1. (00:04:10) Dire Straits - Down to the Waterline
2. (00:05:27) Dire Straits - Lions
3. (00:03:48) Dire Straits - Six Blade Knife
4. (00:06:39) Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing
5. (00:11:56) Dire Straits - Tunnel of Love
6. (00:05:29) Dire Straits - Water of Love
7. (00:03:21) Dire Straits - What's the Matter Baby?
8. (00:05:12) Dire Straits - Wild West End
Playing Time.........: 00:46:02
Total Size...........: 291,26 MB
NFO generated on.....: 01.03.2009 15:39:37
:: Generated by Music NFO Builder v1.19 - www.nfobuilder.com ::
It's hard to imagine that Dire Straits ever played to half-empty halls, or that they were anything other than a slick well-oiled musical touring machine. This album demonstrates that even bands with success the size of Dire Straits' have to start somewhere.The main chunk of the album (all bar the last track, "Tunnel of Love") is taken from their debut British tour. Opening, as their first album did, with "Down to the Waterline" you can hear how "organic" the interplay of the four musicians was. Mark Knopfler's lead guitar has a nice rough edge to it that makes his guitar lines leap outmore….Pick Withers' strong backbeat makes "Six Blade Knife", a brooding studio track, a fairly big rock beast here, with a great guitar solo in the mid section and a finale that builds and builds before coming crashing down - the band did this to great effect in stadiums (where Knopfler didn't forget the words, like he does here!), but you can hear Knopfler experimenting with dramatic endings at this early stage."Water of Love" provides a good break from all the electric guitar playing with some great slide on the steel guitar. The rhythm section (all four of them!) is right on the money on this track. John Illsley's playing is intelligent, Withers' timekeeping excellent and David Knopfler's guitar playing solid and Mark's lead/rhythm playing is something special."Wild West End" also benefits from the live treatment, coming over much better than it ever did in the studio. It's rough and ready, but it's very tight - and very good. It's lamentable that Knopfler never wrote someting like this in the eighties.This is probably the only generally available recording of a band announcing their debut single to a silent house. "Sultans of Swing" is near-perfect (the ending is a bit messy) and sounds absolutely great - better than it did on either 'Alchemy' or the sleep-fest that was 'On The Night'. Play this track loud!"Lions", the closing track on the debut studio album, again shows what a great bunch of musicians emerged from Deptford in July 1977. The writing's brilliant, as is the musicianship. The Knopflers demonstrate how well they used to work on stage before it all went sour. There's another strong ending here, as Mark's lead and David's rhythm start piling it on in the play out."What's The Matter, Baby?", co-written by the brothers Knopfler, is a previously unreleased track. The song is very good, apart from having a dreadful title and dodgy lyrics ("You're running in the shadows every time you hear the wild man howl"! ).For some reason, someone decided to put "Tunnel of Love" on the end of this compilation. Why? It's obviously a bigger hall, the band are now as slippery-smooth as a greased pole and, as good as the performance is, it lacks the energy of the preceding seven tracks. The recording is a bit boomy too. It would've been better to use the 12 minutes with two or three more songs from the first gig. Still, it's a good showcase of Knopfler's brilliance as a writer and guitarist.It's great to hear these songs without the sterility associated with Dire Straits in their later years. It's a must for Dire Straits fans and something everyone should hear at least once.