6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This Is Where It Started,
This review is from: Dire Straits (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.