Digitally remastered edition of their second album, a top 20record when originally released in 1979. Nine tracks,including 'News', 'Lady Writer' and 'Communique'. 1996Mercury Records release.
Recorded a mere nine months after their debut, Communique
has often been written off as a mere carbon copy of the Dire Straits' first album featuring less compelling material. Recording took place in the Bahamas with top production team Jerry Wexler and Barry Beckett and mixing at the famous Muscle Shoals studio; it consequently features a delicate and supremely balanced sound. Yet even Knopfler has said of this album that the tropical breezes made his song writing "lazy". Whilst being unnecessarily self-deprecating, this has an element of truth about it and at the same time is precisely what is so engaging about the album. It is true that Knopfler doesn't do as much to the songs he's written as on other albums--his guitar playing does not feature the same consistently bubbling energy of his work on the first album. But this gives a little more space for the rest of the band to shine. Pick Withers's drumming is especially hypnotic and David Knopfler's intuitive rhythm guitar interplay with his brother comes across well. Overall, the consistently dreamy atmosphere of the record is decidedly captivating, and the most fully realised tracks, particularly "Once Upon A Time In The West" and "Portobello Belle", are among their best-ever material. "Where Do You Think You're Going", a rather over-zealous attempt to imitate Bob Dylan
, is the only song that seems somewhat out-of-place. This was the last album to feature the original Dire Straits line-up, with the departure of David Knopfler for a solo career shortly before the recording of Making Movies
. --James Swift