Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Album : Dire Straits

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This was one of those records that I knew was special from the first time I listened to it. A friend brought it back from a trip he took to England. He said “CB you gotta hear this band. They are right up your alley”. He was right.

It is so cool when you hear new music like this for the first time. Totally unaware of what you are going to hear and then you get hit with this and you are captured by the sound. I could hear J.J. Cale and Clapton all over it. Dire Straits were their own brand. Tasty, subtle guitar licks, great vocals and lyrics that conjured up images and emotions. The music set the mood. Bluesy, jazzy (little country) night music. At times a filmic/soundtrack feel.

I still get jacked with the first cut. It sets the tone for what’s to come which is more great music. I know albums are made up of individual cuts (very observant CB) but this has always been one big cut for me. I love albums and this is a real good one. Lots of Mark Knopfler on guitar and that’s a good thing. He has a good sound.

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I forget what was popular at the time but this album was popular with me. Not a bad cut. ‘Southbound Again’ really stirs up the Cale thing. Great groove. Killer tune!! ‘Sultans’ just sets a mood. Never tire of it. Like Neil Young sings on one of his tunes “What we have here is a perfect track”. ‘Gallery’ is another good one with Knopfler laying down some solid playing. ‘Wild West End’ (love Knopfler’s work on this one.) Beautiful is one of the coolest songs in my music stack. I still get taken in by this one. An early Springsteen/Willy DeVille feel with all those great images that the lyrics conjure up. Absolutely love it.

Sorry folks I tried to keep it short but I do like this record. I’ve heard some great debut albums but this is up there as one of the best in my library. I mean how could they be this good out of the gate? They were wood shedding somewhere. The proof is in the repeated listenings. Slap on some headphones and give it a listen. Some good music going on in this album. What a band. what a sound. They have more outstanding albums but this was the start for me. Fantastic!

“Now my Conductress on the #19 she was a honey”

56 comments on “Album : Dire Straits

  1. Aphoristical
    February 23, 2020

    I think I like Dire Straits better in the Making Movies/Love Over Gold era when they flesh out their sound a bit. Really good debut though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 23, 2020

      Those first 4 albums were some pretty exceptional output. I felt they just kept “flesh”ing it out like you say. If time permits (and I dont kick the bucket in the next while) I will be getting to those other 3. With this album it was just the never hearing a note of the band. Like a cold listen that just grabbed me. Why I’m writing about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Francisco Bravo Cabrera
    February 23, 2020

    Great band!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hanspostcard
    February 23, 2020

    Great debut! I heard “Sultan’s Of Swing” one day on the radio and noted who the artist was- and went out and bought the album- I wasn’t disappointed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. deKE
    February 23, 2020

    Sultans of Swing and Money For Nothing those two alone have made Knopfler a ton of dough as even our shitty read station in Thunder Bay plays those songs quite frequently!

    Great post about discovering a band!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 23, 2020

      I love discovering bands cold like that. I’ve done it a few times on takes by you folks.
      That’s pretty high praise for the local station. I’m not doubting your review.
      If you would have told me a few years ago I’d be listening to music by a member of kiss, I wouldn’t have believed it. I’m busting out Ace’s Origins # 1. I like it alot. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim S.
    February 23, 2020

    Do you know that in 4+ years of blogging, while I’ve mentioned this band in passing I’ve never done a piece on them? Why is that I wonder? I think they’re great, of course. I remember my buddy Steve being jacked up about “Sultans.” Never saw them, always dug them. I can kinda play Knopfler’s finger-picked solos on “Sultans.” Who thinks of that shit?

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 23, 2020

      Well, get off your ass and get to it. What do you think this is fella. A free ride. Journeyman ax slinger by night, music enthusiast the rest of the time.
      I know Clapton really digs J J Cales style. I’m figuring Knopfler has incorporated some of that into his playing. You’d be more into the technicalities. All I know is he does some great work on this record.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        February 23, 2020

        I was just waiting for CB’s marching orders. Music enthusiast all the time. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi who said, Winning isn’t everything it’s the only thing, I say music isn’t everything it’s the only thing.
        Clapton has been touting (and playing) Cale for years. After Cream – and after the Band -he really wanted to go to that stripped-down sound.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 23, 2020

        “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser”. Same guy?
        Christian was onto the Cale influence. I like the hard, loud playing but my ear does like that Cale (Eiric, Mark) style also. Knopfler really goes to town on this record, coloring (if that’s the right term. Spelled the Canadian way) all over the place

        Like

      • Jim S.
        February 24, 2020

        I haven’t listened to that album in ages. I’ll rectify that today. I never ever get tired of ‘Sultans.’

        Like

      • Jim S.
        February 24, 2020

        BTW, we spell coloring the same way. I thought that you and your Brit overlords spelled it colouring.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 24, 2020

        Must be the Yank coming out of me.

        Like

  6. Yeah, Another Blogger
    February 23, 2020

    Hey there, CB. Did you ever see Dire in concert, or Mark in any other group? I haven’t. Mark was in Philly last year. I should have gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 23, 2020

      Never seen them Neil. (Holey shit, they’re playing your favorite song on my music box. Hang on I have to change the channel. I almost listened to 30 seconds of ‘I Almost Cut My hair’)
      I think catching Knopfler anytime would be a great show.. His solo work is solid. Seeing them in the early days must have been pretty cool. Right when they put this album out. It would have been interesting how they filled the rest of the set.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, Another Blogger
        February 23, 2020

        I hope that we both get to see MK one of these days.

        Liked by 1 person

      • catchgroove
        February 25, 2020

        I saw them on the Brothers in Arms tour. I love everything Knopfler does. An amazing debut.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 25, 2020

        It was an amazing debut. His solo records are pretty good stuff also. Time flies huh? ‘Brothers’ was a while ago.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. christiansmusicmusings
    February 23, 2020

    I love Dire Straits, and if asked to select one of their albums, I would probably go with this one. Knopfler’s Stratocaster and his finger picking style create a cool signature sound, something that’s a rare feat – even though of course JJ Cale’s strong influence is undeniable!

    I also dig the “Making Movies” album Aphoristic mentioned. Soundwise, I also think “Brothers In Arms” is outstanding, though “Money For Nothing” has been overexposed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 23, 2020

      I was just mentioning Cale’s influence to Music Enthusiast. You guys are players so you would know the stuff. All I know is he plays a mean guitar woven into the songs. Great stuff.
      I’m with you guys on the ‘Making Movies’. The later stuff is still good but the first 4 are my go toos. Knopflers solo albums are pretty good also. The guy just has the music in him.

      Like

  8. Jim S.
    February 23, 2020

    I saw Clapton years ago at a concert. Knopfler was touring with him. I was waiting for fireworks to fly. Never happened. Mark took a backseat playing-wise. Intimidated? Don’t know. Never made sense to me. Disappointing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 23, 2020

      Strange. Who knows? Chemistry? State of mind? That’s a head scratcher and disappointing like you said. Maybe an off night. I know from things I’ve seen between Cale and Clapton, Eric is pretty respectful of J J.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        February 24, 2020

        I think Clapton did more to introduce Cale to the masses than anybody.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 24, 2020

        CB was well into Cale but you’re right about the masses (if the masses ever found him). I remember that band Kansas and Skynyrd doing a couple of his songs. What ever happened to Kansas?
        Let me know how the listen on this album goes and how Knopflers licks hit you now that you’re a rock god.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        February 24, 2020

        I got sidelined on the Knopfler thing. There’s an interesting album anniversary coming up by another artist we dig and so I need to cover that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 24, 2020

        Oh oh. The guessing game again. My brain cant take that intrigue.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        February 24, 2020

        Don’t worry. This isn’t as mind-blowing as my LA trip. I wouldn’t even mention it except for the Knopfler thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 24, 2020

        Now you really got the wheels turning.

        Like

  9. Heavy Metal Overload
    February 23, 2020

    Know only a few tunes of this band. Intrigued to check out more cause of Knopfler’s guitar chops. This a good place to start then?

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 23, 2020

      This is the one that hooked me. The first few albums are where I lived with their music. His chops are all over this record. Not in your face playing but it sure sounds good to me.

      Like

  10. hotfox63
    February 24, 2020

    I was fascinated by this album when it came out, even if I really liked harder things at that time. The great guitar, the sluggish vocals – this music brought it – and still does today. Each title has its charm. Varied, handcrafted music that has not accumulated dust even after 40 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. BuriedOnMars
    February 24, 2020

    Dire Straits never had a bad album in my book. I still like this one the most.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 1537
    February 24, 2020

    My favourite of their LPs by far. I remember putting on my dad’s copy one day and just being captivated by ‘Down to the Waterline’ right off the bat. I was obsessed with them for years and years until ‘Walk of Life’ spoiled everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 24, 2020

      Is that the UK cover? Wasnt on the one my buddy brought back for me.
      Yes, ‘Waterline’ was the very first song on the album and the first time I heard a note from the band. It nailed me too.
      I’ll let you speak for me on that later output. Mark has put out some very good solo records. I love this first record. I listened to ‘Wild West End’ about 10 times when I was doing the post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 1537
        February 24, 2020

        Six Blade Knife is my favourite, first and only time they ever sounded menacing!

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 24, 2020

        We could go cut by cut on this one. Good call on 6 Blade. Totally. A real street feel to the record. Not faking. it. He had to know this stuff or been exposed to it. Why I got the early Springsteen, DeVille, Reed vibe. I know nothing of his background.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. J.
    February 27, 2020

    I don’t know everything they’ve ever done, but man this is an album of great stuff. Brothers in Arms and Alchemy were the first I knew cause my old man had them in his collection. I was kinda drawn to them as I got older and remembered the tunes and album covers and eventually bought CDs of my own (later a vinyl copy of Brothers in Arms for £2 (strangely, I was talking about swing a reissue today)).

    I like Sultans of Swing loads. What a tune.

    Also, Knopfler’s stuff with Emmylou Harris is a treat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      February 27, 2020

      This album really grabbed me as I said. How does a band come out with a debut album that sounds like they have been making music for years? Talent I guess.
      ‘Sultans’ is just one of those very cool songs no matter how you slice it.
      I havent heard Harris and Knopfler together but I could imagine (I’ll do better than that and find and listen to it)
      (I tried popping into station but no one was home. Down for a refit)

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        February 27, 2020

        You’ll dig the album with Emmylou – All the Roadrunning. Brilliant stuff. Might even be some live sets out there too (I seem to remember something).

        (Yeah… station is down. I just didn’t have the energy or motivation for it anymore).

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 27, 2020

        I’m listening to it right now. First cut and yeah it’s working big time. It is kinda the route he took for the last while.
        ( I hear you on the “energy/motivation” thing. When you start feeling it, let me know and we’ll bust out a collaboration of some kind)

        Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        February 27, 2020

        It’s full of all that stuff we share a fondness for, eh? Reckon I’ll give it a listen myself actually…

        (And yeah, that’d be grand… it’s hard to explain… I could have kept it up, but I’m an all in kinda guy).

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 27, 2020

        Yes. I have a song that is trying to bust out in the worst way. Sort of in the same vein with all this country flavored stuff we like. I’ll keep you in suspense. It is along the same track as the Blasters. A band you might already know but should have got a lot more love.
        ( When you get the itch we can throw some ideas around see what sticks. Keep your fingers in. Your last take on Ennio was fantastic)

        Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        February 28, 2020

        Now I’m curious!

        (That sounds good… I’ll definitely drop you a line should I be looking to get back to blogging).

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        February 28, 2020

        I can’t get the song or the band out of my head or off my record machine.
        (Yeah when you’re ready will drop a big one on the people)

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Tony
    March 15, 2020

    Down to the Waterline is one of my favourite DS tracks. This and the second album get nowhere near enough credit

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      March 15, 2020

      Those first 4 are all fantastic. ‘Waterline’ was the first DS song I ever heard. Instant ear grab.

      Like

      • Tony
        March 16, 2020

        I think the first I recall is either Portabello Belle or Once Upon a Time in The West but it’s one of those bands that were constantly on my Dad’s turntable when I was a sprog

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 16, 2020

        Two pretty good cuts to be exposed to. Thanks dad. “Sprog”. I’m going to use that in a sentence today.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tony
        March 17, 2020

        Not sure of the dictionary definition of that one but if it’s not on someone’s ‘word of the day’ calendar it’s a crying shame

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        March 17, 2020

        I used it on my 80 plus neighbor yesterday. He grinned from ear to ear.

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on February 23, 2020 by in 1978 Album, Debut Albums, Dire Straits, Rock and Roll and tagged , , , , , , .

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