Level 42 Albums Ranked

Level 42 is an English jazz-funk band formed on the Isle of Wight in 1979. They had a number of UK and worldwide hits during the 1980s and 1990s. Their highest-charting single in the UK was “Lessons in Love”, which reached number three on the UK Singles Chart, and number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, upon its release in 1986. An earlier single, “Something About You”, was their most successful chart-wise in the United States, reaching number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. After much success as a live and studio band in the 1980s, Level 42’s commercial profile diminished during the early 1990s following a series of personnel changes and musical shifts. Disbanding in 1994, the band reformed in 2001. Here are all of Level 42 albums ranked.

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10. True Colours (1984)

Level 42 – True Colours (1984, Vinyl) - Discogs

“One of their very best. It’s unusual in the way that it has no obvious hit singles (then I suppose the pre-World Machine ones are all like that) and although The Chant Has Begun and Hot Water are here, in their original unedited forms, they come across as if they’re ‘album tracks’ – which I think does them a lot of good. I could go on about each track individually, but if you already like any era of this group – then this IS for you.”

9. Staring At The Sun (1988)

Level 42 – Staring At The Sun (1988, CD) - Discogs

“Superb album. This was the first album Level 42 did after Phil and Boon Gould left the band, although Boon still wrote the lyrics for some of the songs. The songs range from serious to light and fun, and all show maturity and polish.”

8. A Physical Presence (1985)

A Physical Presence - Album by Level 42 | Spotify

“This is certainly up there with the best live albums ever recorded. For those who enjoy the earlier Level 42 albums this one is a must have. Whilst I love the early albums, this shows them off to their full potential. Considering the age of the band in 1985 this album really shows off what accomplished musicians they all. The song choice is great and many of the live versions sound better and more energetic than the studio versions.”

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7. Guaranteed (1991)

Level 42 – Guaranteed (CD) - Discogs

“Being a Level 42 fan, this was one of the albums that I didn’t have…until recently. Boy, how I wish I had purchased this when it came out over 25 years ago! Its brimming with great songs – good hooks, good melodies and of course, Mark King’s great bass playing. It was released at a time, where people were losing interest. Shame, because it is up their with their best work.”

6. The Very Best Of Level 42 (1998)

Level 42 – The Very Best Of Level 42 (1998, CD) - Discogs

“This is one of my favorite bands of the 80’s because I like how they combine a variety of music styles in their songs. I would certainly recommend this CD to anyone who likes jazz, funk, rock-n-roll and new-wave music!”

5. The Pursuit Of Accidents (1982)

The Pursuit Of Accidents - Album by Level 42 | Spotify

“The early works really shows how this band has progressed. The Earlier works were RAW Playing, move to the more Recent years in the eighties onward and The Blending of their efforts shows proffesional Harmony. It is good to listen to their early works of art. This band has a particular style of Jazz infused rythms.”

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4. Running In The Family (1987)

Running In The Family (Deluxe Edition) - Album by Level 42 | Spotify

“This was really well written and truly showcases how well they had grown musically. Not as edgy of funk driven as the earlier albums but still it has that minor moody presence throughout that drew me to them in the first place. Highly recommended.”

3. Standing In The Light (1983)

Standing In The Light by Level 42: Amazon.co.uk: CDs & Vinyl

“Overall a perfect album, and a personal favorite. A good listen for thinkers with feelings, and anyone who understands there’s more to life than what’s expected of us by so-called authority. This album is a good examination of how nations and communities serve mostly to repress our thoughts and feelings so we’ll be obedient, and does it with a tender, thoughtful touch.”

2. Level 42 (1981)

Level 42 - Level 42 Lyrics and Tracklist | Genius

“Prior to this album I had no connection towards Jazz Funk whatsoever and where highly sceptical about it, after I inhaled it my interest in the genre started growing a lot though. Especially have to mention the atmospheric additions from Wally Badarou, it creates together with the great musicianship of the band a certain kind of flavor that I like a lot in the output of this band. Great Album.”

1. World Machine (1985)

Level 42 – World Machine (1985, Vinyl) - Discogs

“It has some definitively 80s sounds to is, but some great jazzy / soulful horns and melodies, even more so than the hits Something About You (which is classic in it’s own right) and Leaving Me Now (which used to rip my heart out when I listened to it back in the day), that still sound good today.”