Dire Straits, On Every Street (1991)
I saw Dire Straits on the tour for this album – the band’s last world tour. And man I loved it; I loved Dire Straits at that point in my life; one of my favourite bands. And all things Mark Knopfler was involved in/with. I had the soundtracks, the side-projects, the sessions – everything. I’m not sure that On Every Street was ever a great album but I owned it – on tape. I bought this LP recently, partly because I was amazed to see it existed on vinyl. And also because I have every other Dire Straits album and much as I try not to be a completist anymore it’s a streak I can’t (quite) shake. I’m not embarrassed by this album though – and if you think I should be that says more about you than me. I’m happy with some of the music on this album still. But, it has to be said, there is some awful shit. Heavy Fuel was the riff-as-song wannabe-rewrite of Money For Nothing. And The Bug was juvenile, tasteless and as annoying as Walk Of Life. But there is some stuff on here that has aged well. And Fade To Black, Planet Of New Orleans and How Long certainly all point to where Knopfler was heading as a solo artist. In fact it’s really only Heavy Fuel, The Bug and the other big single, Calling Elvis that feel like Dire Straits as such. The rest of this album feels like a Knopfler solo album. And was probably treated pretty much that way. Then there’s the song My Parties which should be every bit as good as Ween’s Your Party (were they ripping him off/referencing him do you think?) but ultimately feels both too smug and plausible. I’m baffled by the level of hatred thrown at Dire Straits. I sorta understand the sweatband era copping it but those first few albums and – dare I say it – parts of this final record were really lovely, interesting, exciting and dynamic.
Sample Track: On Every Street
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