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Dire Straits SACD

4.8 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Dec. 2011)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: SACD
  • Label: Universal Japan
  • ASIN: B003OTLVAW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 680,552 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is an album of evocatively written narrative songs with superb and original guitar playing and, unusually, every song a winner.
Though you can discern Knopfler's influences (Dylan, JJ Cale, Chet Atkins-style picking) it's all blended into a distinctive flavour that is hard to fit into normal pop-rock categories. It is also distinctively English, as the detailed storytelling lyrics make clear. Knopfler's singing is Dylanesque without really sounding like Dylan, and his guitar playing is bluesy, elegant and chunkily percussive without really sounding like anyone (unless it's a more bluesy Richard Thompson). Because of the cleaness of the production and Knopfler's guitar tone, you get a palpable sense of his fingers attacking the guitar strings (something many rock guitarists rely on distortion to hide).
Though the songwriting is on one level conventional enough, the various elements of the band's sound combine forcefully to grab the attention. Dire Straits (in this incarnation) are tight, and rhythmically limber, while Knopfler's distinctive vocals and literate writing draw the listener in relentlessly. And unlike many guitar heroes, Knopfler's solos are always there to support the song rather than to be flashy. When the vocals stop, the guitar really does seem to take over the singing and the expressive foce of the song.
Sultans of Swing is of course known to almost everyone. But Down to the Waterline, Six Blade Knife and South Bound Again, respectively urgent, menacing and wirily funky, are also excellent. Anyone who finds Dire Straits' later work bland or overproduced should check out this album. It's as satisfying and sweet as an exquisitely rendered small-scale novel about ordinary people's lives.
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Format: Audio CD
There are not many superlatives to heap upon this album that have not already been used. It is rare in modern music to find anything near as witty, evocative, emotional yet enjoyable as this debut album from Dire Straits. Essentially this is the "real" Dire Straits, not the electronically influenced outfit of "Brothers In Arms" fame, but a group with a classic bar band sound, who combine rock, jazz, blues, country and folk for the ultimate debut album. This shows the roots of Dire Straits, combining Mark Knopfler's folk-tinged vocals and bluesy guitar playing, a rock-solid rhythm section courtesy of Knopfler's brother David and bass player John Illsey and the jazz drumming of Pick Withers.
I would recommend this album to every music fan. From the opening fast-paced "Down To The Waterline" to the classic "Sultans of Swing" to the beautiful "Wild West End," this truly is a class album. Just sit back and enjoy and appreciate the brilliance of the original Dire Straits before they became overwhelmed by the commercialism and temptation of fame. In my opinion this is one of the greatest albums in rock history, I hope after listening to this album you will share the same opinion.
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Format: Audio CD
If you do not currently own a Dire Straits record, then I envy you for the journey of discovery you would embark upon if you bought this album. I have been listening to Straits for over 10 years (I'm only 22) and would give anything to hear this album for the first time again.
If (like many people) you are scared off by the over-playing of Money for Nothing, the "Old Men of Rock" tag Dire Straits have got, or the simply awful 'Twisting by the pool', then 'Down to the Waterline' will immediately change your mind, because from this first song on Dire Straits have produced one of the most irreproachably competent and satisfying debuts I have ever heard: David Knopfler - Rhythm guitar perfection, Mark Knopfler - Lead guitar, song-writing and vocals that will leave you in a frenzied search for more of the same.
You will hear J.J. Cale here as well as any other number of Blues influences, but song-writing on tracks like 'six-blade knife', 'Sultans of Swing', 'In the Gallery' and 'Lions' are unmistakeably Knopfler. Through his distinctive growl and laid back guitar riffs Mark Knopfler tells the story of his journey from Newcastle childhood, to the superficiality of the London arts scene, so the narrative honesty is there if you want to hear it.
Have it loud in your car to pump you up, have it quiet in your bedroom to chill you out. Either way, you have to have it.
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Format: Audio CD
Electric guitar music touches a membrane deep inside me that seems to exist for the purpose of resonating this sound alone (the only thing that touches it even more strongly is if the guitar chords are paired with a truly unusual voice). I'm sure every lover of great guitar music knows what I am talking about. Ever since I discovered that membrane years ago, I have been on the look for that special sound; be it straightforward rock, blues or folk music. However, growing up in a time when the radio airwaves were flooded with either disco or punk, depending on what station you were listening to, it wasn't always easy to find. Then one day I heard "Sultans of Swing," and my membrane resonated - all the more because this was not only a great guitarist playing but also one of the most unique voices I'd heard in a while, and the musical style seemed to defy classification, too ... it was somewhere between rock and blues, but I wasn't sure what exactly to call it.
However you define their sound, though, listening to Dire Straits' self-titled debut album 25 years after its publication, it is still amazing how rounded and accomplished their style was even then.
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