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4.4 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polydor, Polydor
  • ASIN: B0044PIYJG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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By Mo VINE VOICE on 8 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD
Though perhaps not the most cherished by many die-hard Level 42 fans, RITF, nonetheless, remains an important node in the band's career for two reasons: it took them right to the peak of their commercial success, and it was the last album to feature all original members.

Twenty-five years on many might think this wouldn't age well as it is entrenched in 80s appeal, but, seriously, it's still a high calibre pop album today as it was back then; when I picked up a cassette version of this as a child!

So, why should you cough up for the super-deluxe edition? Well, the album has to have some sort of meaning to you to want to part the cash, but you do get decent goodies in the silver box...

First, there is the 2012 remaster of RITF itself (inc. the non-vinyl Freedom Someday) with a couple of related single remixes. The sound quality compared to the original is improved (listened to through some great headphones) as you can hear subtle things not in the original; Phil Gould's hi-hats sound very shiny. Compared to say, the RITF song remasters on The Definitive Collection, there is less obvious or perhaps no brick-walling; I can't really tell if it's non-existent, but the songs are (positively) quieter and need to be turned up quite a bit compared to on that hits collection. For example, I find the chorus piano to be a bit distorted on It's Over from TDC, but not on this remaster; so overall it's a better remastering job than with previous Level 42 re-touchings.
I like the colourful Shep Pettibone remix of Lessons In Love but don't think much of the stodgy Dave 'O' remix of Running In The Family. The It's Over remix just features very audible slide guitar.
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Format: Audio CD
I was a bit surprised at the other reveiw here, stating that this was Level 42 at their best.

I disagree. Its certainly Level 42 at their most succesful, and at their peak of their fame, but in reality, Running In The Family, was a concerted effort to build on what had gone before and commercialise it in order to crank out as many hit singles as possible.

Level 42 had acheived limited single chart success from their first album, and had had at least one top thirty hit from each successive album, but it wasn't until Something About You, Leaving me Now and the excellent World Machine album that contained them, that top ten hits came.

'Family' was a result of that success, where the sound of Something About You was deliberately used as a basis for an all out assault on the charts in order to push Level 42 to higher popularity, probably driven by record company impetus.

It worked.

Five big hit singles, but the result?

The band split up the year after, when Phil and Boon couldn't stand the new high profile and bailed out.

Level 42 were never the same again; the sound changed with next years Staring At The Sun, and went on to change in future years, with the rather patchy Guaranteed.

Running In The Family contains some formulaic pop then, but done in a Level 42 kind of way, which makes it listenable. It doesn't match their earlier work in terms of musicianship, as the players are 'doing their pop thing' and they are clearly not being stretched.

Mark King's bass is hardly heard, almost no slaps etc. There is more guitar work from Boon than before which is great, butthe result is a polished slice of pop, no more, no less.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
How to review something I originally bought back in 1987? Let's start with something negative, eh? ;) Well actually I remembered the intro on the opening remix track of Lessons In Love had been missed off (it was all present and correct on the cassette - just the same as the 12" single I own) but that's the only thing that is at fault here. And if you've only heard it on here, you probably couldn't tell there's anything amiss.

Some might say that it was a bit pointless including 'standard' versions of the tracks already existing on the original RITF album but it's always good to hear them, I think and don't mind them being here at all (it also includes the bonus Freedom Someday, on the original CD and not the LP.) The remixes are all as brilliant as when I first heard them and I still have most of the 12" singles of them, plus many more besides. For what you're going to pay for this these days, it's *almost* essential... not so it you're not into remixes but if you're into Level 42 then it's very likely you are anyway! A slightly better approach (like perhaps getting someone to remix the non-remix tracks, back in the day... and there was a great remix of Children Say but if I remember right, it wasn't released until after this) and the absence of the mastering error at the beginning of the disc leads me to giving it only 4/5.

And by the way, the sound quality on here (and all the original 80s Polydor Level 42 CDs) is incredible - so that is a very good reason to have this in your collection.
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