Staring at the Sun (Level 42 album)

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Staring at the Sun
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 1988
RecordedRecorded at Miraval, France
Engineered and mixed by Julian Mendelsohn
Engineers assistant - Jean Lamoot Mastered at The Townhouse by Kevin Metcalfe
GenrePop rock
Length49:41 (CD) ,43:42 (vinyl)
Level 42 chronology
Running in the Family
Staring at the Sun
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic1.5/5 stars link
Smash Hits2/5 stars[1]

Staring at the Sun is the eighth studio album by British jazz/funk band Level 42, released in 1988. The album includes the singles "Heaven in My Hands" (UK No. 12), "Take a Look" (UK No. 32) and "Tracie" (UK no. 25).


Staring at the Sun is the first Level 42 album not to feature brothers Phil Gould and Boon Gould, although Boon did write the lyrics to six of the songs. They were replaced by British guitarist Alan Murphy, who had collaborated with Go West and singer Kate Bush, and drummer Gary Husband, who had been a member of the band Morrissey–Mullen. This would be the only Level 42 album on which Murphy would appear, as he died only a year after its release from complications related to HIV/AIDS.

Commercial performance[edit]

The album was not as successful as its predecessors, again reaching the Top 5 in the UK Albums Chart but missing the top half of the Billboard 200 in the US. Internationally, it reached the Top 10 in several countries, but ultimately had a lesser impact on the charts than the band's two previous albums.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Heaven in My Hands" (King, R. Gould) – 4:39
  2. "I Don't Know Why" (King, R. Gould) – 4.22
  3. "Take a Look" (King, R. Gould, Lindup, Badarou) – 4:41
  4. "Over There" (King, Lindup) – 3:59
  5. "Silence" (Lindup) – 4:56
  6. "Tracie" (King, Husband) – 4:53
  7. "Staring at the Sun" (King, R. Gould, Badarou) – 4:39
  8. "Two Hearts Collide" (King, R. Gould) – 4:10
  9. "Man" (King, R. Gould, Badarou) – 7:23
  10. "Gresham Blues" A (King) – 5:43

A Available on the CD and cassette only


Level 42


Chart positions[edit]


Year Album Chart Peak
1988 Staring at the Sun UK Albums Chart 2
1988 Staring at the Sun US Billboard 200 128


Year Song Chart Peak
1988 "Heaven in My Hands" UK Singles Chart 12
1988 "Take a Look" UK Singles Chart 32
1988 "Tracie" UK Singles Chart 25


  1. ^ Smash Hits, October 1988 link