7 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After their second album, Communique was considered by some critics to be too subtle and too close to the band’s stellar self-titled debut album, singer-guitarist Mark Knopfler set out to write a few tunes that exhibited his ambitions as a songwriter. His brother David departed the group, leaving even more room for Knopfler to fill. He responded with his tightest and strongest set of tunes to date. “Tunnel of Love,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Skateaway,” which comprised the album’s first side, come together as a stirring suite that use all the dynamics at hand to deliver an emotive punch every bit the equal to the stories Knopfler told with the lyrics and with his impeccably expressive lead guitar playing. His leaning towards Dylan’s folk ghosts were met with a Springsteen-esque sense of purpose. The album’s second side flowed differently: as distinct songs that each shined their spotlights on different aspects of the group. Even at five minutes, “Expresso Love” had the feel of a hit single. “Hand In Hand” turned to the piano for a ballad. “Solid Rock” worked off a bar-band strut. Hard to believe, their most successful album was yet to come.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After their second album, Communique was considered by some critics to be too subtle and too close to the band’s stellar self-titled debut album, singer-guitarist Mark Knopfler set out to write a few tunes that exhibited his ambitions as a songwriter. His brother David departed the group, leaving even more room for Knopfler to fill. He responded with his tightest and strongest set of tunes to date. “Tunnel of Love,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Skateaway,” which comprised the album’s first side, come together as a stirring suite that use all the dynamics at hand to deliver an emotive punch every bit the equal to the stories Knopfler told with the lyrics and with his impeccably expressive lead guitar playing. His leaning towards Dylan’s folk ghosts were met with a Springsteen-esque sense of purpose. The album’s second side flowed differently: as distinct songs that each shined their spotlights on different aspects of the group. Even at five minutes, “Expresso Love” had the feel of a hit single. “Hand In Hand” turned to the piano for a ballad. “Solid Rock” worked off a bar-band strut. Hard to believe, their most successful album was yet to come.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
111 Ratings
111 Ratings
halsmithdvm ,

Epic

This album is epic. I own it in vinyl, on cd and have downloaded it onto my ipod. Every cut with the exception of "Les Boys" gets 5 stars.

In love in Bethesda ,

Glorious - but of course, it

This was the one that woke me up to Dire Straits..I fell in love while listening to this-and it's been part of the soundtrack of my life so far..extraordinary. Mark K has probably the loveliest, most personal voice and has always been the epitome of maleness and intelligence for me.
I could spend alot of money buying his most recent music - but this album will always be it for me. Absolutely the best.

Eric Nyberg ,

Underrated Album, underrated song

First off, this album as a whole is solid. If you think you know Dire Straits because of "Money for Nothing," "Walk of Life" or "Sultans of Swing" but not much else, you owe it to yourself to listen to just the first three tracks on this album. It's seriously beautiful. I love the guitar work on "Tunnel of Love" and "Romeo and Juliet."

But I don't understand why everyone seems to rip on the last track on this album, "Les Boys." Sure, the subject matter (gay burlesque performers) is a bit unsavory, but the song itself is catchy and intelligent. It's a playful track, but that doesn't make it worthless. I would argue that it's a more thoughtful track (lyrically and melodically) than "Solid Rock," whih was the weak link for me when I first heard the album. To each his own, I guess. Give "Les Boys" a try. It's got an old time Euro-saloon feel with plinky piano and guitars. Just because it's a novelty track that sounds a bit different doesn't make it bad :)

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