Friday, 11 January 2019

Dire Straits - Love Over Gold (1982)


Released September 1982

Dire Straits were not quite the world-dominating mega-band at this point, that came with "Brothers In Arms" two years later, they were on the cusp of huge popularity though, but that did not stop them putting out this decidedly uncommercial five track album of extended, atmospheric rock tracks. For me, while I prefer the debut album and 1980's "Making Movies", I always had time for this album, although I have to admit to not revisiting it too often.


1. Telegraph Road
2. Private Investigations
3. Industrial Disease
4. Love Over Gold
5. It Never Rains

The opener, "Telegraph Road" is fourteen minutes in length, but it never gets tiresome, largely due to its changes in pace and tempo and Mark Knopfler's various guitar skills that are on show throughout. There are rock patches, laid-back passages, a stunning solo at one point and evocative lyrics about the forming of America. It is a great song, no question. Forget its length. "Private Investigations" is a whispered vocal, incredibly quiet song that never gets above walking pace but it absolutely crammed full of mystery and cinematic atmosphere. The bit where the music stops, a single bass note sounds and then Knopfler's guitar come slashing in sends shivers down the spine. Again, it is notable and unique track.

"Industrial Disease" raises the tempo somewhat in a typically Dire Straits rock and blues number, featuring some wryly humorous lyrics and then "Love Over Gold" brings it down again with a moody, brooding but melodically appealing number with a great Knopfler vocal and an overall captivating feeling to it. Once again the instrumentation is superb, with crystal clear, audio demonstration-style sound. The album closes with the catchy laid-back rock of "It Never Rains", which has Knopfler's quiet semi-spoken vocal delivery at its best. He is the master of this sort of vocal and he never loses his ear for the melody. Overall this was an understated, innovative album that has remained under the radar quite a bit. I certainly much prefer it to "Brothers In Arms".


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