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Level 42

Level 42 were an English pop band of the 1980s who throughout that decade had a number of hits in the UK and around the world.

The band members were:

Level 42 were formed in 1980 as a Jazz-Funk fusion band. Initially they were signed to a small independent record label (Elite Records) after being seen jamming together. Shortly after they released the single Love Meeting Love on Elite they came to the attention of Polydor records and signed to them. In 1981 they released Love Games, a top-40 hit. They then cut their critically acclaimed debut album, Level 42. This became an immediate success throughout Europe. The following year, a second album The Pursuit of Accidents was made, and singles from the album, first Weave Your Spell and then The Chinese Way were released, both charting, the latter in particular rising high in the charts and gaining the band a much wider audience than hitherto. Their album went on to become a huge seller. A fourth album Standing in the Light generated their first top ten hit in the UK in 1983, The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up).

The following year Mark King pursued solo projects, and the next album, World Machine, was not released until 1985. Singles from this, Something About You, and Leaving Me Now were also top ten hits, followed by another, Lessons in Love. By this time the band was heading away from its original jazz-funk sound and towards a much more mainstream pop sound. The band's 1987 album Running in the Family although selling well, cemented this musical direction.

Both Phil and Boon left the group, unhappy with the increasingly 'pop' direction, and exhausted from touring. As a result, Mark King recruited Gary Husband and Steve Topping to fill their places. In addition, guitarist Alan Murphy joined, formerly of Go West. A new album Staring at the Sun, was released in 1988. The following year Alan died from an AIDS related illness, and the band took some time off. At this time a greatest hits compilation was released. During the early 1990s the group tried to blend more of their earlier influences, such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, into their sound by asking master musician Allan Holdsworth to provide some stunning guitar work for the album 'Guaranteed'. Despite producing a good sounding album the fans did not like this direction. The pop scene in the UK had moved on and the album did not sell well despite being regarded among fans of the wider rock fusion sound as being Level 42's most musically sophisticated work to date.

Table of contents
1 Origins
2 Discography of Albums
3 External link


The origin of the band's name has been variously described as being inspired by a sign in a lift in a very tall building in the US; the top level of the biggest car-park in the world, in Japan; the floor on which Jonathan Pryce lives in the film Brazil; or after Tower 42 (also known as NatWest Tower) a tall building in the City of London. In truth the band was originally called simply 42 after the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and the word Level was added to make the name more distinctive.

Discography of Albums

External link