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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On top form on the night
The final release by the hugely successfull group is the best. Recorded live in France and Holland the nine piece band reach new standards in quality on a tour. In the early years, gigs were just an example of how great Mark Knopfler is on the guitar. On the night features the best pedal steel player in the world, Paul Franklin, Guitarist Phil Palmer of Eric Clapton...
Published on 9 Jan 2000 by arvidcross@lineone.net

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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fading Glory
Dire Straits' album 'On the Night' certainly constitutes a neatly polished summary of the band's lengthy career, making it a good introduction to their work, though it is nothing more than this. It is indeed pleasing to hear live versions of classics such as 'Money for Nothing' and the somewhat understated gem 'On Every Street', though by contrast to similar releases,...
Published on 21 Feb 2002


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On top form on the night, 9 Jan 2000
By 
This review is from: On The Night (Audio CD)
The final release by the hugely successfull group is the best. Recorded live in France and Holland the nine piece band reach new standards in quality on a tour. In the early years, gigs were just an example of how great Mark Knopfler is on the guitar. On the night features the best pedal steel player in the world, Paul Franklin, Guitarist Phil Palmer of Eric Clapton and Tina Turner fame and Saxophonist Chris White. These 3 musicans are all the best in their field and fit in with ease. Probably the greatest coup of this album is Mark tempting drummer Chris Whitten away from Paul McCartney's band. Whitten's part in the album is easily overlooked but the quality of his drumming is simply sensational.
The opening track seems average until the group stops and Mark breaks into one of the best solos ever played on the guitar. Walk of Life is a great song but Paul Franklin's solo at the end turns it into a classic. The heartbreaker Romeo and Juliet is simply the best song ever composed. The whole group produces so many emotional highs and lows in this ballad that every man or woman who has been in a failed relationship knows that Romeo and Juliet sums it up completely. Money for Nothing is miles better than the original and the album ends with the brilliant Brothers in Arms. The Last minute of the album has two of the most emotional solos from Paul and Mark. The closing melody of the flute brings to an end the greatest live album from the greatest live band. Take it from someone who was there.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dire Straits' last great live outing., 7 Sep 2006
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: On the Night (Audio CD)
There are voices, both human and instrumental, that you will always be able to pick out of a crowd of thousands. Mark Knopfler and his guitar are an example of that, and "On The Night" is one of the best albums ever released by Knopfler and friends. Recorded during their 1992 tour at two concerts in Nimes and Amsterdam, the album shows that Dire Straits were a class act right to the end. While the band underwent multiple transformations in membership over the course of its existence, Mark Knopfler has always had the gift to surround himself with first rate musicians -- this is true for the people who have joined him on his more recent solo releases and tours, and it was likewise true with regard to Dire Straits, in whatever configuration they existed at any given time. And yet, the excellence of the people who join him on stage and in the studio only serves to enhance the brilliance of the guy whose middle name might, for all intents and purposes, be "Fender Strat," and whose laid back, understated, gruff vocals are as crucial and distinctive to the typical Dire Straits/Mark Knopfler sound as is his guitar play. Like all great musicians, he thrives on the live atmosphere, and not bound by the restraints of studio recording, he and the band delve into the songs, particularly their instrumental sections, with an energy and deep feeling for each piece that lesser musicians are far from achieving even at the height of their careers.

The record opens, as did the band's shows, with a powerful "Calling Elvis," and it is something like a live "best of Dire Straits" album (personally, I'd have wished they would also have included "Sultans of Swings" and "Telegraph Road;" which would of course have made it a "top 12" instead of the "top 10" song collection, though). Highlights include an incredibly soulful "Romeo and Juliet," one of the greatest love songs ever written in rock history, a very dark "Private Investigations," which goes from a slow, moody start to almost 5 minutes' worth of instrumental featuring a number of hard, edgy riffs, only to end on pensive notes again, and of course, "Brothers in Arms," to this day probably Dire Straits' greatest trade mark piece besides "Sultans of Swings," with a guitar solo which gives me goose bumps every time I listen to it.

"We need Dire Straits back," none other than Don Henley proclaimed during the last show of his own 2001 "Inside Job" tour, "to counter all the crap that's playing on the radio now." "On the Night" more than proves his point. But as long as that's not going to happen, I'll at least take Knopfler solo, with whoever he chooses to play, and I hope he doesn't decide to stop touring any time soon.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On The Night of a thousand solos, 17 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: On The Night (Audio CD)
On The Night is one of the best live albums that you will find on the planet. We all thought that we had heard the best live performance from the Straits when Alchemy was released in '84, some 16 years ago. The band undoubtably sound more polished 12 years on, but the quality of the songs get enhanced with every note that comes from the band as a whole.
The most atmospheric track on the CD is You and Your Friend. A favourite track of mine from "On Every Street", but the inclusion of this track on the live album makes it very special.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dire Straits in Classic Form, 6 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: On The Night (Audio CD)
This quite simply the best live CD I have ever heard. If I could recomend one CD to some up Dire Straits this would be it. Mark Knofler is outstanding on guitar throughout especialy on Brothers in Arms at the end. The supporting band is also superb. If I had one critism it would be the slight move towards a country music style especialy on Walk of Life. Other than this buy it it will provide you with hours of listening joy.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fading Glory, 21 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: On The Night (Audio CD)
Dire Straits' album 'On the Night' certainly constitutes a neatly polished summary of the band's lengthy career, making it a good introduction to their work, though it is nothing more than this. It is indeed pleasing to hear live versions of classics such as 'Money for Nothing' and the somewhat understated gem 'On Every Street', though by contrast to similar releases, such as 'Alchemy' and even 'Live at the BBC', this album simply fails to make the grade. By the time it was recorded it seems that the band had become somewhat of a commercial machine and although the renditions are lively they lack the upbeat spontaneity and the 'rough around the edges' feel that enhanced their performances in previous years. Accuracy is perhaps a problem here and playing the album leaves a sense that something is missing. To be fair, the live act was somewhat formulaic throughout their history, as listening to any two live albums will tell you, though it is clear that the passion has faded and there is no sign of any track extending to the epic 11-minute long-haul of 'Alchemy's' 'Sultans of Swing', which becomes something in its own right, not simply a version of a great song. In addition to this, although the period ties up with their 'On Every Street' album and thus the heavy influence of their more recent work is understandable, several tracks are missing, such as the anthemic 'Sultans of Swing', which could easily have replaced weaker inclusions such as 'You and Your Friend'. In the album's defence however, it does represent a snap-shot of most of the band's best works performed in a convincing way that is very true to the original studio recordings and is a pleasant route into the music of one of the best recording artists of all time.
For a 'Best Of' I would recommend Sultans of Swing, as the group's work is generally better in studio form than it is with the live version on 'On the Night', and where it sounds somewhat dated today the more appealing live version is chosen instead, e.g. 'Love Over Gold' and 'Your Latest Trick'. If you really want the live experience though, it has to be 'Alchemy', the Straits at their best, with all the greats from their earlier (and less commercial) period. On the other hand, if you do tend more towards the musically weaker 'Brothers in Arms' era 'On the Night' is probably this album that you want. You could just be a Dire Straits nut however and want every album that Mark Knopfler has ever had anything to do with... like... ahem... me!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dire Straits at their very best..., 9 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: On The Night (Audio CD)
Having heard all of Dire Straits' studio albums I have to say that, great as they are, Dire Straits have excelled themselves with this fantastic live album. The quality of all the tracks is of a very high standard. From the atmospheric build-up on Calling Elvis through to the classic love-song Romeo and Juliet to Brothers In Arms, this is definitely the best live album I have ever heard! Awesome......
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars its okay, 26 Feb 2008
By 
Kevin Long "kevin_cambs_uk" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: On The Night (Audio CD)
mmmmmm ........

What can I say, I was disappointed on listening to this cd, I am a big Dire Straits fan, but unfortunately Mark Knopfler has passed it and it shows.

The tracks are okay, but when you play live, you at least expect to hear the tracks like the studio, with may be a relaxing on the music slightly, but to have the guitar riffs and chords changed with something else is a shame. Brothers in Arms, if your gonna play it, please play the right notes and chords, so you can at least keep a breast of the track, but the guitar riffs between the verses has been changed with stuff thats not even remotely related to the original score, which is a shame.

I don't mind a little poetic licence but this makes the tracks strange and unknown, which is a shame, its not like the Alchemy live album, where tracks are enhanced, the guitar work is just made richer with it being totally recognisebale to the original work.

ALso, Walk of Life, what the hell is this doing on here, its so country and western, it might as well be sung by Garth Brookes. Thats the problem, its just gone off the edge with regards to being like a Dire Straits album.

Money For Nothing, another track ruined by the live performance, no intro straight to the guitar, nothing like the track.

There are good tracks on there, On Every Street is a good rendition, as is Calling Elvis, but overall, a real shame.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Musicianship, 31 Jan 2008
By 
J. Thurlow - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: On The Night (Audio CD)
This is definately Dire Straits at their pinnacle. Mark Knoppler's later solo work does not compare to the energy that the entire band conveys as you listen to this musical masterpiece.

A fantastically produced record that is thanks to not only exceptional musicianship but also the instrumentation/arrangements chosen.

A fair amount of post-production is evident in a very wide stereo image (unusual for a live concert recording), however this is incredibily effective in seperating the individual sounds further and so you can really hear all the drums in the fantastic drum fills. The level of all instruments throughout the concert is always as correct as it can ever be too.

Knoppler's voice and vocal style came underfire in the early days, but the simplicity of his style has a great bearing on the music and focusses you in on the fabulous way in which all the instruments gel seamlessly together and with his voice. His vocal is definately at its best on this CD.

Stand out tracks for me are 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Brothers in Arms' where the sincerity and pure power of the tracks are truely trumendous, the audience are I'm sure in awe of what they are witnessing.

Overall a great record not only for any Dire Straights fan but for any musician who wishes to listen to a fabulous live recording that truely endorses the cliche that 'less really is more'.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like it years ago but ......., 10 May 2014
This review is from: On The Night (Audio CD)
When 'On Every Street' came out I didn't like it at all, because of the pedal steel guitar. And when I heard 'On the Night' first time years ago I felt the same. It just wasn't the Dire Straits I liked.

I heard 'Romeo and Juliet' on a tinny cassette player at a friend's house a few weeks ago and thought I'd better reinvestigate this album. I'm glad I did.

The old image of classic Dire Straits has softened in my mind, so I now really enjoy the addition of the pedal steel stuff. Many different takes on some real gems.

So, if you dismissed it out of hand when it was issued as I did, give it another go, with the broader mind that time gives us.

So in a way I'm glad I missed out all those years ago because I can enjoy it now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great value, 27 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: On The Night (Audio CD)
Pleased with my purchase. Tends to beg the question as to do we all rely too much on e bay????????????
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