Level 42 Songs 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 songs ranked.

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15. The Chinese Way (The Pursuit Of Accidents, 1982)

“I can confidently say that this album exemplifies their funky, groovy style. Bassist Mark King is without doubt the most talented singer/bass player in pop music. Their songs are very well crafted; tuneful, groovy and lyrically thought provoking.”

14. Forever Now (Forever Now, 1994)

“Level 42’s tenth album came out originally with eleven tracks, before being re-released a couple of times, which I assume is why this track listing here is so long and different from the original, but it’s the original that I have and enjoy as one of the band’s best.”

13. Dune Tune (Level 42, 1981)

“Simply a funk instrumental love song. Mike Lindup’s harmonies on keyboard and vocals lifts this up. Awesome! Forever Level 42!”

Level 42 - Level 42 Lyrics and Tracklist | Genius

12. Guaranteed (Guaranteed, 1991)

“”Guaranteed” is a delight from beginning to end. Mark King and Mike Lindup’s vocals have never sounded better either together or separately than on this album. Their voices are strong, smooth, and filled with emotion. The songs were written by various combinations of Mark and Mike plus drummer Gary Husband, off-again on-again Level 42 collaborator Wally Badarou, singer/songwriter Drew Barfield, and lyricist George Green”

See more: Level 42 Albums Ranked

11. Hot Water (True Colours, 1984)

“A classic for all fans, perhaps one of the funkiest pop lines ever – and one that spawned some of the best live jazz-funk-pop in history. Lyrics are simple (no deep commentary here) instead it’s just as thin veneer of pop over one of the chunkiest bass/keyboard lines ever. Simple and straight to the point – just as it should be.”

10. Heaven in My Hands (Staring at the Sun, 1988)

“Regardless of what genre of music you like, you cant deny this song is just simply amazing – Mark King and the boys never made a bad record. Wish we had stuff like this today rather the bland, boring Ed Sheeran and his ilk that appeal to today’s dumbed-down, I-phone obsessed masses.”

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

9. To Be with You Again (Running in the Family, 1987)

“This is one of their most underrated tunes. I have just downloaded the acoustic version of this song and it’s awesome! The acoustic version really highlights the great lyrics. Lyrics, melody, harmony, real musicians and I don’t know why this band didn’t get more attention in America.”

8. Leaving Me Now (World Machine, 1985)

“A mid-tempo ballad that Mark sings…well, how DOES he sing it? He’s engaged, certainly, but he doesn’t sound wistful or sad or or angry or mocking. So when we hit the line “Well, I suppose you’re leaving me now”, I’m left not knowing quite how to take it. The backing vocals end up doing most of the emotional shading. A few clunky lyrics, but still compelling.”

7. The Sun Goes Down (Standing in the Light, 1983)

“The earlier period Level 42 is much more unique because they are closer to their Jazz-Funk roots. The Sun Goes Down is one of the few Level 42 tracks that sees keyboardist Mike Lindup take vocal duties. He fits pretty well. Mike’s small and flustered voice captures the lyrics of a shy timid man attempting to make some advances on a woman.”

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

6. Love Games (Level 42, 1981)

“Spent good money to get the “full length” vinyl version of this song. Worth every cent I spent!! An amazing pop/jazz combo. Quickly became my favorite song Level 42 ever did. Mark’s amazing vocals and bass playing. The way the vocals melt together with the music. Bravo!!”

5. It’s Over (Running in the Family, 1987)

“Great song. Very sad lyrics, but awesome chords, especially during the last 2-3 minutes. Mike Lindup’s falsetto on the final refrain is spine-tingling.”

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

4. Mr Pink (The Early Tapes, 1982)

“This is one of my favorite bands of all time. I can’t believe they aren’t as popular as they should be here in the U.S. They’re so talented in all areas, Phil Gould’s groove is amazing, the harmonizing vocals between King and Lindup is awesome, Boon’s guitar playing is awesome, King’s bass playing is incredible, and Lindup’s keyboard playing is awesome!”

See more: The Kinks Albums Ranked

3. Running In the Family (Running in the Family, 1987)

“This is undoubtedly a good album that will bring great pleasure to all the band´s fans, and to many fans of both New Wave and Sophisti-Pop, although they would probably be better placed in the latter group. I would be more hesitant about placing the band or this album, amongst the very best of the period however. Its best tracks are not matched, in the most part, by others that are less both familiar and less masterly or proficient.”

2. Something About You (World Machine, 1985)

“Something About You” was one of the best radio songs of 1985, simply put. I wasn’t much more into commercial radio back then than i am now, mind you, but there were certainly more worthwhile radio hits in those days than there are now, and this was one of the highlights.”

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

1. Lessons In Love (Running in the Family, 1987)

“The music of the current generation lacks simplicity. In a good understanding. Now there are a lot of distorted vocals, antics of performers, broken rhythms. It’s not bad, but sometimes you miss music like this, carrying simplicity and a noble clean charge.”