1987 Level 42 – Lessons In Love
Mark King and Phil and Boon Gould met and began playing in various bands while still in school on the Isle of Wight. Phil met keyboard player Mike Lindup when they studied music in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Robin Scott created the pop project M in the late seventies. The group gained international fame with the song Pop Musik in 1979. Wally Badarou played keyboards on the recording. Phil and Mark also worked as part of that project, and they began rehearsing with Wally to create a jazz-funk style of music.
The group Level 42 grew out of those early sessions. The group soon comprised Phil, Mark, Boon, and Mike, who took their name from the answer to the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Wally did not join the group, but became an unofficial fifth member who co-wrote songs, co-produced their recordings, and even sometimes played keyboards and synthesizers for them.
By 1981, the group had recorded a single that broke into the top forty on the UK chart. More hits followed, but the group did not reach the top forty in the US until Something About You reached the US Hot 100 in 1986. That single peaked in the top ten in both the UK and the US.
While the group’s next single (Leaving Me Now) reached 15 on the UK chart, it did not break into the Hot 100. A remix of the title song from their album World Machine got onto the US Dance Chart, where it peaked at #15.
Level 42 recorded their next album in early 1986. The lead single from the album, Lessons In Love, quickly reached the top of the charts in five countries and #3 in the UK, their highest charting record in their home country. The group toured in the US that year as well, and that helped the single reach #12 on both the Hot 100 and the US Dance chart in 1987.
The group also owed some of their success in the US to a video for the single.
Level 42 had three more top ten singles in the UK in the next year. Nine more of their singles charted in the UK top forty by the end of 1994. Sadly, the group failed to do that well in the US: their next single stalled at #83 on the Hot 100 in 1987, after which they failed to reach any of the US charts again.
Boon and Phil had left the group by the end of 1987. Mark and Mike have recruited new members as necessary and still lead an active group that tours and played a concert in Canada in 2020.
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