Living It Up [Deluxe Edition Boxset]
The first half of Level 42's four-disc Living It Up is for casual fans. The second half, along with the packaging, which includes lengthy liner notes from Mark King, dozens of photos, and a pictorial discography, all stuffed inside a set of furry dice -- a compact, hardcover book-like shell, actually -- is for insatiable freaks. With such an evenly split personality, it's impossible to imagine anyone picking up the set without some hesitation. Discs one and two consist of the band's 34 U.K. singles, from 1980's "Sandstorm" through 2006's "The Way Back Home," with "Kansas City Milkman" as the representative from the live EP A Physical Presence. Disc three, containing mostly previously unreleased material, compiles scattered versions, demos, a couple World Machine-era B-sides, and live material. A 19-minute segment from a 1991 performance in Antwerp involves a curious blow through Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" between "Love Games" and "The Chinese Way." The final disc would have made a nice standalone release, or a souvenir for the band's 30th anniversary world tour. It's an acoustic album of imaginatively rearranged hits, recorded by King with Mike Lindup in 2010.