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World Machine

35 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
$19.98 $0.15
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fontana Polydor
  • ASIN: B000001FJW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,082 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 21, 1998
Format: Audio CD
I had the good fortune to be stationed with the Air Force in the U.K. from 1982 to 1984, and discovered Level 42 at that time through a co-worker. They had three albums out, and had come out with a fourth, "Standing in the Light", and I quickly snapped up copies of each. People in Britain and Europe were just getting around to discovering this group's talent. Mark King's bass playing is incredible, no other word describes it. Piano/synth and percussion are skilfully arranged and perfectly complement the guitar and saxophone performances. Everyone I had listen to them became an instant fan. Upon return to the U.S., I eagerly awaited "World Machine"'s release in summer 1985 and was not disappointed. This album to me represents the culmination of the Level 42 style demonstrated in their four previous outings, the kick-ass jazzy-funky instrumentals, uptempo vocals mixed with heart-moving ballads, and bona-fide dance club hits. I could play this album and the others over and over and never get tired of listening to them. I'd be hard-pressed to single out any song in particular on "World Machine", they all have elements that appeal equally to Level 42 fans. "Something About You" and "Leaving Me Now" have playability for Top-40 radio, but the title cut is a high-energy, hard-driving piece of work on which the band members outdo themselves. It's a shame the band has broken up, I'd dearly love for the band members to sign the LP covers I have of their first six albums, the rest are I have are on CD. Jazz fans everywhere, I strongly advise purchase of this recording, it's well worth it!!!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Shark Frenzy on November 6, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is without a doubt, one of my favorite albums of the 1980's. I'm sure most everyone knows the song "Something About You", which was one of Level 42's biggest hits. But if that's the only song you know from this album, then you're missing out on a lot. "Leaving Me Now" is the best track on this album. A gut wrenching ballad that has one of the best endings to a song, I've ever heard. "Hot Water", "World Machine" and "Chant Has Begun" are all upbeat tracks which are easy to get into. "Lying Still" and "Good Man In A Storm" are slower paced, but fantastic additions. The music has a pop/jazz/funk feel to it, which is not something you hear everyday. Did I mention the musicians are some of the best? Mark King's bass playing and Phil Gould's drum work is just another added addition to yet an already wonderful piece of work.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jimi Dominguez on May 23, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is where it all started for most Yanks like me. Imagine that it's 1986, and you have your first taste of this quartet from England. They write really thumpin' dance-pop songs and really pretty pop ballads, but underneath it all is a stylistic nod to classic 70's jazz-funk a la Stanley Clarke and the musicianship to pull it off. In other words these were world-class musicians making great pop. World Machine has all of the above in spades.
Nowhere is this pop vs. musicianship phenomena more evident that on the worldwide hit single "Something About You". It's a great pop song with a great hook and lush vocals, but it is driven by the stalwart rhythm section of bassist-extraordinaire Mark King and groovalicious drummer Phil Gould, for my money one of the funkiest drummers ever. Guitarist Boon Gould delivers a beautiful guitar solo to boot.
King is without a doubt the most visible of Level 42's star musicians. He is arguably the greatest bass guitarist in the world, and World Machine shows a slightly more subdued side of Mark King. The thumb acrobatics of prior Level 42 albums give way to more tasteful yet still funky bass guitar work on "Lying Still" and "It's Not the Same for Us". Try doing what he can do on the bass guitar AND sing at the same time!
Other highlights include the pretty yet melancholy "Leaving Me Now", featuring Mike Lindup's beautiful piano work, and the title track "World Machine", a club-friendly dance number.
World Machine shows a band at its peak of popularity yet also in transition. In a couple of years after this release, producer Wally Badarou would be gone as would the Gould brothers. The classic jazz-funk sound of Level 42 would eventually give way to a more rock-based sound.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave Mock on March 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
There's no such thing as a perfect pop album, but Level 42's 1985 release is certainly one of the best bits of ear candy of the last 20 years. Though the production style is quintessential 80s, the qualities that make "World Machine" so solid would be more than welcome today.
If you get past the pop veneer, you find the other elements that made L42 one of Britain's top dance bands in the 80s and 90s -- the lilting, Latin flavour of the title track, the shimmering harmonies of "Something About You," the moody and soulful balladry of "Leaving Me Now" and "Lying Still," and the propulsive funk of "Dream Crazy" and "Coup d'Etat." All with the intensity that L42 retained from its funk-jazz days.
Bassist/vocalist Mark King's distinctive bass playing, a little less up-front than in the previous album, blends in well with the keyboards of Mike Lindup (also backup vox) and Wally Badarou, and the rhythm guitar of Boon Gould. King's baritone and Lindup's falsetto merge beautifully.
But the star instrumentalist here is drummer Phil Gould, whose elegant balance of snare and toms and hi-hat cymbals is almost as much a symbol of classic L42 as King's bass.
The cut order in this version is slightly different from the US version of the album, which also subs out "I Sleep On My Heart," "Dream Crazy" and "Coup d'Etat" for "Hot Water" and "The Chant Has Begun," from the previous year's "True Colours." The original order works a little bit better, being more reflective of L42's roots as a dance/funk band.
You can't go wrong with either version, though. Peerless musicianship, powerful arrangements and great production by Wally Badarou make "World Machine" a wonderful set to hear -- again and again -- after all these years.
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