Dire Straits - Dire Straits

 (Numbered Limited Edition)

Dire Straits' arresting self-titled debut embraces folk, blues and pub rock + early rock 'n' roll

Mastered from the original master tapes for optimal sound

Mofi SACD sports natural tones, superb balances, reference imaging and sterling clarity

Dire Straits' arresting self-titled debut arrived in the midst of punk's reign but couldn't have been further removed from the era's slash-and-burn style. Recorded in West London in February 1978, the band's tasteful, jazz-inflected set embraces folk, blues, and pub rock while also tracing a direct line back to the beat-oriented sound of early rock n' roll. Country and roots accents further distinguish the British quartet's stripped-down music from any 1970s peers, as does the transparent production, which has remained revered among audiophiles the world over — and which has never been better in digital than on this meticulous Hybrid SACD

Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity's SACD version of Dire Straits features natural tonalities, superb balances, you-are-there imaging, deep-black backgrounds, and pristine clarity. Even if you've heard this album hundreds of times before, you've never experienced it with such lifelike sonics and premium richness. This collector's set immerses you within the smoky, laidback atmospherics of every song.

Crucial to every arrangement, Mark Knopfler's winding guitar lines emerge with supreme transparency and multi-hued textural detail. His intricate playing comes across as if it's being transmitted via his 60s-era Fender Vibrolux amplifier placed right before you. The cleanliness, dimensions, and live feel are that good. Rhythms skate and swirl; percussive effects resonate with crispness and attack; the leading edges of notes naturally decay.

Dire Straits' strong, well-edited batch of original material further enhances the overall enjoyment and makes the record one whose pleasures go far beyond the organic sonics. Just as Knopfler's narratives pour forth with poetic and surrealist texts, the musical settings — an intoxicating combination of easygoing shuffles, back-hall boogies, and pop-honed ballads — mirror the old-fashioned soulfulness inherent in the classic recordings of the late '50s and early '60s. The lyrics are equally captivating.

Drawing from his time as a youth in Newcastle, Leeds, and London, Knopfler invests tunes with an autobiographical slant and emotional connectivity that become obvious the moment he opens his mouth to sing. "Down to the Waterline," "Wild West End," and "Lions" all feature colloquial touches that add to their reach. By extension, "In the Gallery" functions as a tribute to Leeds sculptor Harry Phillips (father of future Knoplfer collaborator, Steve Phillips) while the record's breakout smash, "Sultans of Swing," pays homage to struggling bar bands.

Through it all, Dire Straits performs with a subtle cool and clever poise that no band ever matched. Just how good is the chemistry? Bob Dylan heard the quartet and invited Knopfler and drummer Pick Withers to play on "Slow Train Coming." But even Dylan himself didn't hear Dire Straits sound this magnetic back in its original heyday. Now, everyone can.

1. Down to the Waterline
2. Water of Love
3. Setting Me Up
4. Six Blade Knife
5. Southbound Again
6. Sultans of Swing
7. In the Gallery
8. Wild West End
9. Lions

Customer Reviews (5.00 Stars) 1 person(s) rated this product.

three channels better than two

posted on 06/12/2020
5 Stars
Reviewer: Peter.S.
This is the third mofi sacd of dire straits i have and plan to by the last two sacds from this great song writing band and the sound just breath taking like the other two sacd from mofi are i never had any cds or records from them so i cant judge it from the original cd or record and i do not know if they were made from the master tapes like the mofi sacds are what i do know is they sound awesome great detail every instrument comes through and the voice just put together very well and like i said on my other reviews of dire straits I WISH MOFI and other record companys would start making at least three channel sacds as a option over two channel thats the way that stereo was meant to be heard thats how it was created not two channel the center was the anchor that held the other channels meaning the left and the right channel by doing this you don,t have to fuss that much over placement of your speakers and thats what its all about enjoying the music without much effort

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