INXS-I'm Only Looking (2004)

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Released 12-Jul-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Booklet
Music Video-INXS Live 1980-1997
Music Video-Re-mixed
Featurette-Welcome To Wherever You Are
Music Video-Pictures From A Full Moon
Music Video-Rare & Unreleased
Featurette-Behind The Scenes - Interviews
Gallery-Photo
Web Links-INXS Online
Credits
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 115:50 (Case: 135)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (67:41)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Richard Lowenstein
Alex Proyas
Gary Page
David Mallet
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Michael Hutchence
Gary Beers
Kirk Pengilly
Tim Farriss
Andrew Farriss
Jon Farriss
Case Slip Case
RPI $37.95 Music INXS


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Spanish
Portuguese
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    If you have read the recent news of the latest idea for a reality television show featuring Australian band INXS and their search for a new lead singer you might be thinking that the surviving members of the band had lost the plot completely. While many might be shuddering with absolute fear about what is happening to their much-loved group, and the results of this foray into the world of reality television may or may not prove successful, fans can rest easy with this newly released INXS two-disc retrospective DVD. In what is a fond and comprehensive look back at this highly successful Australian band it features 25 video clips in addition to a stack of rare and previously unseen material - and there's not a snippet of reality television in sight.

    INXS DVD offerings have been pretty thin on the ground over the years, with the only other disc I am aware of being the video of the live performance from London's Wembley Stadium. Live Baby Live was released in 2001 and was recently re-released with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack after being initially released with only a two channel soundtrack. As a result, this new compilation set is a welcome addition to any collection.

    With a career that began in 1979 and with more than 30 million records sold around the world, INXS are among the most successful and loved Australian musical artists of all time. Starting life as The Farriss Brothers in Sydney in 1977 (incidentally they played their first ever gig on 16 August 1977 - the day Elvis died), the group comprising Michael Hutchence, Kirk Pengilly, Garry Beers, and brothers Tim, Andrew, and Jon Farriss quickly won Australian and eventually international acclaim. This collection of INXS video clips is a bit like flicking through an old photo album. Delving back to the earliest times of the band, we catch glimpses of what they were like when they were just starting out, all fresh-faced, full of enthusiasm, and amazingly skinny - especially charismatic lead singer the late Michael Hutchence, through to the supremely confident and professional band that produced some ground-breaking videos during the mid to late 80s and early 90s.

    The 25 videos included on disc one start with an incredibly cheap (around $1200 to make apparently) Just Keep Walking, filmed inside a warehouse, with plenty of old sheets, black plastic sheeting, and masking tape making up the set, to one of the band's early MTV breakout clips with the famous filmed banquet scene in The One Thing, and the early directorial efforts from the man often referred to as the seventh member of the band, Richard Lowenstein. Some of Lowenstein's video efforts, such as What You Need, Listen Like Thieves, and Need You Tonight, are credited for giving the band a huge boost in their successful efforts to break into the United States market, which they finally did in a big way with the release of 1985's Listen Like Thieves album and took them to astounding worldwide success with the release of 1987's mega-selling Kick.

    In addition to the 25 videos (listed below), another disc is also included packed with plenty of extra material (just shy of two and a half hours worth). Rare live performances, previously unreleased videos, and a few interview snippets with the remaining band members are just some of the goodies included that should please any fan. One nice touch is the addition of a brief introduction to each video by various surviving members of the band. They candidly discuss and reminisce about each video, what its strengths or weaknesses are and what they remember about its making. This is a worthy inclusion and provides a good insight into the history of INXS.

    It should be pointed out that not every video the band has made is included in this set. While I'm not an expert fan by any means, I seem to remember videos for I Send A Message, Burn For You, Kick, Guns In The Sky, and definitely Good Times (with Jimmy Barnes). There are probably several others and these omissions are a little disappointing as is the lack of a complete discography for the band.

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Track Listing

1. Just Keep Walking
2. The One Thing
3. Don't Change
4. Original Sin
5. This Time
6. What You Need
7. Kiss The Dirt
8. Listen Like Thieves
9. Need You Tonight
10. Mediate
11. Devil Inside
12. Never Tear Us Apart
13. New Sensation
14. Mystify
15. Suicide Blonde
16. Disappear
17. Bitter Tears
18. By My Side
19. Shining Star
20. Not Enough Time
21. Taste It
22. Baby Don't Cry
23. Beautiful Girl
24. The Gift
25. Elegantly Wasted

Transfer Quality

Video

    There doesn't appear to have been a substantial amount of restoration work gone into the video component of this disc with most of the videos suffering from the usual problems associated with analogue based source material. Problems such as tracking noise, mild distortion, blobs, scratches and other imperfections, and general grime abound. Remember that some of these videos date back to the early 80s, while even the newest video was made way back in 1997. The new interview material that prefaces each clip is of course the best quality of all having been recorded in the last year or so. Having said all that, this is still an excellent collection and far superior to trotting out some shonky badly worn VHS version.

    All the videos are presented in their original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and are not 16x9 enhanced.

    Quality of course varies greatly, starting out quite soft and full of artefacts to the newer material that is generally blemish free. Overall the sharpness level is quite acceptable, with no obvious edge enhancement noticeable. The earlier videos suffer from excessive grain (Just Keep Walking, The One Thing, and Don't Change) and some poorer shadow detail (Original Sin). Low level noise is scattered throughout, but it does not detract from the viewing or listening experience.

    Colour saturation is a mixed bag across all the videos. Some are quite washed out looking (The One Thing), while others feature rich and vibrant tones (Kiss The Dirt).

    There are no apparent compression artefacts. There were few other artefacts of any note. Film and video artefacts are numerous throughout many of the clips, with the early 80s efforts certainly appearing the grubbiest.

    There are subtitles available on both discs, but only for the spoken introductions and interview segments. There are no subtitles for the song lyrics. One small criticism that needs to be made is that the subtitles encroach over the text that appears on screen introducing a band member or details of the songs. It would have been nice if they moved up the screen when this information was being displayed.

    Disc one is a dual layered disc complete with RSDL formatting. The layer change occurs at 67:41, between Suicide Blonde and Disappear. Music video discs usually offer the best chance to hide layer changes, and this is no exception with a change that is almost invisible.  Disc two is also dual layered and has a layer change between chapters at 49:15.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    While not much restoration work appears to have been performed on the video transfer, the exact opposite can be said about the audio component. It has undergone extensive remastering and the results are quite impressive. As is common with many video compilations released to DVD, there are a variety of soundtracks to choose from, including a fully remastered Dolby Digital and dts offering. What's a little different with this disc is that the full Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts soundtracks extend across all the extras and both discs in the two-disc set. I don't remember seeing anything like that occurring before.

    There are three soundtracks in total on disc one. A remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 track is joined by a remastered dts 5.0 track and linear PCM stereo 2.0 soundtrack, while disc two contains the Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts soundtracks only. While those two soundtracks appear on both discs and across all the content, the comments below pertain to the soundtracks featured on the 25 video clips only and not the extra material, even though the quality is pretty much even across both discs.

    Both the Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts 5.0 offerings are essentially four channel soundtracks, since the centre channel is not utilised at all during the songs (but it does spring to life during the spoken introductions by the band). Additionally the Dolby Digital track does make dedicated use of the LFE .1 channel, which is not contained in the dts offering. My amplifier redirected bass to the subwoofer while listening to the dts track, and even with the lack of dedicated .1 channel use, the differences between it and the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack are really quite minimal. All three soundtracks are beautifully delivered, with wide dynamic range and in the case of the surround tracks an amazing immersive sound field.

    Vocals and dialogue have been superbly reproduced, but there are some issues with the audio sync. Unfortunately it is not just confined to the videos, which as is quite common for remastered audio when trying to match it to old video would always be likely to suffer some syncing problems, but also the introductions to the clips by the various band members. The Dolby Digital track is the worst offender in this respect, with the sync during the spoken introductions being quite noticeably off.

    As mentioned above there is consistent and sustained surround channel activity for pretty much every video. The best example of surround use would have to be during the captivating track By My Side.  It features some of the most engaging and enveloping surround channel use I have heard in a remixed song in a long time.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Extra material included in this two-disc set is first class, with plenty of rare and previously unseen footage to keep all fans happy. Music compilations such as this one are right up there with the likes of Split Enz in terms of quality and quantity of coverage and set a benchmark that many other music discs simply fail to even get close to. All up there is just under two and a half hours worth of bonus material included.

Menu Animation & Audio

Booklet

    A 12-page fold-out style colour booklet that in amongst a few photos lists all the credits for the tracks on disc one and the extras on disc two.

Music Video - INXS Live

    This is a collection of rare live performances collected from the years 1980 to 1997. Included is an early 1980 performance of Simple Simon at The Play Room on The Gold Coast, the 1996 ARIA award performance of Searching, and a really touching montage of the group over the years to a live performance of Don't Change. The way this last clip has been edited to show Michael Hutchence and crew in a then and now style of shot without the song missing a beat is quite remarkable. Total running time for these 10 clips is 49:15 and all feature the same style of introduction by the various band members.

    The 10 live performances are:

  1. Simple Simon - Gold Coast 1980
  2. Original Sin - Narara 1984
  3. Listen Like Thieves - Rockin' The Royals, Melbourne 1985
  4. Kick - California 1988
  5. New Sensation - Wembley Stadium London 1991
  6. Need You Tonight - Osaka 1994
  7. Mediate - Osaka 1994
  8. Searching - ARIA Awards Sydney 1996
  9. Elegantly Wasted - Aspen 1997
  10. Don't Change - Live Montage 1983-1997

Music Video - Re-mixed

    These are four music videos, compiled from footage taken from the 1990 X-Factor Tour in Europe. The four tracks have been remixed by various DJs. Total running time here is 25:18.

    The four re-mixed tracks are:

  1. Suicide Blonde - Okenfold 12" Mix
  2. The Stairs - 7" Single Mix
  3. Bitter Tears - Lorimer 12" Mix
  4. Disappear - Morales 12" Mix

Featurette - Welcome To Wherever You Are

    This is a 15:39 mini-documentary that was made in 1992 to document the staging of a concert in Sydney's Centennial Park. The concert was held to raise money for heart research, and shown here is the lead-up to the concert with the band rehearsing and some other back-stage antics. Songs performed during the actual concert include Heaven Sent and Taste It.

Music Video - Pictures From A Full Moon

    These are four music videos, made for the release of the Full Moon, Dirty Hearts video album. Unlike the other videos on the disc, these do not feature an introductory explanation by the various band members. Total running time is 12:06.

    The four videos presented here are:

  1. Time
  2. Make Your Peace
  3. I'm Only Looking
  4. Please (You Got That . . . ) - includes a special guest performance by Ray Charles.

Music Video - Rare & Unreleased

    Included here is a very early live performance from one of the band's first American tours in 1983 (The One Thing), a clip that featured on 1994's The Great Video Experience in The Strangest Party (These Are The Times), and previously unreleased videos in the form of 1997's Everything, Searching, and Don't Lose Your Head. Again there is no introduction from the band. Total running time for these five clips is 18:16.

Featurette - Behind The Scenes - Interviews

    This is a series of interviews that have been compiled together to form a sort of documentary look at the world of INXS videos. All the living band members contribute to the discussion as does former band manager Chris Murphy. Most interesting is the contribution from long-time band collaborator and director Richard Lowenstein. This runs for 20:03 and features a few snippets from various videos, including the absent Burn For You.

Gallery-Photo

    An automatically running photo gallery that has been nicely conceived with large and clear photos used throughout. Runs for 5:11 with 28 photos present showing the band from the early days onwards in both official marketing style shots, in addition to various candid personal shots.

Web Links

    Pop the disc in a DVD-ROM drive and you will find a link to www.inxs.com, certainly one of the better looking and information packed band websites around.

Credits

    The last few minutes of the total running time for disc two are dedicated to providing a list of the band members, the people who worked on the DVD, and a list of credits for all the individual tracks, including all the bonus material.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Aside from a little different cover artwork, the Region 1 disc is identical to this one.

Summary

    INXS is certainly one of the most important, influential, and successful groups this country has ever seen. As the band reaches what could be described as an interesting point in their 25 year career and strikes off into quite unusual (and certainly uncharted) territory, this disc serves as a fond and timely reminder of just what they have achieved over a quarter of a century. It is a tribute to just what great and lasting music they have created and comes highly recommended for fans and non-fans alike.

    The disc has been produced to the highest quality. The packaging, menu transitions, and bonus material is first-rate. The video, while suffering from the usual problems associated with aged analogue material, is more than acceptable, while the remastered audio will open up a whole new dimension to this classic Australian music.

    It is a disc that deserves a place in every music fan's collection.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Sunday, August 08, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Other observations - Andrew500 (read my bio, at your leisure) REPLY POSTED
Audio Problems - Dark Lord
Why, oh why (missing songs) - Dave (can't remember my log-in)
Some other missing clips - Corey (mmmmmmmmmm.........bio)