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Dire Straits
Format: Audio CD|Change
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 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
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on 19 October 2014
I first heard this album shortly after I moved to New Orleans from the UK to work back in the late 70's - on 8 track cartridge no less (now why did that technology not survive....?) Having heard nothing about them (in 1979 communications were not what they are today) I thought the band was American until I heard the line "way down south - London Town" - almost choked on my mint julep! So I can't hear this album without recalling those times and I still think that every track is iconic - especially the much underrated "In the Gallery" - when you look at the music of the intervening years. Who says nostalgia isn't what it used to be!
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on 27 February 2013
Lets get the fan credentials out of the way first, I was originally a fan of the band from 84 until I got burnt out on the bands overexposure after Brothers In Arms was released. Never listened to the band again......until I got a bit bored last week and listened to a couple of their songs on youtube. This has led to me purchasing their entire works on remastered cd's.

Onto this here debut album. Back in the day I liked a couple of tunes, but not much else. Well all these years later I'm older and more able to appreciate Mark Knopfler's inspiration and roots much more and I have to say this is a great album. Really digging the blues origins of the music set to lyrics that reflect the writers own life experiences. Me likey, me likey a lot.
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on 30 January 2017
this first album of my favourite band is one of the best albums ever. best albums they did is this, love over gold, brothers in arms and Alchemy. best tracks is down to the waterline, water of love, sultans, wild west end and lions.

i think its time they re- release all the albums again like a deluxe editions with b- sides, demos, live recordings.like an example they could release the eastbound train that was on the sultans single b side. they could release the extendedanceplay on cd for the first time. they could release a deluxe box with Alchemy both nights and release them uncut with love over gold, twisting by the pool, industrial disease and portobello belle which they played and for some reason they take them away on album and dvd. they could do a book about the band with pictures and more.
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on 10 July 2015
It's a great first album with the freshness of a young band. I finally replaced 35 year-old vinyl with the remastered CD. Regrets? You must be joking. Sorry, vinyl fans, but although it is possible to get great sound from vinyl (at great expense), that's not what we were getting in the 1970s!
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on 13 September 2015
Great album - great opening track and contains the classic Sultans of Swing - Alongside Making Movies its my favorite Dire Straits album The production on this album paved the way for the quality this band wanted throughout the 80s - they did this in the 70s? Masterful.
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on 9 April 2015
What a debut album this was and now on heavyweight,re-mastered vinyl to boot! Dire Straits first album was an introduction to the world of a very tight playing band fronted by a true genius of a guitar player in the form of Mark Knopfler.Good songs played with great passion and drive with all band members contributing to the overall effort.I saw the Straits in 1977 at the Ipswich Regent I believe ,it was,just prior to the group hitting the big time with "Sultans of Swing" and they were rather good as I recall.
It's nearly 40 year old and to my ears still sounds fresh and vibrant.A classic album.
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on 28 March 2018
Quality album from start to finish, Debut album from 1978, some of Mark Knopflers finest work, must have for any classic rock fan
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on 4 October 2017
A great band and great music l love them
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on 16 December 2017
Dire straits what can you say about them,a great sound I love them.
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