The choruses get LOUD and are so POWERFUL on the best copies of this album that they make a mockery of most of the pressings out there.
Let’s face it, this is a Big Speaker record. It requires a pair of speakers that can move air with authority below 250 cycles and play at fairly loud levels. If you don’t own speakers that can do that, this record will never really sound the way it should.
It’s the kind of recording that has caused me to pursue Big Stereo Systems driving Big Dynamic Speakers for as long as I can remember. You need a lot of piston area to bring the this recording to life, as well as to get the size of all the instruments to match their real life counterparts.
For that you need big speakers in big cabinets, the kind I’ve been listening to for more than forty years. (My last small speaker was given the boot around 1974 or so and I have never looked back.)
To tell you the truth, the Big Sound is the only sound that I can enjoy. Anything less is just not for me.
One of the two title tracks on this record (huh?), it’s also one of the quickest ways to hear what is happening sonically on this side. It’s a high energy, take-no-prisoners rock track that usually ends up sounding bloated and brittle on the typical pressing. However, when it’s cut right it’s amazing.
The bass guitar and kick should be driving the track, not making you want to skip to the next one. Also, when you can hear the separation and detail in the multitrack army of Stings during the chorus, you’re in good shape.
Walking in Your Footsteps
Is that a pan flute I hear? More than likely it’s a synth, but if you can hear the “air” going through it and all of the ambience surrounding it, you’re not off to a bad start.
Also, the percussion should actually sound like a drum and not like a stack of textbooks getting smacked.
O My God
The second title track on this album (ahhhh!) features a classic Andy Summers guitar intro that usually sounds much too midrangy but on the best pressings can actually have richness and body.
Every Breath You Take
Probably the most famous of all Police songs, the vocals are mixed way too loud for comfortable listening. However, the right copies prove that the dynamics can be controlled, even in the exceptionally powerful bridge.
King of Pain
One of the more dynamic points on the album, the intro here is dark and alluring. The piano should be weighty and the upright bass should be full and clear.
Notice how silly the edit sounds right before the drums come in. Sting’s voice suddenly gets loud for no apparent reason, other than somebody spliced one piece of tape to another, tapes no one noticed were recorded at different levels, ouch.
That first snare hit should be an indication of what you’ve got. Hopefully it’s got body and attack to drive this track home.
Wrapped Around Your Finger
Tea in the Sahara