Tuesday, June 18, 2019

"Hot Water" by Level 42

Song#:  2803
Date:  07/26/1986
Debut:  96
Peak:  87
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Synthpop, Sophisti-Pop, Electro-Funk

Pop Bits:  This successful UK band finally made some headway in the US with their sixth album World Machine. It featured their first and only Top 10 hit with the #7 "Something About You." The song helped propel their album to #18. For a follow-up single, this next track was selected for release. The tune couldn't come close to replicating the success of their previous single and it fell off the chart after a short month.

ReduxReview:  Level 42 is mainly know for the expert musicians in the band. They were actually more of a jazz-funk jam band that started to incorporate pop elements in their music. They hit the mark with "Something About You," but the balance of their material just wasn't as mainstream. This track is certainly a fun jam, but it's not a great single. It's missing a chorus with a hook strong enough to lure in US pop listeners. It's a solid album track though and their musicianship shines through.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  While the band had achieved success in their UK homeland with four Top 20 albums, they were relatively unknown in the US. When it came time for their World Machine album to be issued in the States, its track listing was altered from the original European version. Two tracks from the original version were replaced with two tracks from their previous album True Colours. The single versions of "Hot Water" and "The Chant Has Begun" were placed on the US version. Both songs were previously singles in the UK reaching #18 and #41, respectively. It wasn't that unusual for track alterations to happen for albums being released in different territories. Labels usually assessed albums and would change things if they thought it might make the album more popular or relatable in a certain territory such as the US market. Chances are since Level 42 had yet to have a charting song in the US prior to "Something About You," they thought bringing two songs that already charted in the UK to the World Machine album might help its commercial viability. Basically, they didn't hear another song that might be a hit in the US and wanted to pad the disc with better candidates. "Hot Water" was one of them, but even though it was a Top 20 entry in the UK, it didn't get anywhere in the US. The follow-up to "Something" in the UK was the track "Leaving Me Now," which made it to #15.


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