“Dire Straits” by Dire Straits - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1978Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

It would become easy and fashionable to knock Dire Straits in the 80s, and sometimes for very good reason, but three tracks on their October '78 debut are not too bad, to be fair, even for an anti-soft-rocker like me. The London 4-piece line-up: Mark Knopfler (vocals, lead guitar), David Knopfler (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Pick Withers (drums). There's a certain moodiness to album opener “Down To The Waterline” which appeals, as does Mark Knopfler's vocal inflection, very clearly a tip-of-the-hat to pre-Nashville-Skyline Bob Dylan. Not so cool is the following country-ish rocker “Water Of Love”, released as the second single. Opening side two is the debut single, “Sultans Of Swing”, an ode to the legions of pub-band dreamers, which had been released in May '78, but, strangely, failed to chart until it was re-released in '79. Second time around it went Top 10 in both the UK and the US, catapulting the band into the mainstream's consciousness. Best track is the chilled rocker “Wild West End”, in which a young wide-eyed lad is experiencing London's west end for the first time; a sensory overload fueled by waitresses, bus conductresses, strangers and go-go dancers. Not a bingo Granny in sight apparently! They were well rewarded for their efforts, the album hitting #5 in the UK and #2 in the US.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:55] 5.2.png Dire Straits - Down To The Waterline (Mark Knopfler) Rock
A2 [05:23] 3.6.png Dire Straits - Water Of Love (Mark Knopfler) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
A3 [03:18] 3.2.png Dire Straits - Setting Me Up (Mark Knopfler) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
A4 [04:10] 4.9.png Dire Straits - Six Blade Knife (Mark Knopfler) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
A5 [02:58] 4.0.png Dire Straits - Southbound Again (Mark Knopfler) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
B1 [05:47] 5.2.png Dire Straits - Sultans Of Swing (Mark Knopfler) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
B2 [06:16] 4.4.png Dire Straits - In The Gallery (Mark Knopfler) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
B3 [04:42] 5.8.png Dire Straits - Wild West End (Mark Knopfler) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
B4 [05:05] 3.2.png Dire Straits - Lions (Mark Knopfler) Soft Rock / A.O.R.

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