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Dire Straits released a definitive self-titled debut album with a huge hit in “Sultans of Swing” that meant the odds were against their second album living up to their sudden reputation. Remove the pressure to better themselves and accept their second album, which appeared less than a year later, and Communique is as dazzling an album in its own time. Artistically speaking, the songs on Communique are every bit as compelling and the playing is every bit as focused and refined. In fact, it wouldn’t seem out of the question to wonder if tracks such as “Once Upon a Time In the West,” “Lady Writer” and “Angel of Mercy” weren’t taken from the same sessions. Singer-guitarist Mark Knopfler’s abilities to control the mood are first-rate and sublime. Unlike the journeymen bluesmen who’ve obviously inspired him, Knopfler is able to craft transcendent recordings that speak loudly without raising their voice. How else to describe the quiet magic of “News”? Or the sweet pulse of “Follow Me Home”? Funnily enough, criticisms that this album’s accomplishments were too modest would lead to the stirring anthems of the group’s next album, Making Movies.

Customer Reviews

Sophomore Album With Style

Communique, Dire Straits’ second studio album, was probably also their most underrated. No, “Sultans of Swing” is not here, and neither is “Money for Nothing,” but that doesn’t mean the album isn’t great in its own write (pun on “Lady Writer” intended). “Once Upon A Time In the West” starts off this album with a classic Mark Knopfler guitar riff, launching into one of the best songs in the album. “Once Upon A Time” is gruff yet seductive, and the guitar here is wonderful. “News” follows up rather dully, but that doesn’t last long. “Where Do You Think You’re Going,” another favorite of mine, begins with acoustic guitar and builds to a great instrumental finish “Communique” is another great track, typical early Dire Straits. “Lady Writer,” is the best track on the album. It is sound-wise very similar to “Sultans of Swing,” catchy, upbeat, and featuring excellent riffing and soloing by Knopfler. “Angel of Mercy,” with an almost gospel chorus, follows, and then the very fine “Portobello Belle.” On an album of guitar solos, the fantastic “Single-Handed Sailor” has the best. To close the album, there’s the mystical “Follow Me Home.” While not all of these songs are great, most are very good and none at all are bad. However, much Communique isn’t for people new to Dire Straits. For these people, I would recommend starting with “Lady Writer,” “Communque” and “Portobello Belle” to get a sense of the band’s style.


News is my favorite song on their, but they're all great!

Awesome album!

I really don't get why this album is so underrated. To me, it has everything Dire Straits and MK is all about. Great guitar riffs and mytical, transporting lyrics. Lay down, close your eyes, enjoy every single note and you'll understand.


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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Communique, Dire Straits
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