Level 42 (album)

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Level 42
Studio album by Level 42
Released August 1981
Recorded 1981
Studio Vineyard, Chipping Norton and RAK. Mixed at Red Bus.
Genre Jazz-funk, dance-rock, jazz fusion
Label Polydor
Producer Mike Vernon
Level 42 chronology
Level 42
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Q3/5 stars[2]

Level 42 is the debut album released in 1981 by the British group Level 42.

It is best known for the track "Love Games", which became a successful jazz–funk and dancefloor hit for the band (reaching number 38 on the UK pop charts). It has figured in both L42's and bassist Mark King's solo live appearances to this day. Also gaining substantial dance airplay on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean was the track "Starchild", with Lindup on vocals.

The second single, "Turn it On", released in the United Kingdom, Spain, France and Canada,[3] peaked at #47 in the UK single charts.

The third single, "Starchild", has been released in six countries beyond the United Kingdom (peak position: #57), including the United States of America,[4] where it entered the Club Play Singles at #60. In 2001, it was re-released by the label Peppermint Jam Records in the United Kingdom and Germany.

Track listing[edit]

  • Original Vinyl LP (Polydor 2383 612)
  1. "Turn It On" (Badarou, Gould, King) – 4:42
  2. "43" (King) – 7:04
  3. "Why Are You Leaving?" (Gould, Lindup) – 4:36
  4. "Almost There" (Gould, Gould, King) – 5:45
  5. "Heathrow" (Badarou) – 4:43
  6. "Love Games" (Gould, King) – 5:20
  7. "Dune Tune" (King) – 4:52
  8. "Starchild" (Badarou, Gould, King) – 5:58
  • First CD Pressing (Polydor 821 935-2)

(On the first CD pressing, the album versions of "Turn It On", "Love Games" and "Starchild" were replaced with the extended versions. Later pressings and reissues contain the original album versions.)

  1. "Turn It On" (Badarou, Gould, King) – 5:36
  2. "43" (King) – 7:02
  3. "Why Are You Leaving?" (Gould, Lindup) – 4:34
  4. "Almost There" (Gould, Gould, King) – 5:42
  5. "Heathrow" (Badarou) – 4:43
  6. "Love Games" (Gould, King) – 7:25
  7. "Dune Tune" (King) – 4:50
  8. "Starchild" (Badarou, Gould, King) – 6:41
  • 2000 reissue bonus tracks
  1. Forty-Two (Gould, Gould, King, Lindup) – 6:39
  2. Beezer One (Badarou, King, Gould, Lindup, Gould) – 7:09
  3. Foundation & Empire (King) – 8:27
  4. Dune Tune (live) (King) – 5:03
  5. Goodbye Ray Schmidt-Volk – 2:07
  • 2007 reissue bonus tracks
  1. Heathrow (Live, Regal Theatre, Hitchin 1983)
  2. Turn It On (Live, Regal Theatre, Hitchin 1983)
  3. Starchild (Long Version)
  4. Love Games (Live, Ryde Theatre, Isle Of Wight 2000)
  5. Why Are You Leaving? (Live Ryde Theatre, Isle Of Wight 2000)


Level 42
  • Mark King – bass, percussion, vocals (lead vocals on 'Turn It On', "Why Are You Leaving", "Almost There" & "Love Games")
  • Mike LindupMinimoog, acoustic & electric pianos, percussion, vocals (lead vocals on "Starchild", chorus lead vocals on "Turn it On" & "Almost There", bridge lead vocals on "Love Games")
  • Boon Gould – guitars
  • Phil Gould – drums, glockenspiel, timbales, backing vocals, percussion


2007 Re-issue:

  • Gary Husband - drums (Tracks 4 & 5)
  • Nathan King - guitars & vocals (Tracks 4 & 5)
  • Lyndon Connah - keyboards & vocals (Tracks 4 & 5)


  • The Princess portrait on the cover of the L42 album has become an unofficial emblem of the group. It appears in silhouette on the Strategy / Early Tapes album; on the labels of the UK vinyl editions of The Pursuit of Accidents; and in outline on the backs of Standing in the Light and True Colours. A modified version appears on the cover of 2006's Retroglide. The Princess also adorns the cover of the band's 1982 single "The Chinese Way" and 1983 single "Out of Sight, Out of Mind." In 2002, Status Graphite, a maker of custom basses and a company associated for more than two decades with Mark King, issued a "Princess" version of its KingBasses with a colour rendering of the famous logo.


Album charts[edit]

Year Chart Position
1981 UK album charts #20
1981 Hitlistan (Sweden) #43

Single charts[edit]

Year Song Chart Position
1981 "Love Games" UK single charts #38
1981 "Turn It On" UK single charts #47
1981 "Starchild" UK single charts #57