About Level 42
Level 42 are an English jazz-funk band formed on the Isle of Wight in 1979. They had a number of UK and worldwide hits during the 1980s and 1990s.
Their highest-charting single in the UK was "Lessons in Love", which reached number three on the UK Singles Chart, and number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, upon its release in 1986. An earlier single, "Something About You", was their most successful chart-wise in the United States, reaching number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
After much success as a live and studio band in the 1980s, Level 42's commercial profile diminished during the early 1990s following a series of personnel changes and musical shifts. Disbanding in 1994, the band reformed in 2001.
Mark King and the Gould brothers were all brought up on the Isle of Wight and played together in various bands during their teenage years. Phil Gould went on to study at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he met keyboard player Mike Lindup in a percussion course. Both musicians found that they had the same feelings about musical heroes: Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Keith Jarrett and Jan Hammer.
By 1979, Phil Gould and Mark King were both based in London and became involved in Robin Scott's pop project M. While working with M, they became acquainted with Afro-French keyboard player Wally Badarou, who played synthesizer on M's US number one single "Pop Muzik". In late 1979, Phil Gould introduced Mark King and Mike Lindup to each other, and all of them began playing together in loose rehearsal sessions, developing their own jazz-funk fusion style. The developing band's original guitarist was Dominic Miller , but he was replaced by Boon Gould on the latter's return from working in the United States.
Initially, instrumental roles were flexible, with Boon Gould also playing bass guitar and saxophone and Lindup doubling on keyboards and drums. Mark King was primarily a drummer but had recently sold his drum kit to pay for transport back to the UK after an ill-fated European venture. With Phil Gould and Boon Gould established as the most accomplished drummer and guitarist in the quartet, King opted to learn bass guitar instead. At the time, King was working in a London music store. A notably flexible musician and quick learner, he had observed visiting American funk players demonstrating the thumb-slap bass guitar technique and developed his own take on the style in a matter of weeks.
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