Note: This review is for the original 1991 CD release of this album, and not the 2007 re-issue Levelling The Land
, which I do plan to buy someday.
There are some albums that you'll play on repeat and then gradually tire off, this has happened to me many times, but The Levellers second full-length record 'Levelling the Land' will never fall into that category. It's one of my favourite albums in a CD collection that is very extensive.
With songs so good that you could mistake it for a greatest hits CD on first hearing, 'Levelling the Land' was certified gold in the UK in 1991, and opened up with their anthem 'One Way', an energetic song with lyrics that should be followed by everybody.
Other hits followed, including 'Fifteen Years', which only missed the top ten. But neither of these tracks are my favourites. The political songs are what make this record truly special. 'Battle of the Beanfield' tells the real life story of how hippies at a festival were treated unfairly (to say the least) by police, or, as the lyrics go: "b****rds". 'Another Man's Cause' is an anti-war song that almost brought a tear to my eye when I first heard it, as it expresses the Falklands War through the story of a mother loosing her husband and son, questioning why we have to go to war at all, it's an amazing song.
The Levellers make folk music like no other band, and this masterpiece combines upbeat music with beautiful ballads that lyrics that really can speak to you, make you reflect, and also inspire. If you wish to start a collection of the band's music, you might be better off with buying the One Way of Life - Best of
album first, but if want just the one studio album, I do urge you to pick 'Levelling the Land', you'll thank me for it.