Saturday, 2 June 2018

Dire Straits - Making Movies (1980)

  

Released in October 1980

Recorded at The Power Station, New York City

Released in 1980, this was the album that saw Dire Straits take their first steps from being a cultish ”pub rock”-ish band into a multi million selling outfit beloved of those whose only other albums were by Phil Collins and Michael Jackson.

This wasn’t quite “Brothers In Arms” though and is still a highly credible album. First of all, it contains the magnificent opener, “Tunnel Of Love”, a seven minute gloriously atmospheric tale of the fairgrounds in Whitley Bay, in the UK’s gritty North East. Mark Knopfler’s guitar from half way through is just heavenly, joined by Roy (E St Band) Bittan on piano as it fades out takes the listener truly through the pearly gates. Then there is the laid-back hit single, “Romeo & Juliet”, with killer romantic but cynical lyrics. “Skateaway” concludes the old “side one” with another atmospheric extended song, with another knockout chorus. Great percussion and guitar, of course.

The old “side two” contains shorter, more punchy, rock orientated material. “Espresso Love” is probably best, followed by “Solid Rock”. “Hand In Hand” is more ordinary and then there is the bizarre “Les Boys” a completely odd song about cross dressers. It sits totally at odds with the rest of the album, to be honest.

Unlike some, I have no real problem with Bob Ludwig’s remaster of this album. It is clear, full, nice stereo separation and probably as good as this 1980 recording could get. However, that is just my opinion. Others may differ, of course. Maybe the bass could be highlighted a bit more, but that is small beer, it is certainly not tinny. Listen to the point where “Espresso Love” kicks in. Big and full. I do agree, though, the the three subsequent Dire Straits albums have a richer sound to them. Maybe they always did. In fact I am sure they did. 

B+

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