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on 9 January 2000
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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on 7 September 2006
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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After many happy hours watching the DVD of this concert with my best friend it was a foregone conclusion that I'd also buy the CD to add to my collection and I've never regretted it and never get tired listening to it. From the album opener `Calling Elvis' with that constant underlying pedal steel riff and tongue in cheek quacking percussion (you'll know what I mean when you hear it) to the awesome `Heavy Fuel' and `On Every Street' (with more amazing pedal steel from Paul Franklin) this concert has a great selection of tracks from the `On Every Street' album. It also has some firm favourites like `Walk of Life', `Romeo and Juliet', `Private Investigation', `Money for Nothing' and `Brothers in Arms' to round of the track selection in style. Knopflers guitar playing is as tight and inspiring as ever and the tone he manages to wring out of his Pensa Suhr guitars is nothing but breath taking. From the sound of the audience they are obviously enjoying themselves, as are all the musicians and this album never fails to lift my spirits. Sadly this has less tracks than the DVD, mainly due to the restrictions of space on the CD format, but for a slice of live Dire Straits this really can't be beaten and it is still a favourite live album of mine all these years later. Simply incredible.

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on 17 May 2000
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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on 10 May 2014
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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on 5 January 2015
Mark Knopfler is one of greatest rock guitarists in the world and this live album, which more or less marked the end of Dire Straits as an act, is a great recording of the man at his best. It also marks the evolution of soulful depth in Knopfler's playing - he has always been technically brilliant, but here you will find a maturity of feeling that continued on into his later solo career. The artful and often blistering guitar work on 'Calling Elvis', 'You and Your Friend' and 'Brothers in Arms' in particular stand out for me, but all ten tracks are classic examples Mark Knopfler's unique, creative and virtuoso talent. Among the rest of the band, Paul Franklin's amazing pedal steel guitar playing features significantly on several tracks.
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on 20 October 2011
Sultans Of Swing is a mega Dire Straits song, but not included here.
The 10 tracks are mostly 6 to 10 minutes long and are presented at a mostly thoughtful rate, rather than rushed through.
I like You And Your Friends, a song I had not heard before, also excellent tracks Brother In Arms, Your Latest Trick, Romeo And Juliet and Private Investigations.
This is 75 minutes of live material which the crowds clearly enjoy, however a greater urgency on some songs would have improved an already good album.
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on 6 April 2000
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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Still a very much missed band, Mark Knopfler has gone onto great things as a solo artist. It was after seeing him on his recent tour in Britain I got hold of this set from Amazon.A great live album, full of the best of the band, although by then much bigger than the original four piece of the self titled and still sounding amazing debut album. Knopfler surely one of the finest electric guitarists of all time, his playing is timeless, he has such a unique style, you know it's him as soon as a note is played. His voice again unique and remains one of the best around.
The band on this set of well known but really worth getting again if you already have them in this set,
BROTHERS IN ARMS that's the track listing but add Paul Franklin's steel guitar work, plus the expanded members of the band and you have here a truly excellent set by oine of the greatest bands of all time.
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on 21 February 2002
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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