By the mid-'80s Dire Straits were a platinum band dismissed in their native England as safe, yuppie rockers, yet the original quartet's lean, guitar-driven music struggled to find a label home when first recorded in 1978. Mark Knopfler offers craggy vocals, literate blues-based songs, and sinuous, virtuosic guitar work. He melds keening solo lines and rapidly picked fills and dodges the synth washes and postpunk power chords of then-competing new wavers; he relies on atmosphere, character, and pure musicianship intead of heavy irony or pop fashion. "Sultans of Swing," codifies this stance, a galloping paean to aging jazz musicians playing for the sheer love of the music. This became a major hit and has endured as a radio classic. The album itself has proven equally sturdy thanks to cinematic imagery and the tightly wound arrangements of "Down to the Waterline," "Six Blade Knife," and "Water of Love."
Insert:Picture/Lyrics jacket sleeve
Label & Pressing:1978 Warner Bros/USA