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Level 42 / The Complete Polydor Years 1980-1984 unboxed

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SDE takes a look at the new Level 42 Complete Polydor Years 1980-1984 box set which contains five albums and bonus material across 10 CDs. Watch the video…

The Complete Polydor Years 1980-84 box set is out now. Read the SDE interview with Mark King and Mike Lindup about this box.

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Level 42

The Complete Polydor Years 1980-1984 10CD box

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CD 1: LEVEL 42

1. TURN IT ON
2. “43”
3. WHY ARE YOU LEAVING?
4. ALMOST THERE
5. HEATHROW
6. LOVE GAMES
7. DUNE TUNE
8. STARCHILD

CD 2:  THE EARLY TAPES

1. SANDSTORM
2. LOVE MEETING LOVE
3. THEME TO MARGARET
4. AUTUMN (PARADISE IS FREE)
5. WINGS OF LOVE
6. WOMAN
7. MR. PINK
8. 88

CD 3: THE PURSUIT OF ACCIDENTS

1. WEAVE YOUR SPELL
2. THE PURSUIT OF ACCIDENTS
3. LAST CHANCE
4. ARE YOU HEARING (WHAT I HEAR)?
5. YOU CAN’T BLAME LOUIS
6. EYES WATERFALLING (THE PRODIGY)
7. SHAPESHIFTER
8. THE CHINESE WAY

CD 4: STANDING IN THE LIGHT

1. MICRO KID
2. THE SUN GOES DOWN (LIVING IT UP)
3. OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND
4. DANCE ON HEAVY WEATHER
5. A PHARAOH’S DREAM (OF ENDLESS TIME)
6. STANDING IN THE LIGHT
7. I WANT EYES
8. PEOPLE
9. THE MACHINE STOPS

CD 5: TRUE COLOURS

1. THE CHANT HAS BEGUN
2. KANSAS CITY MILKMAN
3. SEVEN DAYS
4. HOT WATER
5. A FLOATING LIFE
6. TRUE BELIEVERS
7. MY HERO
8. KOUYATE
9. HOURS BY THE WINDOW

CD 6: 7” SINGLES

1. LOVE MEETING LOVE – (7″ VERSION) (FIRST TIME ON CD)
2. (FLYING ON THE) WINGS OF LOVE (U.S. MIX – 7″ EDIT)
3. LOVE GAMES (7″ VERSION)
4. TURN IT ON (7″ VERSION)
5. STARCHILD (7″ REMIX)
6. ARE YOU HEARING (WHAT I HEAR)? (7″ VERSION)
7. WEAVE YOUR SPELL (7″ REMIX)
8. THE CHINESE WAY (7″ VERSION)
9. OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND (7″ VERSION)
10. THE SUN GOES DOWN (LIVING IT UP) (7″ VERSION)
11. MICRO KID (7″ VERSION)
12. HOT WATER (7″ VERSION)
13. THE CHANT HAS BEGUN (7″ EDIT)

CD 7: B SIDES

1. INSTRUMENTAL LOVE
2. FORTY-TWO
3. BEEZER ONE
4. FOUNDATION AND EMPIRE (PARTS 1 & 2)
5. THE RETURN OF THE HANDSOME RUGGED MAN
6. DUNE TUNE (LIVE)
7. LOVE GAMES (LIVE)
8. 88 (LIVE)
9. YOU CAN’T BLAME LOUIS (REMIX – 7″ VERSION) (FIRST TIME ON CD)
10. CAN’T WALK YOU HOME (7″ VERSION)
11. CAN’T WALK YOU HOME
12. TURN IT ON (LIVE)
13. ALMOST THERE (EDITED VERSION)

CD 8: 12” SINGLES & RARITIES

1. (FLYING ON THE) WINGS OF LOVE (U.S. MIX – FULL LENGTH VERSION)
2. (FLYING ON THE) WINGS OF LOVE (REMIX ’81)
3. LOVE GAMES (FULL LENGTH VERSION)
4. TURN IT ON (FULL LENGTH VERSION)
5. STARCHILD (REMIX – LONG VERSION)
6. ARE YOU HEARING (WHAT I HEAR)? – (EXTENDED VERSION)
7. WEAVE YOUR SPELL (EXTENDED VERSION)
8. THE CHINESE WAY (EXTENDED VERSION)
9. OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND – (EXTENDED VERSION)
10. YOU CAN’T BLAME LOUIS (EXTENDED REMIX)
11. THE SUN GOES DOWN (LIVING IT UP) (EXTENDED VERSION)

CD 9:  12” SINGLES

1. MICRO KID (EXTENDED VERSION) (FIRST TIME ON CD)
2. MICRO KID (I-LEVEL REMIX)
3. THE CHINESE WAY (NEW YORK REMIX)
4. THE CHINESE WAY (DUB)
5. HOT WATER (MASTERMIX)
6. STANDING IN THE LIGHT (EXTENDED VERSION)
7. MICRO KID (SPECIALLY REMIXED VERSION)
8. MICRO KID (DUB VERSION)
9. THE CHANT HAS BEGUN (POWER MIX)
10. THE SUN GOES DOWN (LIVING IT UP) (UPFRONT MIX)

CD 10: BONUS TRACKS

1. LOVE GAMES (U.S. REMIX)
2. SANDSTORM (LIVE MAY 1982)
3. MR. PINK (LIVE MAY 1982)
4. IT’S A HAPPENING
5. THE CHINESE WAY (DUB – EDIT) (FIRST TIME ON CD)
6. LAST CHANCE (EXTENDED VERSION)
7. HEATHROW (LIVE AT REGAL THEATRE, HITCHIN)
8. TURN IT ON (LIVE AT REGAL THEATRE, HITCHIN)
9. EYES WATERFALLING (THE PRODIGY) (LIVE AT REGAL THEATRE, HITCHIN)
10. THE PURSUIT OF ACCIDENTS (LIVE AT REGAL THEATRE, HITCHIN)
11. ARE YOU HEARING (WHAT I HEAR)? (LIVE AT REGAL THEATRE, HITCHIN)
12. STANDING IN THE LIGHT (7″ VERSION)
13. GOODBYE RAY SCHMIDT-VOLK

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2wicky
SDE Resident

Good price on the Southern European dodax sites for the box set (ES, IT, FR), around 54 Euro ~ 46 GBP incl. free shipping

SDE Resident

This video sold the box to me. It’s great value. Looks good and sounds great. I’m a casual Level 42 fan, seen them live and only owned their imperial phase- World Machine- Staring At the Sun.
I’m loving delving into the earlier albums

Chris

Just seen this Paul Waller comment on the Hoffman site. I think his comments are informative and demonstrates how much endeavour and hard graft has been put into producing the Level 42 boxset. It also answers a lot of complaints which have prevented me from purchasing the set, I’m sure not to be alone in this. I am this rectifying today and looking forward to the Postman arriving.

Hi, it’s Paul Waller here. I helped Universal and Cherry Red put the box set together and I’m working on the second one now. I also wrote and published an official discography book, which one of you kindly mentioned. If anyone wants a free download you can find it on my Twitter @stratosbleu. I can confirm all of the albums in the box set are new 2021 masters and not the 2000 reissues. They were originally going to be but I begged Universal to pull out the tapes. And, bless them, they did! Please don’t underestimate how difficult and expensive an undertaking this was for them. The Early Tapes in this set is taken from a brand new 24-bit 192khz master of Andy Sojka’s original ‘Strategy’ mastertapes (which I owned). Everything else was transferred flat and I told the mastering engineer there was to be no f*cking compression added. So for all of the albums we used the engineer’s notes on the actual tape boxes. So Strategy for example was originally engineered at 6db below peak, so we increased it by 6db to peak. I shared the new masters with an audiophile friend of mine who is also a fan and he was blown away. This is the best the the Level 42 albums have sounded digitally. The original West German CDs are ok but they’re really quiet. The Astley ones are at the opposite end of the spectrum. It cost Universal a fortune to have these new masters made and it took almost a month. It put the project way over budget. Bear that in mind and then add in the fact we were in the throes of a pandemic, people were working from home and it costs money every time you request something from the tape library. And then add into the equation it’s Level 42, who are not as commercially attractive as say, The Who! So I’m really pleased and grateful for what Universal did for us. For discs 5-10 we had to settle for the best versions of the tracks we could find in the digital archive but you know, they’ve never offended me. Universal did allow us to request the missing tracks, however. For better or worse, and after a LOT of dead ends we found the Marmite A.D.S.C. mix of To Be With You Again. It was the U.K. 12″ of MicroKid I was most pleased with, though. We found things like the original 7″ edit of Love Meeting Love, which has never been on CD previously. Out Of Sight, Out of Mind 7″ could not be located. That’s gone! We already knew Are You Hearing 7″ with that lovely Boon banjo part was lost many moons ago too. Simon Carson who worked with me on the project has the best knowledge of the Level 42 catalogue in the world. We have a lot to thank him for. It was his persistence that led to all of these previously non-digital tracks appearing in this set. My contribution was the box front cover artwork (which is from my book) and the wallets for the 5 bonus discs, which I recreated from scratch, reimagining the old 7″ and 12″ single sleeves. I slaved to get them absolutely spot on, matching all of the vintage fonts. They’re very faithful reproductions and I’m very pleased with them. I also helped with the 3D visuals and illustrations in the booklet. One of you made a comment that a lot of money must have been spent on the artwork. I can confirm it wasn’t. Simon, Paul Wallace and myself all gave our services free of charge, motivated by the prospect of making it as good as it could possibly be. It was originally going to be 7 CDs and we got it to 10 too. I saw the comment about the tracklist on the back. The chap who did the typesetting for that was always going to have a tough job. That’s an awful lot of text to fit into a tight space. I’m a graphic designer and i’d have struggled to make that look pretty. Appreciate all the comments, good / bad. Can’t please everyone, but for something that’s a licensed release, it has the best and newest digital masters of the classic LPs. And it has no right to. And I’m very pleased about that.

Fredpostman

Kudos for Cherry Red for producing this boxset that I have just ordered. I’m glad they kept the one disc per one original album format,rather than break them up (as the did for the Sister Sledge boxset for instance.m which was universally slated and rightly so)
Thanks again for releasing these physical products,us oldies want tangible products.

musicoloog

My copy has arrived today. I wish the Cherry Red’s in this world would pay more attention to the way they send these box sets (and also other products). Again the corners are really bumped as it has been put in an envelope which hardly gives any protection. These retailers should know by now that postal services aren’t very gentle with parcels… A real shame as it is a nice box, but now it will be shelved damaged.

Any one else has/had the same experience?

Neil Hunt

Mine was also damaged on the corners due to being sent in just a jiffy bag. I’ve emailed Cherry Red with some photos but it will probably take them ages to reply, if at all, going by previous experience.

James H

Yes, mine was the same. Really poor packaging job.

Kauwgompie

Cherry Red is known for doing this. I have rarely been disappointed by Amazon and their customer service. If a package arrives damaged, they will offer you to return it or get some money back for your next purchase on Amazon.

Neil Hunt

I’ve just relistened to the 7″ Singles disc and don’t hear any obvious vinyl rips or sibilance so some of the comments here are misleading, which is annoying as it is then passed to other music forums and may put off potential buyers of this box set. The only noticeable vinyl rip is the aforementioned AYH(WIH)? 12″ mix.

Despite my earlier comment about louder volume on the bonus discs (which is okay, just turn the volume down when listening!), I am happy with the quality throughout, especially the studio albums, and must congratulate and thank all involved in putting together this box set. I can’t wait for volume 2 and hope that there will also be an RCA years box to complete my Level 42 collection.

James H

Well, I’m glad that you didn’t hear anything, as it means that other people may not be bothered by it also. For my part, I listened to the 7″ singles disc closely on headphones, and when I did that it became obvious to me that the 4 tracks I mentioned sounded very different to the others, much less clean, some distortion and sibilance. Perhaps they are better-done rips than the 12″ one that’s been admitted to, but I still heard the tell-tale signs.

Neil Hunt

I listened through a hi-fi so that probably made the difference in how I heard the tracks sound. I presume headphones will probably show up any imperfections. I do agree that some songs sound a bit weaker (Weave Your Spell, Are You Hearing) but I think this is down to their single remixes which are not as good as the album versions, adding more echoes to the vocals and adding handclap beats etc. and also the louder mastering may have possibly added some clipping or distortion?

I see that my comments have already been ridiculed on the Steve Hoffman Forum regarding the louder mastering but I’m just pleased to get these tracks on CD. I’ve been a Level 42 fan since about 1984/85 so some of the early and lesser known 7″ and 12″ mixes are new to me and I’m glad to be able to finally hear them on CD even if not mastered at their absolute best. For a long time I’ve lived with the previous remasters which are similar to the bonus discs but it is nice to get better mastered versions of the studio albums.

Alex

Something that hasn’t been mentioned so far, I think. Does the booklet include the lyrics to the songs?

PAUL NYMAN

Thank you Paul, Paul & Simon for the extra work assembling this Boxset for Cherry Red/Polydor/Universal.

Thank you also Paul @SDE for the awesome site!

Cliff In Toronto

As a long, long time huge fan of Level 42, it’s been fascinating and distressing to read the comments here. So many angles: full credit to Paul Waller and company for their curation work and ensuring that as much material could be included as possible at a decent price. Unfortunately whomever “mastered” this basically created a mix tape of a box set. Until Retroglide in 2006, Level 42 was always well recorded and the original vinyl and first-run West German Polydors are beautiful to listen to. Subsequent “remasters” have been loud and compressed. The 2-in-1 releases in 2000 were a lost opportunity, remastered as ear bleeders. It appears whomever mastered these new releases basically re-created CD-R’s , using the original Polydor masters (good) and the 2000 bonus tracks (bad), with no aim to level or EQ match all the tracks.

Not good for “deluxe boxes” after the poor live tracks (not stated as audience) on both the Cat Stevens and Japan (!!) releases. At least with the quality of the main albums here, you still have tremendous money for value. Unfortunately, Level 42 may not merit the care and consideration we’d like to have seen – a properly mastered box set with all the studio tracks, plus the River Sessions, and maybe a Rockpalast show.

James H

First up, the main albums sound really good to me, best CD versions I’ve heard so far. And the booklet and packaging are great all round.

As far as the bonus discs go, I’ve only played the 7” edits disc so far, but sadly I’ve found what sound very much like more needledrops.

“Are you Hearing What I Hear” , “Weave Your Spell” , “Out of Sight (Out of Mind) and “Hot Water” all sound like obvious vinyl rips – distortion and sibilance are quite noticeable, and a generally thin sound on a couple of them. There were a couple more that I slightly suspected, but they sounded good so it didn’t bother me.

I get that sometimes masters aren’t available but it would be nice to have that acknowledged in the packaging somewhere so we know what we’re buying.

Still happy with my purchase, though!

Steven Roberts

Seems I might have spoken too soon earlier when I stated “this looks like a quality set”. Well, maybe it does look like one, but the reports as to the sound – it is a music boxed-set, after all – suggest that someone dropped the ball somewhere.

Which is SO frustrating, because chances are this is the only set of its kind that (this period of) Level 42 will ever receive.

Why oh why can’t labels just TELL US the sources of the music they are packaging PRIOR to release, so the punter can make an informed judgement and not get pissed-off when they find the music is an obvious needle-drop or audience bootleg (this, Cat Stevens, Japan etc…)

Phil

Box looks great indeed and you can really see the love they put in it on the visual side/typography. However let me say it, when it comes to the listening experience (what we should be here for) this set is inconsistent unfortunately. So we get five studio albums well mastered, with proper dynamic range, and we get the other five discs noticeably louder and compressed. Now, if all the care in the world was taken as they said, why can’t it also be for sound? Really I don’t get it. It remains a great set but this is sad

Ex-Oligarch

I would expect singles mixes to be noticeably more compressed than album mixes. That’s the usual practice.

Isaías

I don’t care about proper dynamic range, I don’t care about noticeably louder and compressed, I don’t care about book reporting every lettle day the band spent recording each album. We are in 2021 and things such as 7″ and 12″ versions are back in the 80s which are almost impossible to find and blessed are the ones who have them in good conditions. The world changed so much since then, we are facing pandemic all around and honestely saying we need to thank Cherry Red and the truely Level 42 fans who gave their love and passion to turn this box available to all of us. I never thought one day in my life I could get an opportunity to have all these 7″ and 12″ versions in my collection. If it was taken from vinyl transcriptions or original master tapes to me it doesn’t matter at all, it do not bore me a bit, I have them and that’s the most important thing.
I just thank you and thank you and thank you all the people who made this dream come true.

I deeply wish Cherry Red keep releasing boxes like this which features the most important to truely fans the albums, the 7″, the 12″, the B-dides.
As suggestions I can say Thomas Dolby, Talk Talk, Talking Heads, Sinéad O’connor, Eurythmics.
Who knows ??? Maybe it can happen !!!

Wayne K

I do agree that they should have been consistent for all of the discs in the set but that seems to be the trend with a lot,of these large boxed sets. I’d rather have a set where half are well mastered, the other half not so much rather than all poorly mastered. The preferred version should be all well mastered.

Rich G

Great unboxing video Paul, as always. Nice and clear, pointing out pros and cons and giving comparison reference points with other box sets that SDE readers will be familiar with. Enjoyed watching it even though Level 42 aren’t for me. I do think that £5 per CD is pretty okay, especially when it is remastered and curated by fans for completism. Space saving packaging at a decent price point is a good think. I love Neil Young, but he must assume we all live in a house as big as his with his thick lid boxes taking up the space of 5 or 6 albums per reissue!

Steven Roberts

I’d be interested to know how Cherry Red arrived at this packaging and price point – did they consider the 10″ box with book option, as with the recent(ish) sets from Lennon, Soft Cell, Richard and Linda Thompson et al?

Cherry Red in fact occasionally use that sort of packaging themselves, although it tends to be for single album ‘celebrations’ (Be-Bop Deluxe, Al Stewart etc). Yes, it would have raised the price a little – but it would also have been just that bit classier, and I’m sure that Mr Waller’s own visual discography would have been an excellent starting point for any book that could have been included.

Still, this looks like a quality set, and I’ll await a deal alert with interest (I would probably bite the bullet now but for the fact I already have most of the albums on CD).

MichaelM

If this were released on vinyl I would certainly buy it. But on cd? Nah.

Wayne K

Yes and you’d pay $200 for it on vinyl. I tend to favor CD for these large boxed sets as you are less likely to have issues (warped, off center and other flaws for vinyl) and have to,go,through replacements. Thar said, it would be nice to see both.

Glenn Roger

I was totally impressed with all the info I got about this new LEVEL 42 box set coming out. I have ordered this for sure because I know that in due time, it will become rare and quite sought after. I have learned my lesson countless of times. I’m sure some people will feel this isn’t a complete look, but all the additional material that is included with the albums is just massive, and I love how they did the box. If your looking for a comprehensive look at their early work, this is the box to have.

Wax Monster X

Thx Kawagompie!
10 discs for 5.00 each! Plus a 10% off coupon. DONE!

Larry Davis

Just ordered from ImportCDs for that killer price, thanks Kawgompie!! I think I may be ordering from them more often…on Amazon, they didn’t lower it, still $87…but yes, great video Paul as usual & Cherry Red does great product…looking forward to Volume 2…

Kauwgompie

Larry,
Just keep in mind, their prices are rock bottom but they provide no service. You can’t even cancel an order. I canceled an order once after 10 mins and their standard answer 2 days later: “sorry due to our fast shipping we cannot cancel it anymore”. And then you have to return it at your cost. We have gotten used to much criticized Amazon but their service is excellent. Still, importcds prices are the lowest by far and their packaging is excellent so if you are 100% sure you want the order, they are a good alternative to Amazon, especially with Amazon’s recent GEO coded pricing and shipping from Europe still very high.

Larry Davis

Thanks for the tip Kawgompie…I love Amazon…if I ever have an issue, always deal with it over chat, they resolve it & I usually get a credit, usually $5 to $15, out of it…but I usually go between them, Discogs sellers, eBay, band sites, sometimes SDE!! But I nabbed the L42 set at the rock bottom price, nope not cancelling, just hope it comes reasonably on time & no damage…thanks again friend…

ID

Hi All – I have this set and wondered whether anyone else has noticed that track 6 on Disc 8 “ARE YOU HEARING (WHAT I HEAR)? – (EXTENDED VERSION)” sounds extremely sibilant and basically like a bad vinyl rip. It’s the only track like it on an otherwise good quality collection so stands out by a mile…

Max Mazing

You’re spot on, it is a vinyl rip. In the booklet someone is being credited for „Vinyl Restoration“, which basically means that Polydor/Universal Music have either never preserved the mastertape of the Extended Version of AYHWIH or they simply couldn’t be bothered with searching for it when this box set was being compiled, because, let’s be honest, the set does not include anything that hadn’t been available before on CD, apart from this vinyl rip of AYHWIH. There’s a simple reason for that: it’s by far cheaper to re-release already existing masters than to research for archive tapes and have them remastered for the first time. All in all one might wonder what the work actually was that Waller and co actually did do on this box set. I for one am really not impressed with this box-set. It could have been so much more comprehensive and extensive had all involved a little more love and respect for the legacy of this band.

Isaías

You are completly right Paul as you said “there are ALWAYS limitations with these things” and we (outsiders) do not know what’s behind in such a release which allowed diehard fans to make a fantastic job. I’m truely sure Universal would never release such a box set like this but I’m pleased the label gave a green light to Cherry Red to do so. And then even in it we need to thanks Universal also.

Steve Thorpe

Very well said Paul – that is a balanced view of this post, and I agree that the limitations always have to be taken into account when compiling these releases.

Darren

What an absolutely ridiculous comment. The team involved in this set have done a fantastic job collating all the correct versions. Let’s face it Level 42 would hardly have thought, 38 years ago, that anyone would have a remote interest in a minor singles 12” version now!

No wonder the master tapes of some of these mixes have gone AWOL. I imagine they have been moved physically and ownership shifted over the years.

Check yourself with comments like that.

Trash

More comprehensive and extensive??
“How?” is my question…
There seems to be only a few versions missing (which are all listed in the booklet) so I’m not sure what else should have been included.
Admittedly I would have liked a bit more info on the albums themselves but that would have increased the price which would have put it out of reach of a lot of people.

To me the set seems to be pretty exhaustive, well-packaged and decently priced (but I guess you can’t please everyone and frankly I find the tone of the comment pretty rude and dismissive).

Kauwgompie

I was wondering when someone would start complaining but Max Mazing takes the cake. Criticizing box sets is often warranted but entirely out of place here. We know for years that masters of 12” versions are hard to track and often unfindable. Thankfully they “bothered” to include a vinyl rip. They could have simply said “sorry the master is lost”. “More comprehensive and extensive”? Really? Everything is here and a volume 2 is coming.
Paul Waller, you did an amazing job with this box. Thank you for your hard and unpaid work! I’m glad there isn’t an expensive book included that would have doubled the price. If you want that, buy a book about the band. Now the box includes all the music, is affordable and fits on everyone’s shelf. This is an early contender box box set of the year.

Gerbrand

On the upcoming new SDE website I would give Paul’s and Kauwgompie’s comment a big like / thumbs up. I eapecially agree with the final line about “contender for box set of the year”.

Also, I love how they reused original singles artwork for the bonus disc and “bothered” to print the track listings in the original fonts used on those singles. A real fan’s touch, and quite a bit of work, no doubt. Kudos!

Ian Davis

Yes – I know I made the comment about the sound quality but it wasn’t intended to be an assault on all the good work done. Those first 5 albums in this set are as good as I’ve ever heard them. It was really a query as to whether or not I had a defective disc. It seems it’s not the case though. Just a shame that a better source for AYHWIH 12″ couldn’t be found. I have a very soft spot for this band and probably always will.

Simon Carson

There are 4 songs on this set that make their CD debut. If Universal had released this themselves I am sure the budget for this would have bigger.

Simon Carson

The source for AYH (Extended Version) was the same that was used for the Dutch ‘The Ultimate Collection II’ 2CD compilation that was released back in 2005 and is indeed a vinyl rip. The original tape could not be located so frustrating for sure. Also there are 4 tracks making their CD debut on this set and yes most of it has been released previously but this is the first time that all of this material has been available in one place. As Paul Sinclair has said budgets are limited on smaller labels compared to the likes of Universal.

Wayne K

It’s entirely possible mastertapes went astray; it has happened for many artists over the years.

Neil Hunt

ID, I also noticed the sibilance on that 12″ mix, but as you say, everything else is fine. I was surprised by the sudden volume increase when playing the bonus discs as they are much louder than the albums, probably a similar volume to the previous remasters.

Did anyone else here buy their box set from Cherry Red and receive it with squashed corners? Mine was, and not surprising really, as it was only posted in a thin jiffy bag!

MARK SIMON LEVY

Very cheeky using the Polydor logo when its an independent release.

Max Mazing

The content of the set is being licensed from Polydor/Universal, the company that owns the rights to the all L42-recordings up until Guaranteed, therefore it is just right that the Polydor-logo is being used…

Glenn

It’s nice to see that Cherry Red got some fans involved in this release. Given all the missed opportunities/mistakes that have been called out on SDE over the years it is clear that asking fans for input or review for reissue projects is worthwhile. I am sure there are many people with expertise on certain artists that would be happy to contribute. Hope to see more of that in the future.

Paul Wallace

You’re exactly right, and I was one of the fans involved with this. It’s as accurate as can be – and box two will be just as amazing! And finally the To Be With You Again ADSC mix will be the correct one ;)

Henrik

Please let us have the 2 wembley shows in full on volume 2 from the 2 last albums.

Ex-Oligarch

Another excellent unboxing video that shows consumers exactly what they are getting. Great job.

This is another set that looks to be so well conceived and executed, and so reasonably priced, that I really wish I liked the band. As I watched the video, the only reservation that came to mind was that a few pages could have been added to the booklet to include more of the singles cover art; but as Paul Waller points out, an illustrated discography book already has been published for fans. I only wish more of the artists I enjoy were treated to this sort of careful, comprehensive reissue.

Ivan Goldberg

I always like to know if original lp label artwork is on the CD Body itself so thank you for showing the disc as well.

Lucas

@ Paul Waller

Thanks for your input on this great boxset. I was wondering if the second box is 10 CD’s also? Does it include skipped tracks from this box?

Douglas

Nice set, but I can’t help noticing that the double live album “A Physical Presence” is missing, along with the accompanying single “Follow Me”. To me, this album marks the end of the era covered in this set, before the real commercial success kicked in with “World Machine”.

Although, I guess that with only three studio albums remaining from the Polydor years, Volume Two is going to need something to eke it out.

Are we likely to see a Volume Three, taking us from “Guaranteed” up to the present day?

Kauwgompie

The video confirms what a fantastic box this is. The content is clearly outstanding and I’m glad they chose the sturdy outside box. With the box being wayyy overdue, the question becomes how comprehensive will it be. Thankfully some proper people got involved (Paul Waller) and Level 42 gets what they deserve. I just read the note from Paul Waller that he did this voluntarily. That shows how much love went into this box. I rarely ever pre-order a box but in this case, I had to. A great deal can be found on importcds.com, only $47 with the discount code GREEN10 and shipping only $3.
https://www.importcds.com/complete-polydor-years-volume-one-1980-1984-10cd-box-set/5013929954526

Spiral Scar

Thank you, Kauwgompie. I appreciate that tip! I just ordered after reading your comment. That’s an unbeatable price.
All the frustrations in comments about availability from Amazon (in many posts on this site) leave me scratching my head. There are other merchants in this big world, you know! If you willfully choose to let a company become a monopoly, you’ll be stuck with their terms forever. Or you’ll be S.O.L. when they won’t accommodate you. Maybe I have more options to have things sent here to the US than some of my fellow music lovers worldwide, but I wouldn’t ever imagine I don’t have other choices if Amazon refuses to deliver to me. If it weren’t for some truly great deal alerts here on SDE, I’d never use them. I managed to buy over 1300 pieces of music last year and only shopped from Amazon maybe seven times. And the banged up condition of my Lennon box (Gimme Some Truth cd/blu-ray) – shipped overseas in a loose plastic bag – makes me even more reluctant to shop from them. I’d actually pay more money if it means keeping my freedom of choice.

blink

Switched my order (plus some other preorders) over from amazon.com, thanks for the tip.

I used to order from the UK or Germany, but shipping prices are ridiculous right now, so I put up with .com pricing recently.

Paul Waller

Fantastic video, Paul. I’m really pleased you like the set. Simon, Paul and I put a lot of effort into it to ensure visually and sonically it was the best it possibly could be. We did everything on a voluntary basis – we cared that much. A proper labour of love! Reimagining those old covers was fun, but they took me a long time as I had to match the old typefaces. The front cover matches that of my official book – ‘Level 42 – The Worldwide Visual Discography’, published (and sold out) in 2017. We’re already well on with the second volume of this box set. Thanks for the support, Paul Waller.

Martyn Alner

I think if you published that book again then you’ll get a load more orders from fans on this site. Me for one!

Having read the notes on the box set I’m now intrigued by some of the mixes that DIDN’T make it onto the set! :)

Spiderbite

Add me to this list.

As a Level 42 mega-fan in the U.S., details like that book are hard to come by.

I would have bought it in a heartbeat had I known or heard about it.

I can’t even find a copy on ebay. Was the first (and only it appears) printing very small?

Trash

Didn’t know anything about this book until now. Looks amazing.
Any plans to reprint the softcover Waller?

Wayne K

Paul, I don’t know if you answer this but what is the projected date for Volume 2 (assuming things don’t interfere)?

Jan

I’m glad you pointed out the recent trend in Cherry Red ‘boxes’.
That SSS was so disappointing, as was the Close To The Noise Floor triple disc.
Here’s hoping they’ve learnt and the Level 42 sturdy box format is the trend forward.

Gareth Pugh

It’s funny isn’t it- I’m a big fan of Cherry Red and they are usually never less than excellent in the musical content (both how much they include for the price point, the sheer degree of rarities they track down, and the audio quality). Their packaging can be hit and miss – I have the SSS and also the Marc Almond ‘The Stars We Are’ and the capacity wallets are a bit flimsy. But for other artists – I’m thinking the Toyah and Howard Jones reissues – they have used multi-tray Digipaks – possibly less environmentally friendly using more of that brittle ‘Bic Crystal’ plastic, but they do look and feel substantial. Got this Level 42 box on the weekend – really top job, well done to Paul Waller and team!

Leroy Hanley

Hi Paul
great unboxing video I’m a massive Level 42 fan I’ve got the box set can’t wait for volume 2 now that cherry red have got the license let’s hope new reissues are released it would be great for a vinyl box set as well for both boxes

Andrew

Great video Paul- and nice to hear Strategy get a wee mention in there :)
Well done again to the wonderful work done by Paul Waller and the guys to bring this to fruition.