Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Level 42

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by campbarrybass, Oct 17, 2002.


  1. campbarrybass

    campbarrybass

    Oct 17, 2002
    Hi guys,

    I'm a new contributer from England. In the early to mid eighties I was in a Level 42 tribute band called "Living it up". I played (to my honour) the Mark King role in the band I was a pretty handy slap bassist in those days, I'm a little rusty nowadays.

    Although Mark King doesn't enjoy the adulation he once (quite rightly) enjoyed I still think of him as a substantial influence in the bass realm.

    I had a disagreement with my teenage son about the qualities of Level 42 and he said it was boring music with no relevance to today. I had to strongly disagree.

    As bass players and (I'm assuming) probably younger bass players than me does the work of Mark King/Level 42 still have significance today?

    B.
     
  2. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I'd say it has significance today, it's still played on the radio, and I'm sure it has had influence on today's songwriters, and bass players too. I'm 20 and I dig their music. His bass playing hasn't had a great impact on me personally, but I'm not that interested in slapping. May I ask, what music does your son like?
     
  3. TRU

    TRU

    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Level 42 was very much an 80's band and the music has lost some of its freshness over the years. It is still good IMO but not fashionable anymore. Also slapping is not very popular these days, so one could say its not too relevant today.

    BUT there are dozens of bass players influenced by Mark King, who are using the best parts of his style and turning that into something new. Or at least learning to play those songs have improved their technique. ;)
    I think Jamiroquai is very much based on Level 42 stuff.

    Does the work of Jaco still have signifigance today?
     
  4. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Indeed, not fashionable, but fashions come and go, and it's not necessarily the fashionable stuff that is remembered in years to come. The Beatles music may not be fashionable, but I'd say it's still relevant today - it's still influencing songwriters a great deal, I reckon.

    I was gonna say, Jamiroquai may well have been influenced strongly by Level 42 (I wouldn't say it's based on it as such, tho).

    I'd say so, bass players are still listening to Jaco's records and learning from his playing, and I reckon they will be well into the future. There's still plenty we can learn from Jaco!
     
  5. campbarrybass

    campbarrybass

    Oct 17, 2002
    My son tells me he is into "nu/(new?)-metal". It seems to be mainly from the US and involves wearing a lot of black, Papa Roach, Lincoln Park and I think The Last Prophets.

    It seems quite imaginative in parts but is a little samey and the bass is very driven and often distorted.

    Apart from the Chilli Peppers and Jamiroquai (whom I both like) 'slapping and popping' as a modern means of playing the instrument is now quite rare.

    A shame as it is a satisfying and rewarding technique once mastered.
     
  6. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Heh, I'm not surprised he's into nu-metal, that's the first thing that popped into my head when I read your first post. I imagine it's a teenage thing, I suppose kids have always had a tendency to latch onto the fashionable music of the time, and dismiss older music as being out of date. I suppose that's all part of it. When I was a lot younger (like 10 or something) I used to say the Beatles was 'phogey' music, and rib my mum about it. Only a few years later, I had bought all of the Beatles albums, and transcribed most of their songs, and they're still one of my favourite bands of all time.
     
  7. TRU

    TRU

    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Well, that's what I would have said too if I had thought before writing ;)

    I was trying to be rhetorical. Mark may not be as big an influence as Jaco was, but since he was the frontman he did get lots of publicity.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    There's a hilarious review of "Level Best" on Amazon that describes Level 42 as "musical Thatcherism" (amongst other things), which might explain why it's out of vogue.

    I think of them as the UK equivalent of Toto: an exceptionally talented group of studio musicians who decided to call themselves a "band" and wrote songs with the express intent of getting themselves played on the radio.
     
  9. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    Rhetorical or not, comparing Level 42's music to Jaco's is a bit like comparing Jason Donovan to Frank Sinatra. Well, maybe not that bad, but you get the drift.

    Like a lot of 80's stuff, Level 42 has gotten dated, but it still has enough content for theose who like it.

    campbarry, apparently the love for Level 42 doesn't "run in the family" ;)
     
  10. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    LOL, nice one.

    Talking of Toto, d'ya know if their album Toto IV is any good? I ordered it from hmv.co.uk about 2 and half months ago, and it's *still* not arrived! grrr!
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    It's their signature album. Exemplary of early '80s superslick L.A. FM radio product.
     
  12. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Yeah but is it *good*? :)
     
  13. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    It's not recorded/mixed badly and the playing is competant. Beyond that is subjective opinion.
     
  14. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Indeed, and what is your opinion? The only song I know from it is Rosanna, which is great.
     
  15. TRU

    TRU

    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    If you like Rosanna, you sure will like the whole album.
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Not that interested in the topic - but was intrigued by the user name - I mean how "camp" is Barry? :D

    Is this a necessary consequence of doing tributes to 80's bands?! ;)

    Kajagoogoo - played the Gay Pride festival in Brighton - I didn't go, but could hear the strains of "Too Shy" from miles away!!
     
  17. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    LOL, well, you are in the gay capital.
     
  18. campbarrybass

    campbarrybass

    Oct 17, 2002
    Camp Barry was a nickname I acquired on the South Yorkshire gig circuit circa-mid to early eighties due to my love of camper vans and our use of them as our gig transport of choice.

    It didn't pay to be 'open-minded' in South Yorkshire in those times. You soon learn this after dodging flying bottles in a working mans club in Rotherham for looking like a 'pooftah'.
     
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I believe you - but shouldn't that have been "camper barry" then - not that that makes it any better!! ;)