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Alchemy (Live)

Dire Straits

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Album Review

Taken from the band's Love Over Gold tour, this video captures Dire Straits just months before international superstardom was thrust on them through the success of Brothers in Arms. The set featured the cream of the four previous albums, as well as the B-side to "Twisting By the Pool," "Two Younger Lovers." Strangely, all the tracks are played in a profoundly Love Over Gold style; that is, long and drawn-out songs, incomprehensibly extended guitar solos, obligatory fast and slow sections, and an extremely serious, yet mysterious mood. Mark Knopfler and new recruit Terry Williams steal the show through their highly impressive guitar and drum playing, respectively. The classic "Sultans of Swing" guitar solo, the highpoint of this live VHS, was never better performed than on Alchemy, while Williams proves himself capable by his amazingly fast and always interesting drumming. If one can bear to watch rhythm guitarist Hal Lindes dance around in his pink '80s leggings for 90 minutes, and Alan Clark add too much synth to songs not needing any, a superb concert can be seen in Alchemy. The fine track list and musically impressive band make for what is one of the best live releases from the decade.

Biography

Formed: 1977 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Dire Straits emerged during the post-punk era of the late '70s, and while their sound was minimalistic and stripped down, they owed little to punk. If anything, the band was a direct outgrowth of the roots revivalism of pub rock, but where pub rock celebrated good times, Dire Straits were melancholy. Led by guitarist/vocalist Mark Knopfler, the group built their sound upon the laid-back blues-rock of J.J. Cale, but they also had jazz and country inflections, occasionally dipping into the epic song...
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Alchemy (Live), Dire Straits
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