The longtime frontman, bassist and singer for the British funk-pop group Level 42 MARK KING helped to popularize the slap and pop style of playing the bass guitar and contribuited in develope this tecnique and the voice of the modern electric bass with his distinctive sound and playing style, introducing technical elements that enabled him to produce a mix of percussive effects while still playing a bass line, sometimes described as “machine-gun” style. There is no doubt that from ’80s he provided tons of inspiration for the following generations of bassists and musicians.
A onetime drummer, upon co-founding Level 42 in 1980 he moved to the bass, honing a distinctive thumb-slapping technique which became an integral element of the group’s sound. From their self-titled 1981 debut onward the quartet enjoyed considerable success at home, and in 1984 King took time out to record his debut solo album, Influences.
After Level 42’s international popularity peaked in 1986 with the hit “Something About You,” the band released a series of subsequent LPs before disbanding in late 1994, leaving King to resume his solo activities. The album One Man followed four years later.
Retroglide Throughout the remainder of the ‘90s and the 2000s, the band’s lineup fluctuated, with King the lone constant and his brother, guitarist Nathan King, onboard since 2001. Level 42 released a studio album, Retroglide, in 2006. Four years later, the band celebrated its 30th anniversary with a special tour, as well as a box set, Living It Up, which included a disc of fresh acoustic versions recorded by Mark King and Lindup. 2010 also saw Husband leave the band once again, replaced by Pete Ray Biggin. The group continued to tour over the next few years before releasing new material in 2013, in the form of the EP Sirens. Supporting the release with an extensive tour of the U.K. and Europe, the group also recorded the live release The Sirens Tour, at their stop in London in 2015. The band continued to tour into 2016 with performances at festivals across Europe and South America.
“Say hello to my new studio rig. It’s the new Little Mark Vintage Gold Line head, and it sounds amazing. Loads of punch, and bags of tone. I’m a very happy boy, and can’t wait to get it out on the road. Thank you Marco.” — MARK KING