Credit for the sound must go to the brilliant engineer Keith Olsen, the man behind the amazing sounding Fleetwood Mac self-titled release from 1975. Is there a better sounding Fleetwood Mac album? I certainly can’t think of one.
The man knows Big Rock sound as well as anyone in the business. The two recordings mentioned above and our Crimes of Passion here have too much in common for it to be a mere coincidence. All three have tons of bass (which is the sine qua non of live rock music), huge size and scope, richness, Tubey Magic, a smooth top and last but not least, hard-rockin’ energy.
Those of you who’ve seen the documentary on Sound City know its reputation for great acoustics, along with all the best analog recording equipment and tube microphones. You can clearly hear all of it come together on this album — if you have a copy that sounds like this one that is.
By the way, I note with special interest their first few recording projects from 1970 as listed on their discography page: Spirit’s Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, produced by David Briggs (a personal favorite of yours truly), along with another rather well known David Briggs production, After the Gold Rush. The list of Great Sounding Timeless Classic Rock Albums recorded there is a long and glorious one.
Treat Me Right
You Better Run
Never Wanna Leave You
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Hell Is for Children
I’m Gonna Follow You
Prisoner of Love
With Crimes of Passion, Pat Benatar escaped the dreaded sophomore slump, thanks in no small part to the song that would become the most well-known song of her career, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” Thankfully, Benatar avoids the synth-happy trends of the early ’80s and delivers a hard rocking ten-song session of power pop tempered with a few ballads for balance. And while “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” was one of her most praised moments, her version of Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” is probably one of the most underrated songs of her entire catalog.