Dire Straits: Dire Straits a jpoc music review

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jpoc rating

Eight out of ten.
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the jpoc review

R.E.M. had "Man on the Moon", Lou Reed had "Walk on the Wild Side" and Dire Straits had "Sultans of Swing", timeless anthems all. Great tunes, a story to tell and you can listen to them over and over and they are always fresh and appealing. "Sultans of Swing" is clearly the highlight of this album but the rest of the songs here are by no means embarrassed to be in its company.

Dire Straits formed amidst the punk rock boom that was rejecting the overblown musical styles of the mid seventies. They were rejected by many record companies because they were not punk but that missed the point of their music. They were re-injecting the timeless Blues essentials that had been discarded by the bands against which punk was rebelling. The opening track "Down To The Waterline" sets the tone for the CD and, while subsequent tracks raise and lower the tempo, the style is coherent all the way through.

When you listen to this CD it is almost a shock that it is a band's debut release. It is so well put together that you might imagine that it is the magnum opus of a band who have been recording together for a decade. The CD has the immediate appeal of clear memorable songs but with enough depth to reward repeated listening.

Mark Knopfler comes over as a man who has his guitar style all worked out ready for the band's debut. Arguments about who is the world's finest guitarist are unresolvable but without doubt, he is a candidate for the elite group.

If you have not heard this album before, listen to "Sultans of Swing" and rest assured that the other songs here will not disappoint you. This CD deserves a place alongside Lou Reed's "Transformer" and R.E.M.'s "Automatic for the People" in any collection of mainstream rock music.