a Bossa nova style beat and tempo, Lol Creme suggested slowing it down, while Kevin Godley suggested replacing the beat with a built-up wall of voices.

The ethereal sound was created by laboriously building up multiple overdubs of the voices of Stewart, Graham Gouldman, Godley and Creme singing a single note in unison. This multi-track was then mixed down and dubbed down onto 16-track tape. This process was repeated across all sixteen tracks to create a lush 256-voice "virtual" choir that could "sing" chromatic chords.[1] A number of these prepared multi-tracks were then cut into several endless loops, each of which contained the basic notes of the main chords used in the song. The chorus loops could then be played by using the mixing desk rather like a keyboard -- each chord could be sounded by bringing up the fader for that loop. The instrumental break featured the repeated spoken phrase: "Be quiet, big boys don't cry...", which was spoken by Kathy Warren, the receptionist of the Strawberry Studios where the band recorded the track. These whispered lyrics would later serve as the inspiration for the name of the 1980s band, Boys Don't Cry.

In this pre-sampler period, the group was able to simulate a large polyphonic choir, creating a dramatic tonal effect similar to that produced by the well-known choir setting on the Mellotron, but with a far richer sound, and in full stereo. The same effect was used in Billy Joel's ballad "Just the Way You Are", released two years later. Released in May 1975, it became the band's second number-one single and stayed on the top spot in the UK for two weeks from June 28th. The record peaked at number two in the US for three weeks, shut out of the top spot by a different number-one song each week ("The Hustle", "One Of These Nights", and "Jive Talkin'").

In a BBC interview,[2] Eric Stewart told how the song began as a bossa nova version, but was ditched by the band after Kevin Godley and Lol Creme dismissed it as "crap". Although the band moved on to record "One Night in Paris", they noticed that studio staff were still walking around singing "I'm Not in Love". Stewart recalled: "I looked at Graham (Gouldman), and I said that song's a hit, you know. I don't know what's going on here, but I think we got to try it again. And blow me down, Kevin came up with the idea. He said, 'Let's do something very different. Now let's do a whole track and the whole backing track is voices'.".

The song, once complete, became instrumental in 10cc's launch to international fame. According to Stewart, the band was already being courted by Phonogram to leave Jonathan King's UK Records label and sign a new deal. He said: "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'. On the strength of that one song, we did a five-year deal with them for five albums and they paid us a serious amount of money."

Preceded by
"Whispering Grass" by Windsor Davies and Don Estelle
UK number-one single
28 June 1975 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Tears on My Pillow" by Johnny Nash

Cover versions

One of the most covered songs in pop/rock history, "I'm Not In Love" has been recorded by Richie Havens, Dee Dee Sharp-Gamble, Amy Grant, Grandaddy, Stanley Turrentine, Chris Standring, Johnny Logan, Richard Clayderman, Krisma, Will to Power (whose version peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1991), Deborah Blando, The Pretenders, Mike Francis, Brotherhood of Man, Red Red Meat, John O'Banion, Outrageous Cherry, Chyp-Notic, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Päivi Kautto-Niemi, The BB Band, Olive, Geb.el, Gloritone, Tori Amos, Unfinished Thought, Donny Osmond, Rick Springfield, Deni Hines, Queen Latifah, Lazlo Bane, Tex Perkins & His Ladyboyz, Rozz Williams (Accept The Gift Of Sin), Juice, and Japanese singer Ryohei. Former Supreme Scherrie Payne had a club hit with her version of the song in 1982 on Megatone Records.


Olive version

"I'm Not In Love"
Single by Olive
from the album Trickle
Released 27 June 2000
Format 12", CD
Recorded 1999
Genre Dance
Length 4:39
Label Maverick
Olive singles chronology
"I'm Not In Love"

Following their debut album, the English trip hop band Olive recorded a cover of the song. At the cusp of their new record contract with Maverick Records at the time, the band debuted the song on the label's soundtrack for the Madonna film The Next Best Thing before releasing it as the debut single from their second album, Trickle.

Fronted by the lone vocals of singer Ruth-Ann Boyle, the song simulated the backing tracks of the original; the most audible modification made to the song is a percussion track in the style of drum and bass, turning the song into an upbeat dance track.

Accompanied by dance-oriented remixes on the single release, the song gained sufficient nightclub play to reach number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart (on the week of 1 July 2000), as well as airplay on dance-hits format radio.[3]

Preceded by
"Flash" by Green Velvet
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
1 July 2000
Succeeded by
"Don't You Want My Love" by Rosabel featuring Debbie Jacobs-Rock

Ultrabeat version

British scouse house band Ultrabeat recorded a dance version of the song in 2006 with All Around The World records. The song is taken from their debut album called 'Ultrabeat - The Album' and it appeared on Clubland 10 as "I'm Not In Love 2006". It is available to listen to on

Included in soundtracks

  1. Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999)
  2. That 70's show, episode Prom Night (1999)
  3. The Virgin Suicides (2000)
  4. The Office, episode "Judgement" (2001)
  5. Cherish (2002)
  6. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)
  7. Blackpool (2005)
  8. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006)
  9. Big Love, episode Dating Game (2007)
  10. Medium, episode "To Have and To Hold" (2008)

See also


  1. ^ Strawberry Studios. Retrieved at the Internet Archive, 2008-01-19.
  2. ^ BBC interview with Eric Stewart
  3. ^ Ball, Joann D. "Olive, Trickle". Consumable Online. Retrieved 2006-08-29.  


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