top of page

Flashback Video: 'Lessons in Love' by Level 42

Ever since the dawn of MTV and Friday Night Videos, the music video has significantly  impacted musical tastes and pop culture. It might not be as extreme as when the Buggles declared that "Video Killed the Radio Star", but there is no arguing  that the music video certainly could make or break a song's popularity. So this regular Flashback Video feature will serve to remember some of the music videos  from the great '80s decade that made an impact on me in one way or another.

This issue we will cover "Lessons in Love" by Level 42. The single was released in April of 1986, but the album it would be included on, Running in the Family, would not be released until March of 1987. "Lessons in Love" was an international success reaching the top 10 in at least 12 countries including hitting #1 in five of them (Spain, Germany, South Africa, Switzerland, and Finland). It peaked at #12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in April of 1987. It remains one of my personal favorites from the mid-80s.

The music video for "Lessons in Love" was directed by Stuart Orme who had previously directed Level 42's video for their hit "Something About You". Orme worked on several Genesis and Phil Collins videos including "Turn It On Again", "Misunderstanding", "I Missed Again", "In The Air Tonight" and "You Can't Hurry Love" among others as well as Frida's "I Know There's Something Going On", The Pretenders' "Don't Get Me Wrong" and later Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love For You" before switching over to more television in the '90s and beyond. The video for "Lessons in Love" mostly shows the band performing the song on what appears to be a cargo ship or boat. The video employs some early green screen technology replacing the background with a bright blue sky as the boat is at sea or near a port. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the song, but definitely more interesting than just performing on a regular stage. Here is the music video for "Lessons in Love" by Level 42...

The reason the song was released almost a year before the album was that another artist (in Germany) was going to release a cover version and Level 42 needed to release their version first. In my interview with Level 42's Mark King, he confirmed this was the case...

"Yes it is [true]. The German branch of Polydor liked the song so much that they had it covered by a local female singer and had plans to release ahead of us, which could have been disastrous as it went on to be a number one there for us for seven weeks. It would be interesting to hear her version, I never have, who knows it might have been better?"

Hope you enjoyed another trip back to the '80s thanks to Flashback Video!



bottom of page