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Communique Original recording remastered
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DIRE STRAITS Communique (1996 UK 9-track digitally remastered CD issue of their 1979 album 8-page picture sleeve booklet with new liner notes photos & lyrics)
Recorded a mere nine months after their debut, Communique has often been written off as a mere carbon copy of the Dire Straits' first album featuring less compelling material. Recording took place in the Bahamas with top production team Jerry Wexler and Barry Beckett and mixing at the famous Muscle Shoals studio; it consequently features a delicate and supremely balanced sound. Yet even Knopfler has said of this album that the tropical breezes made his song writing "lazy". Whilst being unnecessarily self-deprecating, this has an element of truth about it and at the same time is precisely what is so engaging about the album. It is true that Knopfler doesn't do as much to the songs he's written as on other albums--his guitar playing does not feature the same consistently bubbling energy of his work on the first album. But this gives a little more space for the rest of the band to shine. Pick Withers's drumming is especially hypnotic and David Knopfler's intuitive rhythm guitar interplay with his brother comes across well. Overall, the consistently dreamy atmosphere of the record is decidedly captivating, and the most fully realised tracks, particularly "Once Upon A Time In The West" and "Portobello Belle", are among their best-ever material. "Where Do You Think You're Going", a rather over-zealous attempt to imitate Bob Dylan, is the only song that seems somewhat out-of-place. This was the last album to feature the original Dire Straits line-up, with the departure of David Knopfler for a solo career shortly before the recording of Making Movies. --James Swift
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm a big Dire Straits fan, personally preferring the pre BIA period. The first thing I heard actually was from a VHS (that shows my age) of Alchemy, which i watched over and over. Read morePublished 2 months ago by JulesB
More 'When I was a lad...'
More 'Oh God....Old Man Music from my daughters.
Still - this is when DS were a great band. Read more
Can't say much about this album, other than it's Dire Straits at their best.
Ditch that string of digital dots on CD & MP3 and listen to some real music on vinyl for that... Read more