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Dire Straits Original recording remastered

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Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Dire Straits emerged during the post-punk era of the late '70s, and while their sound was minimalistic and stripped down, they owed little to punk. If anything, the band was a direct outgrowth of the roots revivalism of pub rock, but where pub rock celebrated good times, Dire Straits were melancholy. Led by guitarist/vocalist Mark Knopfler, the ... Read more in Amazon's Dire Straits Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Jun. 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Virgin EMI
  • ASIN: B00000INM1
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,120 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Down To The Waterline 4:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Water Of Love 5:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Setting Me Up 3:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Six Blade Knife 4:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Southbound Again 3:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Sultans Of Swing 5:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. In The Gallery 6:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Wild West End 4:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Lions 5:03£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

DIRE STRAITS Dire Straits (1996 issue UK 9-track digitally remastered CD album featuring their the classic debut produced by Muff Winwood complete with the 12-page picture booklet containing lyrics and new liner notes)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Conrob on 25 Feb. 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is an album of evocatively written narrative songs with superb and original guitar playing and, unusually, every song a winner.
Though you can discern Knopfler's influences (Dylan, JJ Cale, Chet Atkins-style picking) it's all blended into a distinctive flavour that is hard to fit into normal pop-rock categories. It is also distinctively English, as the detailed storytelling lyrics make clear. Knopfler's singing is Dylanesque without really sounding like Dylan, and his guitar playing is bluesy, elegant and chunkily percussive without really sounding like anyone (unless it's a more bluesy Richard Thompson). Because of the cleaness of the production and Knopfler's guitar tone, you get a palpable sense of his fingers attacking the guitar strings (something many rock guitarists rely on distortion to hide).
Though the songwriting is on one level conventional enough, the various elements of the band's sound combine forcefully to grab the attention. Dire Straits (in this incarnation) are tight, and rhythmically limber, while Knopfler's distinctive vocals and literate writing draw the listener in relentlessly. And unlike many guitar heroes, Knopfler's solos are always there to support the song rather than to be flashy. When the vocals stop, the guitar really does seem to take over the singing and the expressive foce of the song.
Sultans of Swing is of course known to almost everyone. But Down to the Waterline, Six Blade Knife and South Bound Again, respectively urgent, menacing and wirily funky, are also excellent. Anyone who finds Dire Straits' later work bland or overproduced should check out this album. It's as satisfying and sweet as an exquisitely rendered small-scale novel about ordinary people's lives.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By proverbial-racoon on 14 July 2004
Format: Audio CD
There are not many superlatives to heap upon this album that have not already been used. It is rare in modern music to find anything near as witty, evocative, emotional yet enjoyable as this debut album from Dire Straits. Essentially this is the "real" Dire Straits, not the electronically influenced outfit of "Brothers In Arms" fame, but a group with a classic bar band sound, who combine rock, jazz, blues, country and folk for the ultimate debut album. This shows the roots of Dire Straits, combining Mark Knopfler's folk-tinged vocals and bluesy guitar playing, a rock-solid rhythm section courtesy of Knopfler's brother David and bass player John Illsey and the jazz drumming of Pick Withers.
I would recommend this album to every music fan. From the opening fast-paced "Down To The Waterline" to the classic "Sultans of Swing" to the beautiful "Wild West End," this truly is a class album. Just sit back and enjoy and appreciate the brilliance of the original Dire Straits before they became overwhelmed by the commercialism and temptation of fame. In my opinion this is one of the greatest albums in rock history, I hope after listening to this album you will share the same opinion.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Jun. 2002
Format: Audio CD
If you do not currently own a Dire Straits record, then I envy you for the journey of discovery you would embark upon if you bought this album. I have been listening to Straits for over 10 years (I'm only 22) and would give anything to hear this album for the first time again.
If (like many people) you are scared off by the over-playing of Money for Nothing, the "Old Men of Rock" tag Dire Straits have got, or the simply awful 'Twisting by the pool', then 'Down to the Waterline' will immediately change your mind, because from this first song on Dire Straits have produced one of the most irreproachably competent and satisfying debuts I have ever heard: David Knopfler - Rhythm guitar perfection, Mark Knopfler - Lead guitar, song-writing and vocals that will leave you in a frenzied search for more of the same.
You will hear J.J. Cale here as well as any other number of Blues influences, but song-writing on tracks like 'six-blade knife', 'Sultans of Swing', 'In the Gallery' and 'Lions' are unmistakeably Knopfler. Through his distinctive growl and laid back guitar riffs Mark Knopfler tells the story of his journey from Newcastle childhood, to the superficiality of the London arts scene, so the narrative honesty is there if you want to hear it.
Have it loud in your car to pump you up, have it quiet in your bedroom to chill you out. Either way, you have to have it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. K. Sheikh VINE VOICE on 18 Mar. 2000
Format: Audio CD
The Dire Straits story really is one that defies belief. Three educated, but essentially broke blokes get a drummer in, play really unfashionable music and within eight months of forming get a deal with Phongram and go on to conquer the world. So there IS justice in the world!
This album, recorded in early 1978, contains no clues as to where the Straits ended up. The first track, "Down to the Waterline" opens up slowly before launching into an upbeat song, whose lyrical imagery flows right through the album, bound together by Knopfler's taut guitar lines.
Over the course of nine songs Knopfler's journey from Newcastle to London is documented. The pining "Water of Love" displays the national steel that would adorn the cover of THAT album and has some good layered vocals. "Setting Me Up" is a great song about being used with some of the best guitar playing on the album. "Six Blade Knife" shows a moodier side to the band, while "Southbound Again" is a boogie track that takes the story into London. The key song on the album is "Sultans of Swing", which sounds as great now as it did when I first heard it when I was five or six. Again, the imagery is so strong you could almost be in that Greenwich pub hearing an jazz band made up of postmen and teachers going for it. "In The Gallery" has got a bit a funky edge to it and again has some great guitar playing by Mark and his brother David. The steel guitar comes back out for "Wild West End". Again, you feel like you're standing outside Angellucci's coffee house in Soho when you listen to this song. "Lions" rounds off a great album with the merest hint at the rock-orientated direction the band would take, dragging millions of record buyers with them.
Great songs, great playing (Pick Withers is a very underrated drummer!) and a real "triumph over adversity" kind of story.
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