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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dire Straits best
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...
Published on 1 Mar 2007 by MelvinQ

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK
I don't like all the songs on the CD. I bought it for 'Lady Writer', which is by far the best one on the CD.
Published 15 months ago by JJ


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dire Straits best, 1 Mar 2007
This review is from: Communique (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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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "And the stalls are just the side shows...", 16 Nov 2005
By 
BD "bigdave2020" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Communique (Audio CD)
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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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album!!!!!!!!!, 19 July 2004
This review is from: Communique (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.
Angel of Mercy is a good song but has never really done much for me. Remember I am talking about these songs in comparison with other dire straits songs, compared to any other song by any other artist this is pure class.
"Portobello Belle" is the "Romeo and Juliet" of the album and is slightly similar to "wild west end" in the sound of the guitar. It is a gorgeous song and uses quite a bit of piano, a sign of things to come with Makikng Movies.
Single handed sailor is so unique. The guitar is so melodic and full of rhythm and dynamics. It is a real privelidge to hear this song and is testament to the beauty of MK!
Follow me home is reflective of where the album was recorded, in the Bahamas. It is very tropical like and is beautifully writen.
I think one critism of the album is that the songs are all quite similar which I feel has some justification. Lady writer is Sultans of swing 2.
The lyrics are awesome, the guitaring very similar to the first album and put simply, it is one of the greatest albums of all time and went on to sell over 7 million world wide.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated - possibly the best Dire Straits album, 29 Oct 2006
By 
John Hawkins (Hove, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Communique (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Volume 2, 27 Feb 2008
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Communique (Audio CD)
Cut from a similar cloth to their debut, but with a more polished production, 'Communique' shows that Mark Knopfler's inspired songwriting was no fluke. Nevertheless, the subtle sheen placed on its sound makes it a little less engaging. Most of the tracks are mid-tempo at best. The exceptions are the minor hit, 'Lady Writer,' and the latter part of 'Where Do You Think You're Going?' Knopfler seems to have a knack for rhythmic, pointed lyricism and little riffs that leave an indelible mark. Some of the material is not quite up to his usual standards, notably the title track, but, as on the debut, the band gel superbly throughout.

This is a fine companion album to the debut, but it's a fair bet that the band were plotting something of a more epic nature soon after this, otherwise they might have gone stale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knopfler and the boys follow-up with another great 9-song collection, 22 Aug 2013
By 
The Guardian (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Communique (MP3 Download)
Following on from the success of their 1978 London-recorded debut and a busy year touring, Dire Straits' second album was recorded in December of the same year at Compass Point Studios in The Bahamas and released in June 1979.

With the same line-up as the eponymously-titled first album, `Communique' has a similar feel with clean arrangements again dominated by Mark Knopfler's song writing and laconic slice-of-life lyrics, his distinctive vocal delivery alternating with attention-grabbing and note-perfect runs on his Fender Strat.

As with the debut album `Communique' contains nine songs, kicking off with `Once Upon a Time in the West' which has a slow, funky rhythm and Dylanesque storyline themed (for the first time) on an American town, and doubtless targeted at the band's emerging young American audience. `Where do you think you're going?' is (almost uniquely in the Mark Knopfler songbook) a deeply personal minor-key piece about relationship break-up sung in the first person, with poignant lyrics and great musical dynamics. Other highlights are `Lady Writer' which became a successful single, `Angel of Mercy' with some great blues guitar work and the enigmatic `Portobello Belle', a perennial favourite and one of DS' best-ever songs.

This album received minor criticism for being `too much like the first album' and, paradoxically, being `boring with few good songs'. I beg to differ: though similar in theme, this collection is more mature and reflective than the debut, the song writing and arrangements interesting and varied, and its production values are even better. It's a bit `quieter' overall, but not much. `Communique' stands up to the years well, is a classic album in every sense and hasn't aged a day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely underrated...., 21 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Communique (Audio CD)
In my view this, the second album from Dire Straits, was the most underrated of all their back catalogue. The criticisms of it as being no more than a carbon copy of the first album are not strictly true. Maybe the formula is the same but this I thought was one of the group's most polished and solid albums and definitely worth owning.
Whereas its successor 'Making Movies' contained six great tunes out of 7 (one track (Les Boys) was both forgettable and almost offensive), all nine tracks on 'Communique' starting with the opening Once Upon A Time in The West are worthy of being listened to without being skipped.
This album perhaps would have fared better if it had featured a hit single, Lady Writer was released as a single and subsequently flopped. Knopfler's journalistic background provides the lyrics for most of the songs and the closing track 'Follow Me Home' is a very nice closing track.
The last of their recordings to feature David Knopfler, 'Communique' quickly grows on you after several listens. In later years DS never included any tracks this LP in their live concerts, which was a bit of a shame really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smoothed AND Sharpened?, 14 Jun 2000
By 
A. K. Sheikh - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Communique (Audio CD)
If you could put the music of Dire Straits' first album in a press, you might end up with this, Communique, the quartet's second album. The "spiky-ness" of Mark Knopfler's lead lines is replaced by an altogether rounder, softer sound, the immediacy of their shuffle-boogie tracks replaced by a mellower feel.

Still, having said that, this is still a good album, kicking off as it does with "Once Upon A Time in the West", still one of the best tracks in the early part of the band's career. The opening guitar line is similar to that which starts their debut, but then moves into a reggae-ish groove with some good rhythm guitar playing from (I think) David Knopfler.

"News" isn't as good as Knopfler's other "story" songs, but contains some good ideas, especially Pick Withers' drumming at the end. "Where Do You Think You're Going?" is a great song. The way the lyrics and the music combine, the vocal delivery and the pick-up at the end show the band at their best. "Communique" sees the band back into a groove - a kind of country-shuffle - with an intelligent song about the pressures of fame. Mark Knopfler's songs have never come across as patronising or whinging - this is a good example to other bands of how to write about the subject.

"Lady Writer" was a failed single - and it's easy to see why. It's a decent song, but doesn't really have a hook, like, say "Sultans" did before it. "Angel of Mercy" is probably the highlight of the album, the laid-back vocal delivery really setting the tone of the song. The guitar break in the middle is sheer class, it kind of shifts around, helped by Withers' understated (but inventive) drumming. "Portobello Belle" sees the National steel come out again. As on the first album, it added a fresh sound to a pretty flat format. I've heard good live versions of this song, the album version not really much to write home about. "Single Handed Sailor" has got some "too-cool" sounding guitar licks and is one of the album's better songs. The lyrics are very evocative, if you've ever been out in Greenwich at night. Closer "Follow Me Home" rounds off the set appropriately, with images of beaches and such like.

This is a good album, but while the writing is a lot sharper and less diary-like, the sound has been smoothed out far too much. The subtle expansion of the sound using keyboards and pianos pointed the way for their next records. They toured throughout 1979, but it was a spiralling year for the band, their US tour being cut short, band members getting ill and the album getting a panning in the press. The band came back with a vengance in 1980 with 'Making Movies' - a new sound, and a new touring band. 'Communique', however, has stood the test of time and should not be written off as a poor second album - it offers us the chance to hear how the band had changed during their first year of recording.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 July 2014
This review is from: Communique (Audio CD)
wonderful music
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Communique (Audio CD)
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