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Page 8 Saturday, August 3 S1985 The Michigan Daily
Dire Straits rides atop saga of success
Dave Edmunds. The resulting album, entitled sim-
By Andrew Porter David: We haven't played together ply Dire Straits, was released to fan-
yet but we think both us and our songs tastic acclaim. Mark Knopfler won
I havesome potential. several magazine awards as Best
IT ALL STARTED in South London Pick: All right. Here's my number. New Guitarist and the album won
where Mark, his brother David, and Give me a call, several awards as Beat New Album
bassist John were all hallmates at a A week later they rehearsed four The group's first (and last) single
local college dormitory. songs (all original) that Mark had came from this album, a jazzy,,.
David: Hey, Mark, let's form a penned and decided to splurge and cut rhythm and bluey tune about the*4
band. a demo which they promptly sent to "Sultans of Swing."
Mark: But we need a bassist and a various record companies. Remember that it was during one of .
drummer. Cut to any college town in the the wildest periods of social upheaval
David: I met a dude at orientation United States for some very typical in British history that this album was ~
who lives on our hallway and plays comments by your basic struggling released. And, from the image the
bass. guitar player: "Man, rock 'n' roll is group portrayed on the record sleeve, '
Mark: Cool. I'll write us some all timing. There are so many talen- they were the equivalent of King
tunes. ted people who don't get contracts James and the Electric Aristocrats
Then a few days later, the three of cause they're not in the right place at releasing a new LP three weeks after
them embark on a search for a the right time. You gotta work for Oliver Cromwell's claim to power.
drummer. They end up ina small pub years and hope you geta break." It was during this peried of British
late one night and enter into a conver- Cut to South London i early 1977 history that many established bands,.
sation with a youngster whom they where David Knopfler is opening his had been faced with the ultimate
just saw perform. mail on the way down to lunch: "Hey, crises: continuing in ignorance of the
Mark: Hey, mate, we like the way Mark, check this out. Warner new music sub-culture and being
you play the drums. Would you like to Brothers sent us a contract to record popularly ridiculed or changing as in-
joinour band? an album for them. And it says here conspicuously as possible without
Pick: Are you all any good? I mean, t they found some guy named Muff calling it quit. There were even the y
Pic: reyoual ay oed ImenWinwood to preduce it." groups that split down the middle
I've been playin with people like And so it goes. Example: A rather punky Townshend
reborn as a mod and frequenting the.
new pubs versus a rather long haired
Daltry bedecked in bell bottoms
GET CAUGHT IN THE FALL CRUNCH? looking as if he just stepped off the
plane from Woodstock.
Knopfler's ignorance of new styles Mark Knopfler is Dire Straits and Dire Straits is Mark Knopfler.
in clothing, as reflected on their first
album cover, seemed to indicate that
We have GREAT EFFICIENCY 1 & 2 BEDROOM APART- his mind was on his music alone and road where their parents weren't plague, presumably caused by toxic
MENTS to lease for the Fall Season, close to CAMPUS, with not the side dishes that embellish present to reprimand them. But the waste. Both songs are fun. Both are
all the amenities: A/C, disposals, free parking. Room to people's image of it. results are undeniable better without powerful. Sinclair Lewis would have
breathe! This is typical of Knopfler, as we the youngsib. loved this album.
later learned. The man achieves an in- Mark played both rhythm and lead And Mark isn't without his spon-
credible inner peace with his guitar guitar (not simultaneously, although taneity. After Love Over Gold was
that is reflected in his biting, ex- with him you can never assume too released, Dire Straits recorded a four-
pressionistic licks. He uses every little) and with the help of the old, song dancE-P which explored the
-." possible timbre and sound resource reliable rhythm core and Roy Bittan wonderful world of jazz and
:/that can be squeezed from his guitar of the E-Street Band on keyboards, rockabilly. Two very sharp tunes are
i" /and plays with such verve and inten- Dire Straits became a hall of fame included here: one, "Twistin' by the
sity that, just listening to him, one can band and not just a one-man show. Pool," an upbeat number which
begin to understand both him and the Almost as amazing as Knoofler's spurred a video release, and "Badges,
emotions he is communicating. fiery and lightning fast guitar licks Posters, Stickers, T-Shirts," a
Communique, their second release, were Pick Withers' first-rate drum humorous jab at fans who hang
while not as booming as their first fills and percussion orchestrations. around backstage. The latter features
album, still made waves among more And just as clever as John Ilsey's some of Mark's most intense guitar
discerning listeners. The album suave and unostentatious bass lines playing on record. Using some verv
featured the very same line-up as did were Roy Bittan's modal, snsynthetic weird jazz chords (ninth-suspended-
the first album and a slightly more synthesizer arrangements. fourth-raised-eleventh-flatted-thir-
refined, less abrasive sound. (The Though the album dealt with some teenths ?) that, oddly enough, work
- very title has a soothing euphony to it: of rock's more common concepts: harmonic wonders; he overlays a
-::Communique: a refreshing cologne, love, rock 'n' roll itself, and wheels, it track of very impressive guitar
fragile, quaint, but not too far from did so in a clever, biting, and in- picking.
:innocence.) triguingly inarticulate manner. In At the start of this summer Dire
And then came the masterpiece. An less than 40 mintues, Knopfler makes Straits released their first studio LP
/ I album that featured seven of the you vengeful, unhappy, upbeat, and since the DancE-P. A more slickly .
tightest, most well-crafted songs that sympathetic, as you laugh, cry, and produced album comparatively, it is a
have been written in a long time.Oh, then laugh again all in record time. colorful collection of songs that reflec-
-- --yes, there you go again: That's a pret- Next in the saga came Love Over ts a tendency to exploit many dif-
f 'ity assuming statement, Andrew, Gold, an album that furthered Knop- ferent resources and to play with
there have been some mighty fine fler's virtuosity and also became a variations in dynamics rather than to
LPs released in the last 15 years. You forum for a more instrument oriented emphasize the power and thunder
really think that this is one of them? style. The LP opens with "Telegraph formerly characteristic of the group.
My answer: You bet. Making Road," a 14-minute song which ad- The songs deal with everything from
Movies is certainly one of rock's finest dresses the concept of industrial im- love to men fighting wars.
e moments. This time, Mark handled perialism by telling the story of a One song that stands out both
Tifany-Colony-M adison Ap . all the guitar playing himself as his small town being gradually invaded musically and thematically on the
brother made a quiet exit from the and devoured by factories. An album, "Money For Nothing," is a
736 PACKARD No. 100 group. Sibling rivalry? Maybe. epilogue to the song follows on side fuzzed-out rock song performed with
665-2194 Family bickering? Could be. Maybe two - "Industrial Disease" - a tune ex-Policeman Sting in which the
David couldn't stand Mark's in- which sarcastically documents the group addresses the ridiculousness of
cessant teasing, especidly' tn the consetjuent spreading, of- a dreaded e SeKNOPFLER, Page9