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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 5 August 2017
getting there
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on 16 May 2017
good music
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on 16 June 2017
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on 14 April 2009
This album was bound to get mixed reviews, as it is clearly a more pop orientated approach and a chance to reach the heights of success with the formula, which started on world machine. I love early Level 42 albums, I also love later ones. Just because this is pop, doesn't make it bad. Every song on here is genius. Melodic, with great vocals. And to say the bass is not prominent is nonsense. 'Lessons in love' is based around the walking bass line that is the back bone of the whole song. 'Freedom someday' has one of the most funky bass lines I've heard.
A lovely album with 'two solitudes' as my favourite. A beautiful acousitc guitar solo in that one, (unusual for Level 42, can't think of another song like that), with Mike on lead vocals.
Highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 8 October 2012
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.

The second CD features acoustic re-interpretations of the original 9 tracks, and I must say, they sound very interesting; worth playing over a few times. Most of them aren't carbon copies of the originals as there's slightly different rhythms and arrangements more appropriate for a stripped rendition. However, I thought it a shame that we had Mark replacing Mike on Two Solitudes as the latter's voice was made for that song; as compensation we could've maybe heard Mike sing lead on It's Over but, nope. The only acoustic re-interpretation that really struggles is perhaps Fashion Fever; but respect for trying to turn a dance song into something that Bobby McFerrin would be proud of.

The Live At Wembey (sic) CD is a straight remastered audio rip of the Live At Wembley video/DVD from the RITF tour and it sounds fine without the visuals.

Disc 4 (DVD) features all 6 promo videos for the album as well as a TV-edit version of the Fait Accompli documentary. This, though, is a slightly strange addition as it might've been better attached to any possible Staring At The Sun remaster, seeing as it covers that period with the replacements for the Gould brothers; still, it's interesting to see.

To top off the box we get a bunch of postcards of the Warhol-esque pictures from the album cover, alongside an original tour promo and a booklet that looks back on the album through the eyes of Mark King.

Overall, I like it as it takes me way way back and it seems a fitting homage to an album that was the borderline between going off the rails completely and still showcasing how good the classic Level 42 line-up could be.
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on 4 June 2007
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.

Some of the old Level 42 surfaces on the tracks 'Sleepwalkers', the best thing on the album, and Fashion Fever comes a close second, with its funky groove.

But Level 42 at its height?


If you want to hear this band at its peak, buy True Colours, where the range and style of the songs is wide, and the lyrics are thought provoking.

World machine is also a good buy, although this was the start of the change to commercialism, there are still 'old Level 42' vibes throughout.

I remember 1987 well, when many of the hard core old skool Level 42 fans abandoned Level 42 because they had 'sold out' and moved away from their sound.

It hardly seems to matter now; Level 42 are back with us with a new album, which is excellent, and their live gigs continue to be great, but this album is an inoffensive enough listen, and will make you want to hear more, but Level 42 are much much more than Running In the Family.
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on 31 March 2015
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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on 10 October 2012
Being a big fan of Level 42 and asking my parents for this album on cassette way back in May 1987 i was really hoping that the 25th anniversary issue with this being the poorer relation to the Super Deluxe version would have been worth purchasing.

Myself and most other fans of the band already own RITF (Platinum Edition) and the Polydor RITF remaster from 2000 which just repeats itself here. So what do we get, the original nine track album still ending with Freedom Someday instead of The Sleepwalkers as per the original cassette and first cd versions (personal preference). Acoustic renterpretations of the album tracks (always a bit hit & miss) and live tracks which are just a direct audio rip from the Live At Wembley 1986 dvd.

Here's personally how i would have prefered this cd to look, Edsel Records take note!

CD 1 (Original Album)

Lessons In Love
Children Say
Running In The Family
It's Over
Freedom Someday
To Be With You Again
Two Solitudes
Fashion Fever
The Sleepwalkers

CD 2 (Remixes & rarites)

Lessons In Love (Extended Version)
Lessons In Love (Shep Pettibone Remix)
Lessons In Love (Dub Mix)(Shep's Final Mix)
Children Say (Remix)
Children Say (Extended Remix)
Children Say (Slap Bass Mix)
Running In The Family (Dave `O' Remix)
Running In The Family (HTL Dub)
It's Over (Extended Remix)
To Be With You Again (7 Inch Mix)
To Be With You Again (A.D.S.C. Mix)
To Be With You Again (Dub Mix)

So to sum up, yet another missed opportunity by the compilers and record company and i for one won't be parting with my cash just for a flashy slipcase and booklet with unseen photos. But i'm off to see the band this month who are always great live and celebrate RITF 25 years.
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on 28 January 2015
With 5 hit singles including the title track, 'Lessons In Love' and the gorgeous ballad 'It's Over', this was assuredly one of the most enjoyable albums of the 1980s. 2 of the other 3 main tracks are definitely worthy of mention here ~ 'Two Solitudes', featuring lovely vocals from Mike Lindup, is my favourite track here and 'The Sleepwalkers', which closes the vinyl version of this LP, is very classy indeed. Level 42 aficionardos will no doubt tell you that this is not the band's finest hour but, in my opinion, this is a well-executed project and Mark King's funky bass playing and distinctive vocal style are always worth listening to.
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on 3 December 2008
This package was originally released in 1987, and was clearly designed to build upon the commercial success enjoyed by Level 42 with the release of the 'Running in the Family' album. As evidenced by the reviews already submitted in respect of this album, the reaction of established fans to the obviously commercial intention behind the music was extremely mixed - some regarded it as the final nail in the coffin to the original sound of the group, whilst others welcomed the success which they felt the group deserved.

As the title suggests, this version was released as a mark of that success, and was originally available as a vinyl doublepack (featuring the original album with the 'remixes' on a separate disc and a slightly truncated cd and cassette - obstensibly because of inherent time restrictions with each format). And that is the case here, the single disc cd removes the album versions of the songs and replaces them with the alternative remixed versions - which is, arguably, quite unusual.

The remixes featured were produced by Shep Pettibone, a DJ and producer with a clear and authentic pedigree. During the mid 1980's Pettibone enjoyed notable success working with a host of mainstream artists (including Madonna, the BB & Q Band and Five Star), many of whom were keen to see the widened audiences that a great remix could bring - being able to take the original record and retune it for a variety of listeners. And that is what Pettibone brings to the project, his reworkings of 'Something About You', 'Lessons in Love' and 'World Machine' (from the earlier album (1985) of the same name) take the originals and strip them down, in a style similar to that of Larry Levan, enhancing the percussive elements, beat and bassline of each song and presenting them in a stylised format that made the music danceable and usable for other DJs of the period (thereby increasing the group's potential audience). The style is instantly recognisable as belonging to Pettibone, and all work extremely well except for 'World Machine' - which suffers from a surfeit of edits which actually make the song less danceable and credible as a dance inspired remix.

The only other 'remixed' songs are 'It's Over' (which was altered by the band, and one suspects, listening to it now, that the subtle enhancements made were produced with the American market in mind) and the Dave Ogrin remix of 'Running in the Family' - which strips the song down but adds little of value to the original.

So is the 'Platinum Edition' worth buying?

This was the first Level 42 album to specifically feature a host of remixes, and the success to which they undoubtedly helped contribute would see later material also subjected to reworking and remixing to varying degrees of success. This particular edition of 'Running in the Family' has, arguably, been recently superceeded by the enhanced and remastered double pack edition (which sees the album partnered with 1988's 'Staring at the Sun'). This might appear, at least superficially, to represent greater value for money, but it is worth noting that the bonus tracks included on that edition do not feature on 'Platinum' and none of the 'Platinum' remixes feature on the double pack! This means that it is quite possible to own this edition and the latter issue whilst avoiding a great deal of duplication.

Level 42 fans can therefore buy 'Platinum' knowing that another piece of the groups discography is theirs, whilst for fans who discovered the group during the 'Running in the Family' period this represents a great value way of obtaining qualitative remixed versions of key songs which are otherwise not that easy to obtain in context. Arguably the vinyl version of this release offers the best possible value, but for those without a record player this will suffice.

Recommended - for fans and those revisiting key bands of the 1980's too.
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