1977–83: Second era
After the departure of Godley and Creme, Stewart and Gouldman opted to continue as 10cc, working with drummer Paul Burgess, who had up to that point been their tour backup drummer. Their first album as a three piece band was Deceptive Bends (1977), named after a sign on the Mickleham bends on the A24 between Leatherhead and Dorking in Surrey. The album, recorded at the newly completed Strawberry South Studio in Dorking, Surrey, reached No. 3 in Britain and No. 31 in the US and also yielded three hit singles, "The Things We Do for Love" (UK No. 6, US No. 5), "Good Morning Judge" (UK No. 5, US No. 69) and "People in Love" (US No. 40). Stewart later said he and Gouldman felt vindicated by its success: "I was out to prove also that we could write a hit album without Kevin and Lol ... we did!" 
In 1977, 10cc embarked on an international tour with guitarist Rick Fenn, keyboardist Tony O'Malley and an additional drummer Stuart Tosh (ex-Pilot) and recorded a live album, "Live and Let Live" (1977), which mixed the hits with material from the previous three LPs.
Fenn, Tosh, Burgess and keyboardist Duncan Mackay (who in 1977 made a solo album entitled "Score") were now full members of the band and performed on 1978's Bloody Tourists, which provided the band with their third UK No. 1 single, the reggae-styled "Dreadlock Holiday". It was their last hit, with the second single "Reds in My Bed", featuring lead vocals by Stuart Tosh, failing to chart.
The band suffered a major setback in January 1979 when Stewart was seriously injured in a car crash. He told the BBC:
It flattened me completely. I damaged my left ear, I damaged my eye very badly. I couldn't go near music. I couldn't go near anything loud and I love music and motor-racing. I had to stay away from both things for a long time, for about six months. And the momentum of this big machine that we'd had rolling slowed and slowed and slowed. And on the music scene, the punk thing had come in a big way. The Sex Pistols, The Clash, lots of things like that. So by the time I was fit again to play, I think we'd just missed the bus. It'd gone. And whatever we did after that, we got a few tickles here and there and we could continue touring forever on the strength of the past hits, but it didn't feel right again, we just didn't have that public with us.