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Communique Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Jun. 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Virgin EMI
  • ASIN: B00000IHE3
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,628 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

DIRE STRAITS Communique (1996 UK 9-track digitally remastered CD issue of their 1979 album 8-page picture sleeve booklet with new liner notes photos & lyrics)


Recorded a mere nine months after their debut, Communique has often been written off as a mere carbon copy of the Dire Straits' first album featuring less compelling material. Recording took place in the Bahamas with top production team Jerry Wexler and Barry Beckett and mixing at the famous Muscle Shoals studio; it consequently features a delicate and supremely balanced sound. Yet even Knopfler has said of this album that the tropical breezes made his song writing "lazy". Whilst being unnecessarily self-deprecating, this has an element of truth about it and at the same time is precisely what is so engaging about the album. It is true that Knopfler doesn't do as much to the songs he's written as on other albums--his guitar playing does not feature the same consistently bubbling energy of his work on the first album. But this gives a little more space for the rest of the band to shine. Pick Withers's drumming is especially hypnotic and David Knopfler's intuitive rhythm guitar interplay with his brother comes across well. Overall, the consistently dreamy atmosphere of the record is decidedly captivating, and the most fully realised tracks, particularly "Once Upon A Time In The West" and "Portobello Belle", are among their best-ever material. "Where Do You Think You're Going", a rather over-zealous attempt to imitate Bob Dylan, is the only song that seems somewhat out-of-place. This was the last album to feature the original Dire Straits line-up, with the departure of David Knopfler for a solo career shortly before the recording of Making Movies. --James Swift

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It was my parents who introduced me to this band, that is, I heard them all the time in the seventies, after the release of "Dire Straits". Of course, I got into all the 'famous' stuff they did; Sultans of swing, then Romeo and Juliet; Telegraph Road...then brothers in arms(most of the album). BUT something was overlooked. Something Dire Straits did went almost unnoticed at the time..though I secretly always liked it. Now, I personally regard Communique as the band's greatest album and I can barely listen to the rest. Take 'once upon a time in the west'. This song alone has enough atmosphere to extinguish most of their other work. The guitar playing on this album is measured; beautiful. Mark Knopfler does 'let rip' on occasion (Lady writer) but it needs no endless guitar solos to prove great guitar playing from a man who is inconcievably joined to his guitar as much as Hendrix called it 'an extension of the body'. Knopfler has a guitar in his hands all day but I feel that with this album he showed that he can allow a damned good band to speak too. Every good drumbeat, every rythmic strum from his long-forgotten brother, every nuance in every song is fully the effort of a band, not just one guy who can play guitar, but four blokes with instruments creating something very unique, very atmospheric. This is the only album on which Dire Straits played entirely equally as a band.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Reading through previous reviews on Amazon, Communiqué has received some criticism for sounding too similar to the bands debut release. Personally I believe this criticism to be a little unfair. Let’s face it, Dire Straits were in a lose lose situation with Communiqué. If they had pursued a different musical direction entirely they would be criticized, and if they followed the same musical path they would be criticized for sounding to much like the debut. Dire Straits chose the 2nd option, which personally I am grateful for, as part of the appeal of Communiqué is that whilst it contains musical signatures of the debut, it is a less obviously commercial album than its predecessor. Dire Straits in my view were at their best when they were releasing material that was less commercial. This isn’t because of any musical snobbery but I feel and hear that when the music was less aimed at the mainstream, the feel of the music seems more relaxed and natural to the band. Communiqué is often over looked as a 2nd rate release compared to their fantastic debut, but I think if you take this album within it’s own context it is possibly one of their finest moments. Tracks like News, Once Upon a time in the West, Single Handed Sailor, Portobello Belle (surely a warm up for Romeo and Juliet) and Follow me Home are superb additions to the Dire Straits back catalogue, and it is these songs which provide the necessary link between the debut self titled album and the successor Making Movies. I often find myself listening to this album more than the debut, which says a great deal about Communiqué and its long term appeal. Give this album a few listens and like me you will find yourself returning to it time and time again. Enjoy.
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Format: Audio CD
Why communique has recieved such a bad press is beyond me. I am a hardcore dire straits and mark knopfler fan and to me this album is one of his best. I think one of the reasons it was not rated highly was due to the perfect first album being it's predecessor, how do you live upto the debut album of all debut albums?
As "dire straits" kicked off with some improvised guitar from knopfler so does communique in the form of "once upon a time in the west". The track is bluesy and concerns a wild west town and some of the goings on in this town. The track is very chilled out as is the rest of the album.
News is one of my favourite dire straits songs ever and start with just knopfler and his guitar. There are quiet moments and a very emotional fast guitar solo (one of his best). The track ends with pick withers one his own just drumming away, very groovy. KNopfler in the early Dire Straits days dedicated this track to John Lennon after he was murdered.
"Where do you think you're going" starts with acoustic guitar and builds upto a crescendo with a great solo from Mark. This song made the "money for nothing" compilation and it is easy to see why. It is reminiscent of "On Every Street" from the "On Every Street Album" in the sense it has a fast rythmic ending.
Communique is not a great song and is about Mark's journalism career. The song is actually an interesting arrangement but never really takes off. As this is the title song you'd expect it to be a classic and is perhaps one of the resons why communique got a bad press.
Lady writer certainly does take off, one of the best Knpofler tracks of all time. It is simiar to "Sultans of swing" with a very fast solo at the end with Illsey and D.Knopfler singing lady writer, very emotional and energizing.
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Format: Audio CD
I was blown away by Dire Straits' debut album, which succeeded in being fresh and musical at a time when Punk and New Wave were throwing up more that was throw-away than memorable. Despite loving the first album, I believe the follow up was better.

Communique has often, unjustly in my view, been compared unfavourably with the first album. The overall sound is very similar (though 'News' shows a stylistic progression). The reason this album is better is that all of the songs (except the title track) are strong (as well as some classics - e.g. 'Lions', the first album had a few weak songs). The standouts on Communique are 'Lady Writer', which was the single and has a very similar sound to 'Sultans of Swing', 'News', which features a guitar sound which is richer than the trademark style found elsewhere on the first two albums, 'Single Handed Sailor' and 'Follow Me Home'.

This is an album which warrants repeated listening, and a reappraisal from those who had dismissed it as just an inferior copy of the first. Dire Straits are a band who started very well, and gave us four excellent albums before fading. Communique easily stands comparison with the other three.
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