Mondeo Pop Month: Level 42 – Lessons In Love
Released: April 196
UK chart position: #3
From the album: Running In The Family
Word to I Don’t Care If You Wouldn’t, I Would (a site that is significantly lacking both Stephanie Pratt and Jessica Hynes-Stevenson at the moment), do you ever sit and ponder whether, if James Wade killed himself, you’d make a girlfriend out of Helen Chamberlain? I don’t think it’d be worth it to be honest, and not just because you’d have to hang out with Tim Lovejoy at dinner parties as he burbled about “old school Chelsea legends like Gianfranco Zola” at you. The fucking twat.
No, to me, you’d want to stay away from Chamberlain because she’s the type of girl to catch an attitude. An attitude over the fact that they’re hot, but in a uncommon way. Like Tina Fey or any chick that’s ever been on the cover of Front Mgazine, or the token non-fat dame in any pack of provincial town moshers. These girls all act like they’re Hendricks when they’re, at best, Moss. That’s the Vibe I get from HC, and I make no apologies for this.
I mention all this because the guitarist from Level 42 used to lay pipe to her, before James “Interchangable Nickname” Wade did. And of course you don’t know his name (Nathan King, for what it’s worth). Level 42 were all about the bass, the bassist, the jokes about how lame all bands that are based around bass guitar are (I don’t get why Level 42’s name was such mud for a while in the early 90s… I can only assume it’s because it’s hard to bring their music to mind without also bringing up the image of a gurning Simon Mayo introducing them?).
Level 42 were first made apparently to a 13-year-old me when they got clowned heavily by Lee and Herring in the Fist of Fun annual (and, yeah, I really regret selling that now). They kinda flitted around the back of my knowledge for a decade or so after that, surfacing only out of their Mondeo Pop aesthete position when we used to sing “Running In The Family” to a kid at school called “Joseph” whose dad was dead. He’s since grown dreadlocks and moved to China. But I think I finally “got” Level 42 when, during the 50,000 mediocre mash-ups a week period of the internet, someone threw the acapella for Eminem shigle “Business” over “Lessons In Love”. And, man, that nearly made “Business” listenable.
What a song though. It starts off with some real arm-in-the-air stadium rock ish. And then Mark King remember he’s in Level 42, calms the fuck down, and it stays on that level for the next 4 minutes. Really, there’s nothing heroic about being in Level 42, so there’s no need to act heroic.