Top positive review
One person found this helpful
on 6 March 2018
Over the years, I have dived into the catalogue of many bands. I have a mental list of groups to make my way through and after so many years, i finally reached Dire Straits. When I picked up their debut album, I didn't know what I was in for and boy, did I get a hell of a surprise.
Dire Straits was released by Vertigo Records in England and Warner Bros. Records in America, it features one of the bands most recognisable songs in, Sultans of Swing. A huge single for the band and one that possibly contains one of the finest guitar solos of the last forty years. The single hit the top ten spot on both sides of the Atlantic and the album itself made waves in European album charts.
As a record I find Dire Straits to be hugely underrated in not only its sound, but song writing and presentation. The album itself is fairly simple with no use of keyboard, synthesizers or heavy use of reverb. The record features a basic twin guitar sound with the accompanying bass and drums. It is very simple in approach and is one of the reasons that it has aged better than some of the bands later albums.
Naturally, the previously mentioned Sultans of Swing is a big part of the album. The up beat rock n roll numbers holds some well written lyrics, a very addictive rhythm and some of the finest guitar playing you'll hear from this period in rock history. I also find the song Six Blade Knife to be a great song on the record. It is quite laid back by comparison but the mix of the mid tempo groove and the passionate playing of Mark Knopfler makes it an album highlight for sure. I also enjoyed the rather funky track, Southbound Again. Like the previous two tracks, it isn't complex by any means but has a groove that is just too hard to ignore.
Looking at the big picture though, there aren't any bad tracks on Dire Straits. Some tracks might be more to your personal taste than others, but there aren't any that specifically stick out as average or bad. Some people might not like the limited vocal delivery from Mark Knopfler and again, that is all down to taste and is understandable. It would however be silly to deny the fact that when his voice works with the song, it works very well. Even if it has about as much range as a paper aeroplane in a blender.
It is worth mentioning that the album still sounds great, even by today's standards. The original album has a nice clean sound with a kind of warmth that makes the music feel down to Earth. The CD remastering is also of a high standard, clearing up a lot of back ground hiss and so on.
It took me a lot of years to dive into the back catalogue of Dire Straits and I have to admit, I have missed out on a lot of great music. People recognise the band for their later hits and albums, but I will stand my ground and say that the bands debut album is the best in their catalogue. Brothers In Arms may be a classic by all means, but it lacks the honesty and simple sound that gives this album so much class.
Published by Steven Lornie of Demonszone