Recorded on the final night of their tour at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2003, this special 16 track live package from the Jazz-funk legends Level 42 is packed with classics. The band are at their brilliant best performing hits including 'Lessons in Love' and 'Something About You' that have underlined the reasons why the group have always been at the very top level of modern day music.
Level 42 was steadily perfecting and evolving their dance/pop, funk, and rock mix during the '80s, and when they hit the big time, the label began reissuing their earlier, less successful material. It's hard to understand why this didn't do as well as later albums like World Machine, Running in the Family, and Staring at the Sun, although the obvious reason would be that no singles ever broke that compared with the ones from those releases. But it was just as well produced, the songs were almost as cutely performed, and the arrangements are very similar.
Polydor's Level Best is a thorough, successful overview of the smooth, jazzy British sophisti-pop outfit, containing all of their biggest hits and best material, including the sublime "Something About You." At 18 tracks, it may run a little long, but it still is as comprehensive a summary of Level 42's career as could be hoped.
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…
After nine albums on the Polydor label, the band moved to RCA for "Guaranteed", which was released in September 1991 and peaked at # 3 in the UK album charts. It was accompanied by three hit singles in "Guaranteed", "Overtime" and "My Father's Shoes".
The Very Best of Level 42 is a compilation released by the UK band Level 42. It features a chronological track listing of the band's hit single releases from 1981 to 1994.
The first time Dandelion label head John Peel heard the Way We Live, courtesy of a demo tape they mailed him, he thought someone was playing a trick on him - some accomplished superstar band, perhaps. Only when he actually met the duo did he discover that they really were as good as their demo insisted, and A Candle for Judith - itself comprising exactly the same songs as that original tape - allows the listener to share in Peel's amazement. Eight tracks find the band drifting across the musical spectrum, sometimes heavy (the opening "King Dick II" sounds almost Sabbath-like), sometimes folky, but never less than fascinating…