Dire Straits released a definitive self-titled debut album with a huge hit in “Sultans of Swing” that meant the odds were against their second album living up to their sudden reputation. Remove the pressure to better themselves and accept their second album, which appeared less than a year later, and Communique is as dazzling an album in its own time. Artistically speaking, the songs on Communique are every bit as compelling and the playing is every bit as focused and refined. In fact, it wouldn’t seem out of the question to wonder if tracks such as “Once Upon a Time In the West,” “Lady Writer” and “Angel of Mercy” weren’t taken from the same sessions. Singer-guitarist Mark Knopfler’s abilities to control the mood are first-rate and sublime. Unlike the journeymen bluesmen who’ve obviously inspired him, Knopfler is able to craft transcendent recordings that speak loudly without raising their voice. How else to describe the quiet magic of “News”? Or the sweet pulse of “Follow Me Home”? Funnily enough, criticisms that this album’s accomplishments were too modest would lead to the stirring anthems of the group’s next album, Making Movies.
Once Upon a Time In the West
Where Do You Think You're Going?
Angel of Mercy
Follow Me Home
9 Songs, 43 Minutes
June 15, 1979
℗ 1996 Mercury Records Ltd. (London), under license to Warner Records Inc.