The Dire Straits are one of the most unsung bands that I can recall. A reason why they didn’t completely sky rocket in popularity is that they were known in the 1980’s and at that time the cool, new punk movement was consuming the world like a turkey dinner. Despite those disadvantages these guys should have been on top of the charts. Making Movies
was one of their bigger albums holding many hits. This album fuses very Latin rhythmic guitar and love based lyrics.
With David Knopfler not in the band anymore this gave Mark Knopfler a chance to show off is jazzier sounding guitar. You cannot go through a song without tapping your toe from all of the rhythm flowing out of his guitar like a rivulet. Romeo and Juliet
is a prime example. It starts with beautiful finger picking guitar and nice, soft vocals from Knopfler. Then comes one of the best choruses I’ve ever heard. It is an explosion of love and heavier strumming on the guitar making the song truly inspirational. Much like Romeo and Juliet
, the follow up Skateaway
makes it nearly impossible not to sing along with it while Knopfler comes up with very jazzy licks on his guitar. It has it usual inspirational build up with some jazzy drums and piano in the background of this song that can easily bring goose bumps up your arm. Before when I said that you couldn’t go through a song without tapping your toe, I lied. Les Boys
is one big buzz kill. It is extremely repetitive and is just really moronic as the song is just spewing with an ugly redneck, bluegrass sound. I wouldn’t be surprised if they through in a washboard and an empty jug for someone to blow into. It is a very sad way to end the album.
Not only is this band extremely underrated but so is Mark Knopfler as a guitarist. If you went up to any adolescent and asked them if they knew who Mark Knopfler is, very few of them could answer. His true guitar genius comes through Expresso Love
. He uses very creative guitar, thought there are power chords in the beginning, this song still show a lot of creativity. Solid Rock
is where he gets more of a hard rocker rather than the lovely sounds that he makes in the other songs as it features a distinctive rockabilly sound. He does use power chords but this is still a toe-tapping song. Romeo and Juliet
is another prime example of Knopfler’s genius. It starts with graceful finger picking arpeggios for a while and then the chorus punches you in the face. That exiting punch is something that shows greatly on this album. Each song seems to have a mellow verse which crescendos to an exploding chorus leaving musical debris all over. This stars from the beginning of the album with Tunnel of Love
. It starts off innocent enough with carnival noises then it jump into an exiting verse whose intensity doesn’t stop. The absolute force makes this album spectacular.
Listening to this I came across lots of piano. Sometimes it is in the background or it could be the main instrument like in Hand In Hand
. This song includes beautiful piano accompanying the guitar as they swirl through the lovely ballad. The piano is just heavy chords after heavy chords, which builds up the song to new heights. The rest of the album the piano is doing background chords and amateur stuff. It’s a great addition to the album but I don’t know if it is completely necessary.
The biggest theme that I discovered in the album is simply ‘Love’. This is found easily in the lyrics. For example in Hand In Hand
”If I been hard on you I never chose to be
I never wanted no one else
I tried my best to be somebody you’d be close to
Hand in hand like lovers are supposed to”
And also found in Romeo and Juliet
”Juliet when we made love you used to cry
You said I love you like the stars above Ill love you till I die
There’s a place for us you know the movie song
When you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong Juliet?”
Love shows itself in every track. Just by looking at the track list you can tell. This can affect you in different way. This might get boring with just a love song after another but it can also be good for the fact that this is gushing with thoughtful emotion rather than the pointless lyrics that we hear way too much in today’s music.
This album is purely enjoyable on account of Knopfler’s graceful yet jazzy guitar beautiful lyrics and a forceful feel. Due to its timeframe, this is one of the most unsung albums.
Lots of Piano
Love song after Love song may not appeal to all.
Romeo and Juliet