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Level 42

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Bio

At the beginning of their career, Level 42 was squarely a jazz-funk fusion band, contemporaries of fellow Brit funk groups like Atmosfear, Light of the World, Incognito, and Beggar & Co. By the end of the '80s, however, the band -- whose music was instantly recognizable from Mark King's thumb-slap bass technique and associate member Wally Badarou's synthesizer flourishes -- had crossed over to the point where they were often classified as sophisti-pop and dance-rock, equally likely to be placed in the context of Sade and the Style Council as any group that made polished, upbeat, danceable pop/rock. The band's commercial peak came with 1985's World Machine, but they continued to record and tour sporadically throughout the '90s and 2000s. Featuring Mark King (bass, vocals), Phil Gould (drums), Boon Gould (guitar), and Mike Lindup (keyboards), the band formed in 1979. Before they released their first single, "Love Meeting Love," the band was pushed to add vocals to their music in order to give it a more commercial sound; they complied, with King becoming the lead singer. Released in 1981, their self-titled debut album was a slick soul-R&B collection that charted in the U.K. Top 20, resulting in the release of The Early Tapes. Level 42 had several minor hit singles before 1984's "The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up)" hit the British Top Ten. Released in late 1985, World Machine broke the band worldwide; "Lessons in Love" hit number one in Britain and "Something About You" hit number seven in America. Their next two records, Running in the Family (1987) and Staring at the Sun (1988), were a big success in the U.K., yet only made some headway in the U.S. Both of the Gould brothers left the band in late 1987; they were replaced by guitarist Alan Murphy and drummer Gary Husband. Murphy died of AIDS-related diseases in 1989; he was replaced by the renowned fusion guitarist Alan Holdsworth for 1991's Guaranteed. The band followed Guaranteed in 1995 with Forever Now. Throughout the remainder of the ‘90s and the 2000s, the band’s lineup fluctuated, with King the lone constant and his brother, guitarist Nathan King, on-board since 2001. Level 42 released a studio album, Retroglide, in 2006. Four years later, the band celebrated its 30th anniversary with a special tour, as well as a box set, Living It Up, which included a disc of fresh acoustic versions recorded by Mark King and Lindup. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Albums by
Level 42

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    26 songs

    On Air

    Staring at the Sun

    20 songs

    On Air

    Something About You & More Hits from Level 42

    19 songs

    On Air

    Lessons in Love & More Hits from Level 42

    12 songs

    On Air

    Lo Mejor de Level 42

    11 songs

    On Air

    Retroglide (Remastered)

    10 songs

    On Air

    The Acoustic Album

    15 songs

    On Air

    Live from Metropolis Studios - Level 42

    12 songs

    On Air

    Sensational Level 42

    14 songs

    On Air

    The Level Live - [The Dave Cash Collection]

    9 songs

    On Air

    Running in the Family: Acoustic Re-interpretations 25 Years On

    6 songs

    On Air

    Sirens

    9 songs

    On Air

    World Machine

    21 songs

    On Air

    World Machine [2 CD]

    12 songs

    On Air

    The Pursuit of Accidents

    9 songs

    On Air

    Standing in the Light

    10 songs

    On Air

    Staring at the Sun

    8 songs

    On Air

    Level 42

    17 songs

    On Air

    Love Games

    56 songs

    On Air

    Living It Up [Deluxe Edition Boxset]

    14 songs

    On Air

    Lessons in Love

    1 song

    On Air

    My Independence Day (Ourra Remix)

    2 songs

    On Air

    Hot Water

    2 songs

    On Air

    Love Games

    1 song

    On Air

    Sirens (Ourra Remix)

See All Albums

Top Songs by
Level 42

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Something About You
  3.   Lessons in Love
  4.   It's Over
  5.   Running in the Family
  6.   Free Yourself
  7.   Almost There
  8.   I Sleep on My Heart
  9.   The Chinese Way
  10.   To Be With You Again
  11.   Instrumental Love
  12.   Bitter Moon
  13.   I Feef Free
  14.   The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up)
  15.   Lasso the Moon
  16.   The Spirit Is Free
  17.   Past Lives
  18.   Leaving Me Now
  19.   Fashion Fever
  20.   Starchild
  21.   Dune Tune
  22.   Heathrow
  23.   Two Hearts Collide
  24.   Micro Kid
  25.   It's Over
  26. See All Songs

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Level 42

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