Sunday, June 10, 2007

Number 605 - Level 42


Number 605

Level 42


"Something About You"


(1985)

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Genre:New Wave
I would not be surprised if someone told me there were more one hit wonders in the decade of the 80's than any other decade. Is that bad thing or a good thing? You decide. In the 80's there was such a influx of the bands like and or , , Dead or Alive, , , , to . I guess you could call it a feminine time, males were happy posing as being female'ish and bender gender would never be the same.
By the time the 90's hit, Grunge & Alt Rock squished the feminine out of music, and yes .. thankfully. But how odd it is to recycle the past? For now we have the , , , & Savage Garden to mention but just a few.Don't get me wrong i love Muse & Wainwright's music, its just weird how there a certain fads/styles/gender that repeat in time over and over. In short i wish i never cut my long hair... i would be back in fashion in 1993, 2001 & 2009.
At the beginning of their career, Level 42 was a jazz-funk fusion band, following in the footsteps of such pioneers as . By the end of the '80s, they were a pop-R&B band with a number of hit singles to their credit. Featuring Mark King (bass, vocals), Phil Gould (drums), (guitar), and Mike Lindup (keyboards), the band formed in 1980. 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 by their former record label, Polydor. 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. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Origins of the name
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's character resides in the film Brazil (which was released long after the band gained international recognition); or after Tower 42 (also known as the NatWest Tower) the tallest building in the City of London.
King and Boon Gould decided the band should be called simply by a number, and they both favoured '88' - the number of the bus they used to catch to the recording studio. However, Lindup and Phil Gould saw a poster for a band called
Rocket 88 so their idea was abandoned (although '88' was later used as a song title). King and Gould both claim to have been reading Douglas Adams' comical science fiction novel, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy wherein the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, is '42'. Therefore '42' was suggested as a name for the band. It should be noted that their then producer, Andy Sojka (now deceased), similarly claimed to have been reading the book, and claimed to have put forward the number as a suggested band name. It is known therefore, that the use of the number '42' in the band name came from either King, Boon Gould, or Sojka. The appendage of the word 'Level' is claimed to have been from either Sojka's lawyer, or John Gould's (the third brother and band manager) lawyer.
Other names considered for the band were 'Powerline' and 'Kick in the Head'. 'Powerline' was rejected and given to another of Sojka's groups, and it was on a white label promotional record numbered 'DAZZ 4' that the words 'Level 42' first appeared. The band providing the B-side - a track called "Sandstorm" (a track which they also wanted to call "Kick in the Head"). The A side was provided by 'Powerline'.
'Kick In The Head' was finally used by the band as a working title for the song "A Floating Life" on their True Colours album. The lyric features in the song.
Three further songs (both instrumentals) were 'numbered' by the band: '43', '88' and the B-side 'Forty-two'.
Morrissey once said of the band, "Having never been sufficiently drunk to enjoy a Level 42 record, I prescribe the Burmese neck ring to these chumps for being so icy".

What does Rolling Stone think about Level 42?
In their desperation to be heard, the members of England's have fashioned an album that pretends to be more important than it is. World Machine, the group's seventh LP since it formed in 1980, aspires to the lofty perch occupied by Sting's Dream of the or even ' Songs from the Big Chair, but it doesn't pass the social-awareness test. In light of recent events in the Philippines and Haiti, lyrics like the title track's "Don't knock the system/We'll knock some sense in you/Can't beat the system/There's nothing you can do" seem particularly myopic.
In its favor, Level 42 is a virtual rhythm machine, churning out one infectious groove after another. "World Machine" is their best effort: propelled by Phil Gould's explosive tribal beat, it showcases Mike Lindup's considerable keyboard talents. (Unfortunately, the jazz improv at the end of the song fades out much too soon.) While other cuts recall the Average White Band ("Hot Water"), Robert Palmer ("It's Not the Same for Us") and ("Something About You"), Level 42 does have its own sound, thanks largely to Mark King, whose vocals are memorable for sounding like they stay within one octave for an entire record.
Perhaps I wouldn't mind this monotony if there was more depth to Level 42's music. World Machine is an assortment of delectable side dishes, but the main course is missing. What it also lacks – Sting's Ghosts, a singular vision, clarity of thought – might keep it from crossing over to the U.S. from the U.K., where it was a Top Ten hit. I just can't see Level 42 rising higher. (RS 472)
For Robert Palmer see Number 648
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (The 80's c'mon it was all f'd up) and the Album ranked at Number (Wannitt cobba?)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 72 out of 108 pts
Level 42 - Something About You
Uploaded by jpdc11

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