Dire Straits at their very best,
This review is from: Alchemy - Dire Straits Live - Two CD Set (Audio CD)
Seemingly effortless brilliance. Mark Knopfler has written wonderful rock tracks that never descend to being raucous but build on memorable melodies. That is why they are so strong. I first owned this album on vinyl and then on CD and have also seen the video. Knopfler just stands there and plays: note perfect and with no showboating. He doesn't need to. It is an object lesson from which many emerging bands today could learn ... if you are good enough you don't need to do anything other than play and let your music speak for you.
This set was recorded before 'Brothers in Arms' and features the strongest tracks from their albums to date. Extended in many cases, and live, they combine to be a tour-de-force, showing what good rock music is all about. The rest of the group provides good and highly competent support, but really this is Knopfler's show.
By interspersing his very low-key vocals with highly melodic guitar phrases, Knopfler has put together songs that are instantly memorable. His weakness (if I may be so bold) and his strength combine to produce an end-product that is quite unique and which stands the test of time.
There are tracks here that I simply didn't want to end, most especially 'Sultans of Swing', which I prefer to the studio recording. In fact, all the songs benefit from being performed live - and how many bands can you say that about?
I thoroughly recommend this album. It is Dire Straits at their very best. A lesson in guitar playing from one of the greats. Five stars.