Dire Straits

Dire Straits

SKU: UDSACD2184

Barcode: 821797218467

39.00 £39.00
  • Label: Mobile Fidelity
  • Released Date: 25th October 2019
  • Buying Format:
    SACD

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Dire Straits’ Self-Titled 1978 Debut Distinguished by Jazz-Inflected Mix of Folk, Blues, Country, and Rock: Guitarist Mark Knopfler Displays Uncanny Precision, Intricacy, and Texture

Mastered from the Original Master Tapes for Optimal Sound: Transparent Mobile Fidelity Hybrid SACD Engages With Natural Tones, Superb Balances, Reference Imaging, Sterling Clarity

Breakout Dire Straits Album Includes “Sultans of Swing” and “Down to the Waterline”: Band’s Shuffles, Boogies, and Ballads Spark With Crispness, Soulfulness, Coolness

Dire Straits’ arresting self-titled debut arrived in the midst of punk’s reign but couldn’t have been further removed from the era’s slash-and-burn style. Recorded in West London in February 1978, the band’s tasteful, jazz-inflected set embraces folk, blues, and pub rock while also tracing a direct line back to the beat-oriented sound of early rock n’ roll. Country and roots accents further distinguish the British quartet’s stripped-down music from any 1970s peers, as does the transparent production, which has remained revered among audiophiles the world over – and which has never been better in digital than on this meticulous hybrid SACD.

Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s numbered, limited-edition SACD version of Dire Straits features natural tonalities, superb balances, you-are-there imaging, deep-black backgrounds, and pristine clarity. Even if you’ve heard this album hundreds of times before, you’ve never experienced it with such lifelike sonics and premium richness. This collector’s set immerses you within the smoky, laidback atmospherics of every song. This is how all discs should sound.

Crucial to every arrangement, Mark Knopfler’s winding guitar lines emerge with supreme transparency and multi-hued textural detail. His intricate playing comes across as if it’s being transmitted via his 60s-era Fender Vibrolux amplifier placed right before you. The cleanliness, dimensions, and live feel are that good. Rhythms skate and swirl; percussive effects resonate with crispness and attack; the leading edges of notes naturally decay.

Dire Straits’ strong, well-edited batch of original material further enhances the overall enjoyment and makes the record one whose pleasures go far beyond the organic sonics. Just as Knopfler’s narratives pour forth with poetic and surrealist texts, the musical settings – an intoxicating combination of easygoing shuffles, back-hall boogies, and pop-honed ballads – mirror the old-fashioned soulfulness inherent in the classic recordings of the late 50s and early 60s. The lyrics are equally captivating.

Drawing from his time as a youth in Newcastle, Leeds, and London, Knopfler invests tunes with an autobiographical slant and emotional connectivity that become obvious the moment he opens his mouth to sing. “Down to the Waterline,” “Wild West End,” and “Lions” all feature colloquial touches that add to their reach. By extension, “In the Gallery” functions as a tribute to Leeds sculptor Harry Phillips (father of future Knoplfer collaborator, Steve Phillips) while the record’s breakout smash, “Sultans of Swing,” pays homage to struggling bar bands.

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Track Listings

Down to the Waterline
Water of Love
Setting Me Up
Six Blade Knife
Southbound Again
Sultans of Swing
In the Gallery
Wild West End
Lions

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