Level 42’s Mark King: the man with the 3 million dollar thumb

Mark King, lead singer and bassist of the band Level 42, United Kingdom, 2010.
(Image credit: Photo by Richard Ecclestone/Redferns)

Mark King’s hard-hitting bass pyrotechnics with Level 42 became the driving force behind many of the band’s Top 40 hits and paved the way for slap-bass playing in mainstream 80s pop.

The group notched up 20 UK Top 40 hits throughout the 80s before eventually disbanding in 1994. Four years later, King stepped back into the limelight with his solo album, One Man, followed by Trash – a collection of unused songs that King released independently before reforming Level 42 in 2001.

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.