Originally released on Polydor Records in August 1981, it remains a very special and discrete record and has gone on to achieve a cult status separate from the rest of their august catalogue.
Formed at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama by way of Paris and the Isle Of Wight, Level 42 marked the union of four talented friends – Mark King, Mike Lindup, and brothers Phil and Roland ‘Boon’ Gould – complete with Wally Badarou, their very own studio-based synthesiser whizz-kid. From building a fervent following through the nascent Britfunk scene, they signed to Polydor and went on to make a series of fascinating albums.
The sheer invention, melody and imagination of this four-piece was astounding, aided by their secret weapon, French-Belizean Badarou, whom the band had met playing sessions for M, Robin Scott’s art-disco ensemble. Although Level 42 had recorded – and made waves – for indie label Elite, they signed to Polydor and released this album, with three of their original calling cards, Starchild, Turn It On and the mighty, UK Top 40 breaching Love Games.
By the mid 80s Level 42 had become arena-filling superstars, with their commercial pop-funk with everyman lyrics that delighted fans not just in Europe, but also in America, too. Hear the roots of that on this frequently surprising, always entertaining debut album. Think of this album as the missing link between Talking Heads and Herbie Hancock.
Out of print on LP for a number of years, this re-issue faithfully replicates the original 1981 Polydor UK release with insert and is pressed onto high quality 180g vinyl.
Tracks: Turn It On / “43” / Why Are You Leaving / Almost There / Heathrow / Love Games / Dune Tune / Starchild