on August 7, 2002
I first bought the original issue of this CD back in 1986. When the remaster version was out, I also bought one as this is a great CD. After comparing the two, I found that the sound of the original version is more natural, and the sound of the remastered version is good, but it lacks the depth of sound which you can feel when listening the two version back to back. From my experience, the remaster version of certain CDs did enhance the sound quality of it, but to this one, the origianl version retains the charisma of the songs, so I gave 4 stars to the remastered version and 5 stars to the original version (which is still available).
on September 30, 2002
One of the strangest twists of fate in music history is the reason as to why this album is remembered. More often than not associated to its lighter moments - an opinion influenced by hit singles "Money For Nothing" and "Walk Of Life".
However, this album is much like its cover's border trim: blue. Bordering on sombre, it's an album filled with cynicism ("Money For Nothing") and loneliness ("So Far Away").
In 1985 Dire Straits were at the height of their powers as this album shows. They had been oft-criticised in the past for their loyalty to their roots but their gutsy determination ensured they didn't give in. That determination remained with this recording yet high-tech studio wizardry was thrown into the mix and the outcome was one of the finest production jobs to date.
They also took full advantage of CDs longer time limits and produced longer, fuller songs (the full version of "Money For Nothing" clocks in at over eight minutes).
Mark Knopfler really hit his peak during this time too. His guitar work was amazing as were his lyrics and vocals - you can really feel the heartache when he sings "Brother In Arms".
Overall, this is a great album that has become synonymous with an entire generation. Many bands can claim to be the sound of the times, but not of a generation. With the release of this remarkable LP it was Mark Knopfler 1, Vinyl 0.
on July 31, 2002
So, there I was, lying in bed with my Walkman circa late 1985 or so, when the clarion call of one of the best guitar openings I'd ever heard came ringing through my headphones. You guessed it...It was the first time I'd ever heard the song "Money For Nothing" and needless to say, the song's great hooks hooked me completely. For the next several weeks, I'd search the radio stations for this song (which wasn't hard to do because the song was absolutely played to death...). Over the next few weeks at least one other single received regular rotation ("Walk of Life") over the airwaves...All this was enough to motivate me to buy the album.
Boy, was this a music purchase that was well worth the price...It is true that this album contained the great singles mentioned above, but it also contained gorgeous, atmospheric songs that actually took you on a musical journey...There are those albums where the lyrics paint the musical canvas in your head...This is one of those albums where it's the music that paints the picture with moody, meandering slower pieces such as "Your Latest Trick" and "Why Worry" and with more uptempo songs in a minor key whose titles and music evoke images (in my mind at least) of a person on an adventure such as "One World", "The Man's Too Strong" and "Ride Across The River"... But the highlight of the album, at least as far as I'm concerned is the brooding anti-war title track. What a poignant, sad song and what beautiful guitar playing, all over the sounds of thunder in the background. This song puts a brilliant end to an album that was already really good.
In sum, this album is a near masterpiece...Actually, there is not one bad song on this album - in fact, I'd say that every song is very good and some are quite excellent...The album holds together very well as a collection of songs and many of the songs (such as the singles) do very well all on their own. I would actually rate this album 4.25 stars, and of course, round down to 4...the deduction coming from the fact that I just don't listen to it very much anymore - probably because I listened to it so much in the 1980s. At any rate, THIS IS A GREAT ALBUM - A NEAR MASTERPIECE - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
on November 5, 2001
I was introduced to Dire Straits as a teenager when the legendary hit "Money For Nothing" hit the airwaves. After hearing that as well as the undeniably catchy and also classic "Walk Of Life", I knew I had to get this album. Those songs along with the low-key but also catchy leadoff track and third single "So Far Away" got this album off to a great start. But at the time (silly youth that I was), I was disappointed with the rest of the album, as I didn't find the non-hits nearly as catchy or memorable. I guess I was hoping for more tunes as heavy as "Money For Nothing", while there is nothing else like that on the album.
Over time, however, I have grown to truly appreciate this album. That has increased even further with a recent purchase of this album on CD--replacing the cassette I had for years. Besides the aformentioned big hits, songs like the jazzy "Your Latest Trick", the mellow but pretty "Why Worry", the rhythmic and somewhat mystical "Ride Across The River", and the catchy and slightly uptempo "One World" all sound fantastic. Turn this CD up pretty loud and listen to the crispness of the production--you truly can't beat it. To this day I consider this a very fine classic rock set from the mid-'80s. Still an essential listen. I actually rate this more along the lines of 4 1/2 stars.
on April 21, 2002
What recording artist wouldn't dream about penning and playing something like this? There are so many layers and textures to this work that I'm amazed that neither Brian Eno or Daniel Lanois were involved. Why do I call this too perfect? Well, it opens with tasty commercial fodder for those with pop sensibilities. This takes the artist to the bank in a fast taxi. Then, with the new extended time format (new for the time), Knopfler still has six numbers by which to dazzle listeners of discerning tastes. How many albums do you know of that are multi-multi-platinum with so many cuts that have achieved "cult" status with musicians and rock officianados? The development of the tracks is not overdone or underdone. To change a note would seem out of God's great plan for the universe. There is consistency throughout the lengthy disc and even a loose album concept for prog people (like myself) and the eclectic. This is a well thought out and finished work! Perfect!
on July 2, 2003
This album contains the magical title track, the darn good Money For Nothing and several other songs that become comfortingly brilliant after a few listens. Unfortunately, for me, the quality of this album is compromised by the high quotient of cheap and cheerful songs (written purely to profit from the advertising buisness? maybe) Don't get me wrong, it's a brilliant album but I think that as greatest albums go, it loses out to ones that have more a theme, or more consistantly entertaining tracks. Walk Of Life either makes you grit your teeth or dance round like a loon, and unfortunately on the day of writing I wasn't feeling too charitable.
Brothers in Arms is a brilliant song, (swansong for the last hundred years? if swan song means what I think it means, then yes)It's just a pity that the greater part of the rest of the album isn't in the same league.
on October 25, 2003
What's so weird about this album is that it's great. Make any sense?
It's an entire album. Nine tracks. That's a lot of listening. And the last 6 of those nine tracks suck hardcore, while the first three are masterpieces.
"So Far Away" and "Walk of Life" are Springsteenish roots rockers that can really make you get down. The lyrics are literate, and engaging. "Money For Nothing" starts slowly (with Sting singing "I want my, I want my MTV" over and over for an entire minute), but quickly becomes an 80's anthem (in a good way), poking fun at pop musicians and music videos.
After those three songs though, I have such a hard time even listening through the album that I have nothing to say. Boring, sometimes sappy. Yikes!
But those first three songs are enough to make it a great CD to buy.
on March 27, 2003
Strange that one of the VERY first digital records should get remastered. Dire Straits were very much a band of the early '80s with their definitive blues rock sounds with records Dire Straits, Lover Over gold, Communique, and Making Movies. With a single stroke, things would never be the same with a record that became synonimous with the changing face of music i.e. the advent of music videos as a medium to sell, promote, and entertain. Honestly, I find this record to almost be from a different band as the music is that dramatically different. Only Walk of life, and maybe Money for Nothing, have sounds that are vaguely familiar. Ride Across the River, So Far Away, and One World are songs from a band headed in a new direction and so was the music industry.....
on May 18, 2002
You get the feeling that this was the one that Knopfler always wanted to make. Longer, jazz influenced story songs with lush production, punctuated by the occasional bursts of pop. Starting off with three ready for popular consumption cuts("So Far Away," "Money for Nothing," "Walk of Life") Knopfler eases the listener into songs that take longer to reveal their direction. Experimenting with more musical complexity, Knopfler occasionally gets pretty far away from the core sound of Dire Straits; particularly on the interminable "Why Worry" which seems to take forever to finish. But this is a minor quibble when you realize the sophistication and lyrical quality of the songs make this one of Dire Straits' better efforts.
on December 13, 2000
Sonically, this is one of the most amazing CDs I've ever heard, as if they recorded every instrument perfectly in isolation and then mixed them together amazingly well to form a band. What a pain that must have been - the result is real treat for the ears and test of the stereo. As for the songs, the first 5 are good, but these days I start at track 6, "Ride Across The River", and drift off into the bluesy Hemingwayesque landscapes of war and regret that Knopfler and Co. do so well. "Brothers in Arms" is my favorite, great guitar and an atmosphere reminding me of the equally excellent "Private Investigations" that usually has me hitting the repeat key.