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Running in the Family / Staring at the Sun (Remastered)

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Album Review

This Polydor release pairs the seventh and eighth albums from Level 42: Running in the Family (1987) and Staring at the Sun (1988), both of which reached number two in the band's native U.K. The albums are split between two discs with remastered sound and several bonus tracks, such as a Shep Pettibone mix of "Lessons in Love," a slap bass mix of "Children Say," and extended versions of "Tracie" and "Take Care of Yourself." Serious fans deserve better packaging — it's drab — but it's a cheaper alternative to buying fancy individualized reissues. See also: Level 42/The Early Tapes, The Pursuit of Accidents/Standing in the Light, and True Colours/World Machine.


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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Running in the Family / Staring at the Sun (Remastered), Level 42
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