Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    For the first day w/o Red Sox baseball for the next five months and because I've been listening to Dires Straits a lot lately, I'll start this thread.

    Dire Strait easily ranks among my favorite bands -- knocking on the door to top 5, although if push came to shove, it might simply be easier to have five or six bands all be tied, which is probably the real truth.

    If ever there was a band whose studio albums does a "disservice" to their live performances, it's Dire Straits. I put a quotes because their studio albums are superb, but you don't realize the group's greatness until you hear live performances.

    The first songs I heard from them were on the radio, probably in this order -- Sultans of Swing, Skateaway then Industrial Disease. They were the radio songs when each of the albums they were on came out. I liked all three songs (love the line in ID, "Two men said they're Jesus; one of them must be wrong) but it wasn't until later when I realized just how good Dire Straits came out.

    That's when I got the live album Alchemy, the first album of theirs I bought. When I saw the album in the record store, I got it because I liked Sultans of Swing and figured, let's hear the live version.

    As soon as I heard it, I was blown away. The live version was incredible. You get a taste throughout, especially with the small instrumental bit before the final verse. Then the extended instrumental comes and it's amazing. It jams, goes real soft with delicate playing -- Knofler has an amazing light touch -- then keeps building and building. I still get chills up my spine at the peak of the buildup right before the guitar flouish that matches the ending on the studio version and again when he's playing that ending. I don't know how many times I listened to that song before I finally listened to the rest of the album. Probably wore it out.

    A side note about SOS. He played that song at Live Aid and the instrumental part at the end is nearly the same but there's a saxaphone bit that's added. (If you search for the song on You Tube, you can hear other versions with the sax too and w/o). I can't make up my mind if I like it with or w/o the sax. On the one hand, it's a beautiful peace of music that is played, but it sometimes takes away the impact of the guitar buildup.

    Back to Alchemy, I finally listened to  the album from start to finish and it was one great song after another, nearly all I was hearing for the first time. It's real interesting to compare the studio version of Once Upon a Time in the West, which is a solid song, then listen to how he tranformed it into something so much better live.

    Tunnel of Love is another song that is off the charts when you hear the live version. One of my favorite songs. The instrumental at the end of that matches SOS in terms of brilliance. And the bit of Rogers and Hammerstein he plays as an intro to the song is excellent.

    Even Romeo and Juliet, which I know is a favorite Dire Straits song of some posters, is transformed with the live version.

    Having said that, all his studio albums are strong. In fact, my least favorite album might be his most successful -- Brothers in Arms. The success, because of MTV, of Money for Nothing IMO took away from the real brilliance of Knofler and the band.

    However, the song Brothers in Arms ranks among my favorite songs. Both live and studio, it is a beautiful peace of music and really shows off Knofler's delicate touch on the guitar. He plays it on guitar and sings it with great emotion. It's very poignant.

    Knofler, of course, is a great guitarist with a unique style. But Dire Straits isn't just about his guitar work. If you really listen, the other parts -- piano, sax, bass, drums -- really add to the songs. There's some great drum work on the live version of SOS (and other songs), and the piano flourish at the end of Tunnel of Love helps end the song perfectly.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from jesseyeric. Show jesseyeric's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    As great as they were musically, Dire Straits was one of those bands that never caught my interest. I do not know why.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    I think because the catalogue is relatively small (the group was around for enough years to easily add about 3-4 more albums to the list) they don't get nearly enough attention. Most people who don't know much about them know "Sultans of Swing" and consider them a one hit wonder.

    'Communique' is one of my most played LP's. The self titled debut is very strong, but I always liked the overall feel of the 2nd LP.

    Surely Mark Knopfler suffers from the same "identity crisis" as Stevie Ray Vaughn, they simply weren't as prolific as Hendrix, Clapton or Santana. Vaughn, unfortunately had little opportunity as he died at his creative peak ( so it would seem), but Knopfler simply didn't do as many others did: flood the airwaves with Dire Starits.

    Perhaps quantity is not as good as quality when you judge talent. But in order to have a further reaching fame, nothing works like quantity. For this I admire Dire Straits, for perhaps if they had used a bunch of filler and watered down their LP's, I wouldn't like them so much.

    Of all the "over played" songs out there, I think "Sultans" does not lose it's lustre even after 30 years....how many 30 year songs that get played every day , somewhere in the world can you say this about?
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from jesseyeric. Show jesseyeric's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    I cannot say that I didn't like their music - I do. But I never got attached to it like I did with so many other bands. And I do think Mark's guitar work is unique and special. He would be on my list as one of the greats.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from carnie. Show carnie's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    In Response to Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits:
    I think because the catalogue is relatively small (the group was around for enough years to easily add about 3-4 more albums to the list) they don't get nearly enough attention. Most people who don't know much about them know "Sultans of Swing" and consider them a one hit wonder. 'Communique' is one of my most played LP's. The self titled debut is very strong, but I always liked the overall feel of the 2nd LP. Surely Mark Knopfler suffers from the same "identity crisis" as Stevie Ray Vaughn, they simply weren't as prolific as Hendrix, Clapton or Santana. Vaughn, unfortunately had little opportunity as he died at his creative peak ( so it would seem), but Knopfler simply didn't do as many others did: flood the airwaves with Dire Starits. Perhaps quantity is not as good as quality when you judge talent. But in order to have a further reaching fame, nothing works like quantity. For this I admire Dire Straits, for perhaps if they had used a bunch of filler and watered down their LP's, I wouldn't like them so much. Of all the "over played" songs out there, I think "Sultans" does not lose it's lustre even after 30 years....how many 30 year songs that get played every day , somewhere in the world can you say this about?
    Posted by ZILLAGOD

    I'm glad there's another Communique fan out there. Angel of Mercy and Lady Writer are two of my favorite songs ever I think.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    Communique is an excellent album. Once Upon a Time in the West, even the studio version, is an excellent song. Lady Writer and Angel of Mercy are both good. I also like News and Single Handed Sailor.

    I'd rank the studio albums like this:

    1. Making Movies
    2. Love Over Gold
    3. Dire Straits/Communique tie
    4. On Every Street/Brothers in Arms tie

    My favorite album is the live Alchemy album because of the live versions of the various songs.

    I'd rank the songs likes this:
    1. Brothers in Arms (live or studio)
    2. Tunnel of Love/Sultons of Swing tie (live versions for both)
    3. Once Upon a Time in the West (Live)
    4. Telegraph Road (Live or studio)
    5. Industrial Disease 
    6. Skateaway
    7. Expresso Love
    8. Romeo and Juliet
    9. Going Home (Theme from Local Hero) Knofler wrote tis for the soundtrack for the move, Local Hero. It's on the Alchemy album, so I include. The Alchemy version is slow to start then kicks up the last part. I found a live verson in YouTube where he plays is soft and low key through the end, which is very moving. Like both versions.)
    10. The Man's Too Strong

    I'll stop here.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Mattyhorn. Show Mattyhorn's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    Good Driving Music...Knopfler always goes down like a cool breeze.  Effortless listening, but still so much going on in each song. 

    The trifecta for me is "Tunnel Of Love" - "Romeo And Juliet" - "Skateaway".  Those three alone are story-songs of the classic sense, smooth and clean - though anti-septic for some (my wife).

    I always thought of Dire Straits as sort of a musician's band and Knopfler as a guitarist's guitarist - not sure if that's true or not....
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from NumbaFouwer. Show NumbaFouwer's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    I never get tired of listening to Dire Straits radio songs such as Money For Nothing and Brothers In Arms. The MTV version of Money For Nothing gives me the goosebumps everytime I see it.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    In Response to Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits:
    Good Driving Music...Knopfler always goes down like a cool breeze.  Effortless listening, but still so much going on in each song.  The trifecta for me is "Tunnel Of Love" - "Romeo And Juliet" - "Skateaway".  Those three alone are story-songs of the classic sense, smooth and clean - though anti-septic for some (my wife). I always thought of Dire Straits as sort of a musician's band and Knopfler as a guitarist's guitarist - not sure if that's true or not....
    Posted by Mattyhorn


    Excellent point. What's in bold is a great way of describing them.

    And if you're talking about story song, Telegraph Road might be the ultimate. And with the way Detroit is today, it is even more poignant today than it was 30 years ago. That was one song that really grew on me. Didn't do anything for me at first, then the more I listened to it, the more I liked it.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from softwareDevMusician. Show softwareDevMusician's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    I've always been a fan, but I grew tired of Money for Nothing pretty quickly. Knopfler is a phenomenal player -- one of the few who can really rip it up without using a pick. I remember learning the solo from Sultans...a great thing to pull out sitting around the campfire...Cool One of my favorite bits of his playing is actually on the Steely Dan song Time Out of Mind. My favorites have always been Water of Love and Once upon a Time in the West. He often evokes a very "lap steel" sound, and his slide work is impeccable. Partially due, I would guess, to the fact that he doesn't use a pick. Mark is one of the few guitarists I really admire but have not seen live.

    I don't think I've heard much of the live stuff, at least not recently, and now I think it's time to check it out.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from The-dude. Show The-dude's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    Not sure this fits, but Dire Straits can be played on Guitar Hero 5 (Sultans of Swing and Money for Nothing).
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Mattyhorn. Show Mattyhorn's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    In Response to Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits:
    In Response to Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits : Excellent point. What's in bold is a great way of describing them. And if you're talking about story song, Telegraph Road might be the ultimate. And with the way Detroit is today, it is even more poignant today than it was 30 years ago. That was one song that really grew on me. Didn't do anything for me at first, then the more I listened to it, the more I liked it.
    Posted by royf19


    Agreed.  The more you listen, the more you want to keep listening....

    The Local Hero soundtrack is like that...just sort of sinks in until you forget yourself....
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    In Response to Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits:
    I've always been a fan, but I grew tired of Money for Nothing pretty quickly. Knopfler is a phenomenal player -- one of the few who can really rip it up without using a pick. I remember learning the solo from Sultans...a great thing to pull out sitting around the campfire... One of my favorite bits of his playing is actually on the Steely Dan song Time Out of Mind. My favorites have always been Water of Love and Once upon a Time in the West. He often evokes a very "lap steel" sound, and his slide work is impeccable. Partially due, I would guess, to the fact that he doesn't use a pick. Mark is one of the few guitarists I really admire but have not seen live. I don't think I've heard much of the live stuff, at least not recently, and now I think it's time to check it out.
    Posted by softwareDevMusician


    I highly recommend Alchemy -- as if you didn't already notice.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from jaytf25. Show jaytf25's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    Like them a lot. Knopfler's one of the best guitarists of all time.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from softwareDevMusician. Show softwareDevMusician's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    One of the other things about this band, besides the fact that they are so very original, no one sounds like them. I can't even think of a song that might be mistaken for a Dire Straits tune. While I know they are a UK band, for some reason, they just don't sound like a UK band. I'm not sure how to convey it; probably the distinct guitar sound and licks that Knopfler uses -- filled with country-style, almost chicken-pickin type riffs you would expect from some one like Chet Atkins or Doc Watson. Then there's the classic "nasal" strat sound with a ton of midrange/single coil pickup sound statocasters (and telecasters even more so) are known for.

    And then I remembered the disc that Chet and Mark released some 20 years ago called Neck and Neck. It's not the noodle fest you might think from two masters of guitar, as so many of these kind of records are...e.g. who can play the most notes per second type thing. Check it out if you can.

    Anyway, maybe it's just me. Anyone else think they sound like an American band, or get what I mean by this? Just learned Down to the Waterline, thanks to the fantastic free app called Power Tab. What a great tune. And strikingly similar to Sultans in the structure and progression....some of the riffs are verbatim. But I love it. I hope he tours in New England sometime soon.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from KathyVT. Show KathyVT's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    If the band sounds good softwareDevMusician, rest assured that that band comes from England.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from softwareDevMusician. Show softwareDevMusician's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits

    In Response to Re: Artist of the Day: Dire Straits:
    If the band sounds good softwareDevMusician, rest assured that that band comes from England.
    Posted by KathyVT


    Steely Dan is probably my favorite band. So I respectfully disagree. But they do have us beat when it comes to producing the best.
     
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