Communique Original recording remastered
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|1. Once Upon a Time in the West|
|3. Where Do You Think You're Going|
|5. Lady Writer|
|6. Angel of Mercy|
|7. Portobello Belle|
|8. Single Headed Sailor|
|9. Follow Me Home|
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
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Top Customer Reviews
The sound of this album is made with 2 major influences. One, is that the band clearly wanted to make an album in the vein of their first. It gets very obvious in a number of songs, which sound like a rehash of songs from "Dire Straits" with different lyrics. This album starts with almost the same lone guitar licks, and ends in the same style with very calm and relaxed song ("Lions" in the debut and "Follow Me Home" here). "Where Do You Think You're Going?" is not without a taste of "Six Blade Knife". "Lady Writer" borrows a lot from "Sultans of Swing". But what the album lacks in originality, it gains back in soul with which this songs are performed. Another influence I'm talking of is Hawaiian. This album was recorded in the studio in Hawaii, and it shows in positive relaxed feeling to some songs, like "Communique", "Angel of Mercy", and gets to the most notable form in "Follow Me Home".
Along with this tropical feeling, the band introduced keyboards to their sound, that first can be heard in "Where Do You Think You're Going?". History proved it was a step in the right direction.
While this record doesn't hold your attention like "Dire Straits" does, I tend to judge it positively, because typically for Mark, it's done very tastefully. My favorite songs here are "News", "Where Do You Think You're Going?", "Lady Writer" and "Single-Handed Sailor". This album will be a good addition to any blues-rock fan collection. And Mark Knopfler's guitar playing is incredible, like it always was.
David left the band after this album, suddenly they were famous, and became "Springsteen-ized" by Jimmy Iovine on Making Movies, so they would never again have this sound again. Shame - I liked the old Dire Straits better.
PS - and to the reviewer who gave the album 0 stars because he couldn't play it on his PC - what does the inablity to play it on a PC or Mac have to do with the quality of the material? How lame...
All nine songs, whilst not among the very best or most famous of their work are very appealing and there are no duds here. Knopfler's story-telling provides an interesting scenario throughout. The recording location is powerful as well. Its a more laid-back sound and introduces keyboards which their first album did not have. 'Once Upon A Time in the West' features a reggae beat which the band rarely used.
Perhaps if they had a major hit single or radio faviourite from this one it would have performed better. 'Lady Writer' is most likely to have been released as a single. 'Single Handed Sailor' is another strong track from the album. It then gives way to the crashing of the waves which open the closing 'Follow Me Home' which is flawless.
All in all a solid effort from the group before they made it big, released at a time when punk and disco dominated the headlines. Almost 25 years later and this album - as is their debut album - is still a sound for all time.
Most recent customer reviews
The bands second album featured more great songs - great to hear these songs again as almost none get airplay on radio or satellitePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fabulous remaster of Dire Straits second album. So many remasters are over compressed and lifeless, whereas this one is simply accurate, full and warm sounding. Read morePublished 22 months ago by jethro
It's not their best, but still worth getting. I'd suggest getting this one before Love Over Gold or Making Movies (their two best ones), otherwise Communique will seem like a... Read morePublished on Aug. 30 2004 by C S M
Dire Straits in its early years was a rock guitar band highlighting Mark Knopfler's exquisite, rapid-fire guitar licks and off-beat, Dylanesque lyrics. Read morePublished on July 18 2004 by Smallchief
Dire Straits other studio albums get more attention, but for some reason, I listen to this one the most. Read morePublished on Aug. 2 2003 by Wes4Les
This is Dire Straits second cd(lp). It's better than the debut overall. Some real good songs on here are Once Upon a time in the West, Angel of mercy, and Portobello belle. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2003 by Kurt A. Ragsdale
While there are no songs on this album that stand out like Dire Straits classics like Tunnel of Love, The Man's too Strong or Telegraph road, it is solid throughout without a... Read morePublished on Sept. 16 2002 by Matt Powell