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Living It Up (Deluxe Edition)

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Album Review

The first half of Level 42’s four-disc Living It Up is for casual fans. The second half, along with the packaging, which includes lengthy liner notes from Mark King, dozens of photos, and a pictorial discography, all stuffed inside a set of furry dice — a compact, hardcover book-like shell, actually — is for insatiable freaks. With such an evenly split personality, it’s impossible to imagine anyone picking up the set without some hesitation. Discs one and two consist of the band’s 34 U.K. singles, from 1980’s “Sandstorm” through 2006’s “The Way Back Home,” with “Kansas City Milkman” as the representative from the live EP A Physical Presence. Disc three, containing mostly previously unreleased material, compiles scattered versions, demos, a couple World Machine-era B-sides, and live material. A 19-minute segment from a 1991 performance in Antwerp involves a curious blow through Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” between “Love Games” and “The Chinese Way.” The final disc would have made a nice standalone release, or a souvenir for the band’s 30th anniversary world tour. It’s an acoustic album of imaginatively rearranged hits, recorded by King with Mike Lindup in 2010.

Customer Reviews

badly mastered!

Buyer beware: a number of tracks on disc one are in mono (replacements discs are available from Universal if you bought the box, don't know how it works in iTunes land) - disc 3 is most interesting, could do with some more rare and unreleased tracks. The 'acoustic' disc is ok, but doesn't have alot of staying power. For die-hards only.


Formed: 1980 in Isle of Wight, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
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Living It Up (Deluxe Edition), Level 42
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