Ten Out of 10 is the eighth studio album by 10cc and was released in November 1981 (with the US version not following until later in 1982). It failed to chart in the US or UK. The album marked the first involvement with the band by American singer-songwriter Andrew Gold, who was also invited to join the band, but declined because of other commitments.
Gouldman said the band's label in the U.S., Warner Bros. Records wanted more of an American flavour to the album. "They were keen for us to work with an American producer or writer. Well, we hadn't had any big success since '78, and we wanted to get hot again. When they suggested Andrew Gold, I was over the moon. I'd always adored his work, and I reckoned he would be a kindred spirit ... I felt really we needed some new blood, but it didn't work out. Andrew was doing so much stuff in America that it just wasn't practical, although he really wanted to do it."
Gouldman later admitted greater involvement by Gold might have lifted the band's early 1980s output from its mediocrity. "We should either have tried to change direction, which we didn't, or got someone else in the band, which we almost did. The albums weren't really bad, there was always the integrity, and the production values, but in retrospect, I find them rather dour, rather lacklustre. That's why I thought we should have got someone else in, to kick us up the arse. We didn't see what was going on around us, maybe we should have got a producer at that point."
Gold was invited to record with the band by Lenny Waronker, head of A&R at Warners. He explained: "He was of the opinion that, although the album was very strong, it might benefit the US audience to have a few additional cuts tailored more for the American ear. As he knew I was an Anglophile, we might hit it off well. "Soon I was in the UK, co-writing and co-producing three tracks for the album, which was a blast to do and turned out very well. During the course of my three-week stay, Eric, Graham and I fell in love, as it were, and soon they asked me to join the band, which was an extremely exciting offer. For various reasons, which now seem dumb to me, and after great consideration, I demurred in favour of pursuing my own career and returned to America."
Although the album featured two of the musicians used on 1980s Look Hear? – drummer Paul Burgess on all but two tracks, guitarist and singer Rick Fenn on two tracks – Ten Out of 10 was clearly a return to the core duo of Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart. A variety of session musicians, including pianist Vic Emerson of Sad Café, were employed for the album, but unlike its predecessor, they were not acknowledged on the album as part of "the group". Instead they were credited by name after the contributions of Gouldman and Stewart, who were identified only as "Graham" and "Eric". The only band member photos on the album were those of Gouldman and Stewart.
The album yielded the following singles: "Les Nouveaux Riches"/"I Hate to Eat Alone" (UK release); "Don't Turn Me Away"/"Tomorrow's World Today"; "The Power of Love"/"You're Coming Home Again" (released with "Action Man in a Motown Suit" as the B-side in some countries); "Memories"/"Overdraft in Overdrive" (Holland only); "Run Away"/"Action Man in a Motown Suit"; "We've Heard It All Before"/"Overdraft in Overdrive" (UK only). "Memories" was also scheduled for UK release in February 1982 but substituted with "The Power of Love" a month later.
Recording was split between the band's two studios, Strawberry Studios South at Dorking, Surrey, and Strawberry Studios North at Stockport, Greater Manchester.
Cover design for the album was by Visible Ink Ltd, which also created the cover for ABC's The Lexicon of Love (1982).
Following Ten Out of 10, the band ended its stint with Warner Bros. Records. Their following release, Windows in the Jungle (1983), would be released on Mercury Records.