Indeed. Also, Phil Gould played on “Pop Muzik” as well! And thank you for giving the respect to Staring at the Sun which is one of my favorite albums PERIOD, and definitely up there among the Level 42 discography. While Phil Gould (drums) and Boon Gould (guitar) left the band, they were involved in the writing (as you state, at least Boon was), and their replacements, Gary Husband and Alan Murphy, were truly prodigious talents. (I’d also loop in Dominic Miller, who jammed with the band that eventually became Level 42 - he just stopped showing up one day. He played on Staring at the Sun as well.)
While the songs on SATS aren’t as strong as the ones on World Machine and Running in the Family, there are terrific songs - “Heaven in My Hands,” “Tracie,” the title track, “Take a Look,” and “Man” (which is a bonkers song, their Bohemian Rhapsody - three songs in one). Alan Murphy, in particular, was an amazing addition, and it’s a true tragedy that he only was able to contribute to that one album and a few b-sides as he died of AIDS-related complications in 1989. Murphy’s distinctive guitar was a defining sound in British pop - Kate Bush, Go West, Nick Heyward, Mike + the Mechanics. Gone too soon.
The post-Murphy album Guaranteed was also wonderful, as they replaced Murphy with the incomparable Alan Holdsworth. I’m reminded of how Johnny Hates Jazz and Wang Chung had US hits, and I can hear “Guaranteed” and “Overtime” from that album very much in the vein of those bands.
I think Polydor, and then RCA completely botched marketing the band in America. There’s a video/documentary called Fait Accompli, which is covering the interregnum between Running in the Family and Staring at the Sun. There’s a moment with the record execs that is Spinal Tap cringeworthy when they’re trying to label the band, including having a sexy woman draped on the band members during a photoshoot… they were not pin-up pop idols.