Wednesday, March 25, 2020

"Lessons in Love" by Level 42

Song#:  3083
Date:  04/04/1987
Debut:  81
Peak:  12
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Synthpop, Sophisti-Pop

Pop Bits:  This UK band broke through in the US in the spring of '86 with their #7 single "Something About You." The hit would help their album World Machine get to #18. Both the single and the album had been hits in the UK the previous year, so while the US was catching up the band recorded and issued out this song in the UK to keep interesting in the band going. It ended up being a major hit reaching #3. They would then continue to work in the studio to come up with their follow-up album, Running in the Family. By the time it was ready, a second single from the LP would be issued in the UK while this song would be the first one released in the US. The tune did well reaching #12 at both Pop and Dance. On a worldwide scale, the song would be the band's biggest hit reaching #1 in several countries. The album would also be their biggest worldwide seller. In the UK it would reach #2 and eventually spawn four Top 10 singles. The album wouldn't be as popular in the US, but it was able to reach #23.

ReduxReview:  This has a nice, easy, groovy feel along the lines of "Something About You," but it  doesn't have the same memorable hooks as that song. The chorus here is more subtle with just the title of the song standing out. It kind of meanders in the mid-section as well. Europeans went koo-koo for the track and it is probably still a very well-known song there. In the US, this tune kind of disappeared after it's initial run while "Something About You" maintained some popularity over the years. I prefer that song as well. This one just doesn't stay in my mind for long.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song was co-written and co-produced by Wally Badarou. Born in France, Badarou became a prolific session keyboard player in England. In addition to co-writing and producing for Level 42, he also would play keyboards and do backing vocals. He worked with the band on nearly all of their albums with his production skills utilized on five of their LPs beginning with World Machine. His relationship with Level 42 most likely began in the late 70s when Badarou worked with British musician Robin Scott, who was better known under the pseudonym of M. Badarou played the keyboard parts for M's debut album, 1979's New York-London-Paris-Munich, which included the #1 US Pop/#2 UK hit "Pop Muzik." Also playing on that album was drummer Phil Gould. Badarou and Gould would also perform on M's follow up, 1980's The Official Secrets Act. That LP also featured Mark King on guitar. Not long after, King and Gould, and Gould would begin to form Level 42. Badarou would help the new band out beginning with their 1981 debut LP, but would never officially become a member.


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