INXS – Listen Like Thieves

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Listen Like Thieves

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  • Superb sound throughout with each side earning a sonic grade of Double Plus (A++) – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The Big Rock sound is courtesy of Chris Thomas’ production – if you know his work, you know this sound
  • AMG: “INXS completes its transition into an excellent rock & roll singles band with this album.”
  • “…with Thomas they “forge an unlikely union between the sonic extremism of Led Zeppelin-style crunch rock and the step-lively beat of disco” such that the album “rocks with passion and seals the deal with a backbeat that’ll blackmail your feet.”

This vintage pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What outstanding sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1985
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We Listen For on Listen Like Thieves

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

What You Need
Listen Like Thieves
Kiss The Dirt (Falling Down The Mountain)
Shine Like It Does
Good + Bad Times

Side Two

Biting Bullets
This Time
Three Sisters
Same Direction
One X One
Red Red Sun

AMG 4 Star Review

INXS completes its transition into an excellent rock & roll singles band with this album. Unfortunately, the new configuration only works for three songs: “What You Need,” “Listen Like Thieves,” and “Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain).” But these three songs are so strong that the album cannot be dismissed completely. The album is worth its price just for “What You Need,” a strong Stonesy groove with Michael Hutchence singing more warmly than he ever has.