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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 23 March 2004
This best of collection does contain most of the best known tunes from the supergroup from all their albums, but falls short.
On the plus side, the classics we all know and love such as 'Sultans of Swing', 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Tunnel of Love' are all here in their full-length versions.
However this is where I start subtracting the stars: The one cut from 'Alchemy' is the worst track on the CD (the original studio version of 'Love Over Gold' is far superior to the live rendition here). One of the best tracks Knopfler ever wrote, 'Telegraph Road', is absent; 'Brothers In Arms' has been cut so the superb guitar solo at the end of that track is absent; 'Money For Nothing' and 'On Every Street' have also been edited. As a result this compilation does not provide a full perspective of some of the band's most superb work. A double 'best of CD' (like Billy Joel and many others have done for their greatest hits) is probably the only answer...
Buy this though and you will want to collect all of the band's work, but the albums 'Making Movies', 'Love Over Gold' and 'Brothers In Arms' are the best buys when it comes to personal choice.
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on 18 October 2010
On it's own the one disc collection is a very good introduction to the music of Mark Knofler and Dire Straits.
Lady Writer is not often included in the band's other collections and really stands out, while Love Over Gold, Your Latest Trick and from Local Hero, Wild Theme are all live recordings which maintain their high standards.
My favourite is Sultans Of Swing, what a debut single, as far as I am concerned on a par with The Animals' House Of The Rising Son, The Byrds' Mr Tambourine Man and Jimi Hendrix's Hey Joe.
Now add disc 2 which is a live concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London, featuring 7 songs.
Calling Elvis is an improvement on the studio version, Walk Of Life is next, then a lovely gentle Last Exit To Brooklyn which runs into Romeo And Juliet.
Sultans Of Swing clocks in at over 13 minutes, thats definitely OK with me, then nearly 9 minutes of Brothers In Arms.
Finally Money for Nothing rounds off the concert in which the band and Mark in particular, have the audiance enjoying every moment.
Any Dire Straits fan who wants 2 hours 20 minutes of their music need look no further.
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on 19 July 2004
I'll give you a title by title description of the album, as each song deserves a few words...
1/ "sultans of swing" is the starting point of the band's carreer. But more than that it has become part of the rock'n'roll legend with its wonderful unforgettable guitar riffs.
2/ "lady writer" is a faster "sultans of swing", but a great theme of its own too.
3/ "romeo and juliet" is one of the most romantic and touching love songs ever written by Mark Knopfler (words and music really merge into sth very emotional).
4/ "tunnel of love" presents other legendary guitar riffs. It combines the beauty of "romeo and juliet"'s lyrics and the power of "sultans'" riffs. The epic final guitar solo is just an all time favorite.
5/ "twisting by the pool" is an original twist, showing that Mark Knopfler really is capable of complying with every style and can write about anything.
6/ "private investigations" shows a wonderful accoustic work where the guitar dialogues with the piano all thru. The final chords have also become part of history.
7/ "love over gold" (live in 1983) is in the trend of "private investigations" but can only serve here as a teaser to the fantastic original version.
8/ "so far away" is another love song, quite a simple one both lyrically and musically, but it goes straight to the heart.
9/ "money for nothing" is no use commenting on as everybody, I think, must remember its destructive introductory guitar riff and its chorus sung along with Sting. "I want my MTV".
10/ "brothers in arms" could be defined in just one word : "heart-breaking". Once again the music and the voice combine to break your heart in two.
11/ "walk of life" is well influenced by the cajun style, it's a rocking song which can liven a place up when needed. The keyboard parts and the chorus made it very famous and appreciated.
12/ "calling elvis". In this song we can easily feel the influence of Chet Atkins on our host, the intermediary riff is a good example. It's a nice piece of song writing and a great tribute to the King of rock'n'roll too.
13/ "heavy fuel" is a sarcastic, cynical song in the spirit of "money for nothing". It has powerful guitar chords and a nice chorus too.
14/ "on every street" also belongs to the emotional kind. You'll never be able to resist its final instrumental part.
15/ "your latest trick" (live). Known for its famous saxophone solo, this version is quite different from the original one, as new instruments have been used to enlarge the musical theme.
16/ "local hero - wild theme" (live). Wonderful instrumental piece of music from the local hero film, played live during the "on every street tour" in 1991-1992.
To conclude, we can but recognize that this album is a very nice one, it is a good introduction to the band, even if it is true many songs have been unjustly forgotten (telegraph road, down to the waterline, solid rock, where do you think you're going, you and your friend...).
Anyway, if you like good music, you'll love this album.
'Hope I've given you the will to discover this memorable, deserving British band, which has so much contributed to the welfare of the British music.
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on 20 July 2001
All your favourite Dire Straits hits are here. My only reservation is that some of them are live. I find the background whoops and yells most distracting. Why couldn't we just have had the originals?
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on 16 June 2004
With most bands' back catalogues now available on CD, record companies are taking to reshuffling and repackaging the original Best Of compilations and flogging them again at full price to a completely new audience, or on the strength of a couple of new live tracks. Don't buy into it. The best work of the brilliant band that is Dire Straits has been on the market for years under the title Money For Nothing. And what's more, it's available for a mere half the price of this imposter.
This is not to say that the songs on here are not good - they are. In fact, many of them are the same. It is where the tracks differ that this issue comes off second best. In an attempt to bring it up to date, there are three songs from the forgettable On Every Street album. Which is fine, but to pave the way for these, they have ignored indispensable earlier tracks such as Telegraph Road. And then there are the three live tracks. Again, it's fine to include Your Latest Trick and Mark Knopfler's Local Hero/Wild Theme, but for God's sake have the decency to give us the original studio versions - the versions that are actually good!
My advice to anyone looking for an introduction to Dire Straits is simple. Avoid this one. Instead seek out the compilation album entitled Money For Nothing. Once you've bought and enjoyed it thoroughly, which I can assure you you will, target the six studio albums, starting with Brothers In Arms.
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on 19 November 2000
When Mark Knopfler started out with Dire Straits, he must have had two ambitions: to defeat punk and make rock history. He achieved both. Knopfler and Dire Straits may not be the most fondly remembered band Britain has produced, but this CD alone speaks volumes for their quality, which was almost unrivalled during the eighties. It features almost all of their chart hits in some form or other, brilliant live versions of 'Love Over Gold', 'Your Latest Trick' and Knopfler's 'Wild Theme' guitar solo. The versions of 'Money For Nothing' and 'Brothers in Arms' are edited and lose some of their original atmosphere, but any drawbacks are negligible compared to what this one CD can offer you. If you like this, buy all of Dire Straits' studio albums - you will not be disappointed!
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on 11 October 2000
Having only a few of the albums by Dire Straights, I found this CD to be brilliant. It has all the best songs, and is great value for money. Like it says.."The VERY best of Dire Straights"!
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VINE VOICEon 6 October 2008
If you had stood up in front of the punks of 1977 and declared that the next ten years of mainstream British guitar based music would be dominated by a Geordie bloke influenced by American Folk\R+B and Country and Western, and wearing a headband and a dopey grin, you would have been showered with spit and bottled out of the room, but that is exactly what happened.

From the late 70's through to the late 80's mark Knopfler and his 'uncool' band Dire Straits were the benchmark of success, and filled Stadiums around the world selling tens of millions of Albums. Brothers in Arms to date remains the best selling album of all time in the UK, with the British record industry estimating at one point, that 1 in 3 households had a copy of the album in various formats.

The classics are all here including amongst others, the predictable opener but still jaw-dropping display of lightning-speed finger-picking that is Sultans of Swing, the sentimental and wistful yearning about the North East that is Tunnel of Love, the melodic young love mini-movie portrait that is Romeo and Juliet, the brooding meditation with sharp reply that is Private Investigations and the aching ode to comradeship, Brothers in Arms.

This collection is a decent representation of Dire Straits but does not quite qualify as `the very best of'. This is because of the inclusion of inferior live versions of `Love over gold' and `your latest trick' (Why not the originals?), and also edited versions of money for nothing, brothers in arms, calling elvis and private investigations (Why not the album versions as this isn't a `singles' collection?), and where is Telegraph road? (I would happily have sacrificed the plodding 'Heavy Fuel' and the irrepressibly cheesy and always skipped 'twisting by the pool' for this to be included)

It is not often that I comment on the actual sonic attributes of an album, but the clarity and quality of this CD (especially if your CD player can decode HDCD) is incredible. `Re-mastering' will of course have taken place on some of the older recordings, but even taking that into account, some of the original recordings are now over 30 years ago, and the audio quality found here easily surpasses many recent releases. This CD will bring out the best in your HiFi system.

So there you have it, a quality recording providing an excellent introduction to one the UK's most successful bands of all time. Not the quite the very best of, but not far off, recommended.
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on 16 December 2014
This review is about the 2 cd version of Sultans Of Swing; The Very Best Of Dire Straits where the second disc is a 7 track live concert recorded in 1996 at the Royal Albert Hall. This concert makes no mention of Dire Straits just of Mark Knopeler though. It has a 13 minute version of Sultans Of Swing and a 7 and a half minute version of Romeo and Juliet on it which are great in my view.

The first disc has many of the same tracks on it as Private Investigations, the Best Of Dire Straits but adds a few Dire Straits tracks and drops a few of Knopelers solo songs which is apart from wanting the concert on disc 2 why i much prefer this to Private Investigations which i also have. Disc 1 also has live versions of Love Over Gold, Your Latest Trick and Local Hero/Wild Theme.

This 2cd version is the best compilation available at present in my view that covers Dire Straits right through. I also have the excellent Money For Money live cd and Brothers In Arms as well as a number of other albums.
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on 11 July 2015
This is one of my favourite albums. I just love Knopfler's finger picking style of playing lead guitar. Unlike "Guitar George", he makes his guitar cry and sing. This is the album I play when I feel a bit down and it lifts my mood like nothing else can.

I must make it clear that this is a review of the limited edition download of "Sultans Of Swing" consisting of 16 tracks which in my view is a a fair representation of their work including some of their best and most popular.
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