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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Dire Straits

Dire Straits

1978

Dire Straits

Album Summary

Dire Straits is the debut studio album by the British rock band Dire Straits released on 9 June 1978 by Vertigo Records internationally, Warner Bros. Records in the United States and Mercury Records in Canada. The album has the hit single "Sultans of Swing", which reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 8 on the UK Singles Chart. The album reached the top of the album charts in Germany, Australia and France, number 2 in the United States and number 5 in the United Kingdom. Dire Straits was later certified double platinum in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.68

Votes

4954

Genres

  • Rock
Reviews
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2

Martyrs of Swing. This album feels so circular, slowly meandering through the songs and never getting to the point. It's as if Bob Dylan's 70's backing band got a free weekend in the studio and they just "jammed it out". Talented group, but they need some direction (which is hilarious, considering they're one of the best selling bands of their time). The music of Dire Straits just does not translate well, and has all of the hallmarks of guitar-driven dad rock that has become the butt of so many jokes. Fav Track: Wild West End

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3

Sultans of Swing was the best song, they should have written some more like that! Three stars, which means it’s better than American Idiot and Dark Side of the Moon.

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2

Melodically muted, rhythmically stunted. They’re a guitar band, I get it. But then why aren’t the guitars more interesting?

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5

Shit slaps

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5

Sultans of Swing is fantastic and the rest are good.

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5

Sehr gut. Schöne Songs.

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3

Just regular standard period music...

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3

Knopf let is a smashing guitar player, but this slick mid-tempo rock just didn’t touch my soul.

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5

Det skønt

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5

Freaking awesome

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5

Sehr bueno, chillig

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5

One of the best albums ever.

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5

Amazing classic rock album

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5

The album that our Amsterdam Air BnB host left in his record player

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5

great album. nice vibe through and through.

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5

Great first album to start 1001.

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5

Incredible

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5

Excellent album

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5

Loved it. I don’t understand why they weren’t so widely regarded in the US from this album. Excellent.

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5

Wow. Silky smooth riffs and bitchin' solos abound. Can't believe this is a debut album. I think In The Gallery may be the weakest effort here, but every other track is gold. Sexy, groovy mix of sparse rock and roll mixed with country, folk, and blues. My knowledge of Dire Straits was Money for Nothing. This is at least 500x better than that.

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5

I have always loved Sultans of Swing but this was the first time I'd really thought about why. Dire Straits has a way of making the guitar interact with the vocals that is really unique.

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5

Very nice tunes, with a lot of roles that sound like jazz (to me)

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5

Terrific

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5

Beautiful, clean, classic Knopfler playing. Songs grove. Some great, classic DS tunes including Sultans.

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5

A great album.

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5

A great album.

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5

THIS ALBUM HAS GROOVE FOR DAYS

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5

nivélazo. a real rythem guitar!

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5

Stellar debut album. I am an old.

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5

nice and bluesy

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5

Classic. Incredible, unique guitar.

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5

Incredible. Knopfler is Legend. This album is an awesome, understated journey with some absolutely beautiful songs sprinkled through. Can hear Dylan infl. Favourite gat (it's all 10/10) - In The Gallery. Wild West End is super beautiful

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5

Het blijft een sterke groep.

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5

One of the best debut albums, the best guitar solo ever (though I prefer the live Alchemy version), and a great album that's always been there for me

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5

Nothing gets me in the mood for a corporate day at Twickenham like the Sultans of Swing (Low Sweet Chariot). Essential listening while getting ready for the game. Boot cut jeans, loafers, TM Lewin checked shirt (button cuff, it is the weekend), corporate branded fleece (its XL but doesn't fit too badly and I didn't declare it to Compliance and their gift register!). Then off to the game with the "lads" from work. They leave after the game but I stick around with some new mates I met in the Orange Tree. 20 pints (I'm paying)of the black stuff later. Wake up on my sofa in the middle of the night covered in take away to the crushing realisation the wife has left, taken the kids and I live in a flat about a pub. Will have to watch Top Gear reruns on Dave to lift the spirits!

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5

Class album

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5

Every track is a good one. Even better than I remembered.

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5

Driven by Mark Knopfler's spare, tasteful guitar lines and his husky warbling, the album is a set of bluesy rockers. Knopfler also shows an inclination toward Dylanesque imagery, which enhances the smoky, low-key atmosphere of the album. While a few of the songs fall flat, the album is remarkably accomplished for a debut, and Dire Straits had difficulty surpassing it throughout their career.

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5

It one of the best albums with an acoustic guitar that I listened to with a very captivating voice.

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5

Upbeat album for a down day.

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5

GOAT

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5

One of my favorite debut albums. Great tracks all the way through. And, of course, Sultans. Amazing. Knopfler is an animal.

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5

One of my top #5 albums

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5

Sometimes it's hard to believe how good a debut album can be. Absolute classic, a great listen almost any time.

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5

Dire fucking Straits man

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5

Ohhhh yeah baby. So good.

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5

This is a certified classic. Album is gewoon een ✨vibe✨

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5

één minuut bezig en ge gaat goed. Zoveel leuk gitaargebruik en zo een aangename stem. ik ben nog maar net bezig maar al wie haat heeft op dire straits mag met bezos naar de ruimte en niet meer terug komen. oogjes toe, denken aan de jaren 70-80 en dan in de auto, opendak, zonnetje op uw snoet en dan met de wind in de haren deze muziek! Sultans of swing is een klassieker onder de klassiekers

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5

wtf this surprised me, really hit the spot

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5

Pretty drunk while listening but I think this is a favorite. Sultans of swing but 1hr long

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5

Nunca pensé que me volvería fan de Dire Straits. De joven era una de las bandas que odiaba con toda mi alma. Así cambia la gente. Este disco es brutal, me encanta el tono de guitarra que tiene.

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5

Clean, like the genre Would listen to it outside of this

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5

Classic......waterline gallery sultans ...etc

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5

I've had a few other Dire Straights and Knopfler albums, but somehow never studied this one. This is a great piece of work!

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5

Loved this album. Probably more then brothers in arms.

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5

Listening to the album after many years again brought back so many memories. It truly is one of the greatest. So many remarkable hits. And those you don't know are just super chill to listen too. The lyrics are timeless. And Mark Knopfler's skills are just out of this world. 5 Stars

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5

Absolutely sublime, up my street and an all time classic

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5

This is my favourite album. I have all the collection of Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler and his collaborations with anothers artists. The best.

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5

Now that's a debut album

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5

as first albums go, this is fucking ace. As first singles go (is this right? to lazy to check) Sultans of Swing is neither the best, not the most radio-friendly cut. Embarrassment of riches. When I first heard this (retro-tracking the back catalogue in the wake of Brothers in Arms) I used to imagine the ideal listener of the time. Its late. Co-habitants have buggered off to sleep. Outside, the silence lays thick. Indoors, single lamp by most comfortable armchair. Brushing off the vinyl, pouring out a subtle malt (generous serving), and settling down for 40 minutes of me, myself and I. Subtle malt and vinyl aside (I lack the resources for one, the temperamental inclinations for the other), I did this last night. God, it felt good.

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5

Didn’t realize these guys sang Sultans of Swing which I’ve definitely heard before.

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5

Love the grooviness.

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5

Excellent.

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5

Love everything about this one. 5 stars all the way for me, along with the classics, Sultans of Swing and Down to the Waterline. Mark Knopfler's clean and sweet guitar licks are just masterful.

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5

COOL!!!

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5

OH yea!

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5

Loved it!

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5

Top tier

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5

Just a trumpet playing band. Love this album. Good guitar and vocal blending. Not a bad song on it, plus Sultans of Swing. 5

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5

What if "Country", but actually good. Update: Ok, I've had this album on repeat for about 10 times...

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5

Ridiculously easy one for me to review as it's one of my favorites. Still listen to it quite frequently. In the midst of an era of music history, they recorded and released this beauty which should've been a total flop based upon what was popular at the time -- and even based on what was considered unconventional or rebellious at the time -- yet it endures as one of the finest works in the broad rock genre. All that aside, I just love listening to it. Mark Knopfler's melodic and intricate guitar playing never fails to fill me up, and it's important to acknowledge just how darn excellent the rest of the band is, too. Genius stuff. Love it.

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5

Great!!!

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5

Every song just slaps

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5

Ótimo, perfeito, maravilhoso

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5

pretty cool

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5

I always read people banging on about Dire Straits and how amazing they actually are but I'm only really familiar with them through the later stuff that has been played to death. (Except for The Sultans of Swing off this album, which I did rate but assumed was just an anomaly.) I ignorantly thought I was familiar enough with them and just didn't get it the same way as all those people who banged on about them... but this album has proven me utterly completely wrong. This is astonishingly good. Might pop off and buy this now.

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5

Magic one!

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5

solid af for a debut album definitely gave off heavy Bob Dylan vibes but with a lot of fast guitar picking which sounded really cool I think i’ll give this album a 9/10 but my favorite album of theirs is still Brothers In Arms

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5

Knopfler's finger pickin is one of the sweetest tones I've ever heard. While not my favorite Dire Straits album it does have Setting me up and Sultans of Swing the latter having perhaps the greatest the solo of all time. Though I prefer the solo on the live version on Alchemy, just insane.

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5

This debut album is awesome!

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5

The Dire Straits are the right amount of smooth and cool. Not too smooth, not too cool. They are situated in the 80's, for sure, but their music has a timeless quality to it that makes it feel fresh. I also love how they don't play on any southern rock or 80's pop "troupes," but rather have a sound in and of themselves.

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5

Didn't even need to listen

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5

Excellent…one of there best

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5

Wonderful guitar!

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5

So good - really fun album

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5

Hi- Down to the Waterline, Water of Love, Sultans of Swing What I like most about Dire Straits is that it's like Bob Dylan, but good. All kidding aside, the smooth, effortless vocals and masterful guitar plucking of Mark Knopfler, is precise and old-school, which lends to the classic timelessness of Dire Straits.

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5

Very pleasant classic, soft rock. Wikipedia calls it blues rock or pub rock. Enjoyable album.

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5

Fantastic album, one of their best.

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5

Amazing debut album with rock heavily influenced by blues.

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5

Un clásico con temas muy británicos

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5

Already knew and enjoyed "Sultans of Swing." Loved listening to the whole album. My kind of classic rock Summer jam.

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5

Awesome!

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5

I think we all agree that Dire Straits' music is basically magic, so I won't try to come up with a new way to describe it.

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5

discon con willy de reves

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5

Totally unique, changed music forever.

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5

This is not "Making Movies" which is one of the best albums ever made (and presumably included on the list as well) but still easily 5 star of course (just like Love Over Gold and Brothers in Arms).

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5

Easy 5 ;) Liking the laidback feel. Played a lot in my early days, still like it, nice to hear again. Same for communique probably or maybe i should say all albums up to alchemy ...

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5

Sultans of the swing ❤️

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5

A true classic!

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5

Transcendental guitar rock, excellent album 9/10

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5

Nobody plays guitar like MK

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4

I liked the cool guitar sounds. Easygoing sound, yet somewhat melancholy.

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4

A perfect album for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Really solid blues rock. Best track: Wild West End

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4

An album that defined a new sound for rock music. Mellow, artful guitars with complex framework within the full band. Sultans of Swing comes late into the album after the band already states their style and unique mix of rock, blues, jazz, and country. Mix all of this with Knopfler's vocals that reflect the gritty tones of Dylan and you have a recipe for a great record. Stand-outs: Down to the Waterline, Sultans of Swing

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4

Sultans of Swing is obviously the most notable song on the album and is a classic known to many. This debut album is an impressive showcase of blues rock mastery.

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4

Laid back, excellent guitar, nice vocals and lyrics. A greatly composed album. Very enjoyable listen, 7/8. Like Sultans of Swing a lot.

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4

Really accomplished for a debut album. Great skill and style on show but no stand out tracks for me other than sultans of swing

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4

Very unique dire straits sound. Solid album.

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4

Tan tan tan taaan

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4

Endlich mal wieder Musik. Sehr gute 4 Sterne.

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4

Not bad. Chill, roadtrip rock vibes.

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4

Not as good as some of their later albums but still love that sound that's unique to mark knofler

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4

Well this was one of the many albums I had recorded on a cassette tape. I like the Dire Straits a lot. Loved to listen to this full album again.

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4

La guitarra de Mark Knopfler hace que el disco valga la pena. Dire Straits tiene su muy marcado sello y de pronto todo el disco suena igual, así que me gusta más la experiencia de escuchar las canciones por separado que el disco completo de jalón.

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4

no lo había escuchado completo y está muy bueno, me gusta ese rock de gangsters de los 70´s

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4

I definitely need to get more into Dire Staits. Only readily summoned touchstones are Sultans of Swing and of course the much later Money for Nothing, that video icon of my pre-cable existence when my only access to music videos was Friday Night Videos.

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4

Great album. Really really enjoyed it. Just what I expected a dire straits album to sound like. // 4.5

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4

Dire Straits is a great band. Mark is a great song writer and player.

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4

A whole album worth of sultans of swing

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4

So great to hear more of Dire Straits, after only really ever listening to Brothers in Arms, or Sultans of Swing. I think this album is better as a whole, even though BiA has some more hits. Highlights: -Down to the Waterline -Setting Me Up -Sultans of Swing -Wild West End

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4

Smooooth

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4

Está muy cabrón. Es to lo que pue decir. Por un par de rolitas que desentonan no lo pongo en 5.

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4

Classicly good. Some of the best guitar solos ever!

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4

Have always loved Sultans of Swing, but never really listened to a lot of DS. Love the guitar work here, it's really great and relaxing to listen to.

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4

Felt like a unique indie album

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4

Love the dire straits. Great guitar playing, but sultans of swing is really the only great song

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4

Love me some Dire Straits.

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4

So chill

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4

great classic rock

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4

good one, many hits in there

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4

Enjoyed this very much

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4

Mark Knopfler is a very talented guitarist, but the song writing on this album leaves something to be desired. Despite that, Sultans of Swing is a special song.

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4

Daora o album, tem a sultans of swing. Todas as músicas tem o jeitão direstreit, mas é gostoso pra deixar de fundo, tocando suave.

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4

“Dire Straits” by Dire Straits (1978) I’m not sure why I missed this growing up. Eclectic blues and jazz rock, with a little reggae thrown in. Definitely for listening to in the evening when alone, with an adult beverage, on a good home hi fi setup. I hear Dylanesque composition and arranging, without aping, laid down in ever-changing grooves, and tremendous dynamic sensitivity. Lyrically, it’s a collection of referential and thought-provoking word pictures, effectively giving voice to the musical settings. But they lack movement and resolution, so a serious listener might be disappointed—if lyrics were the focus of this work. But they’re not. The most striking thing on this album is the lead guitar lines played by Mark Knopfler—silky and spare, with inventive fills and exquisite slides and bends. He knows how to pull the listener in on the quiet parts. His solo work on “Sultans of Swing” and “In the Gallery” is superlative. Great percussion by Pick Withers, who is never monotonous, always seeming to find color appropriate to the mood. Lead vocals are gravelly and lacking power, but I was almost relieved that they didn’t provide a high-quality distraction from the two guitars, bass, and drums. These guys produce a lot of music with only four instruments and minimal dubbing. And the person who mixed this album is a genius. A nice listen. Rock doesn’t have to be hard to be good. And this is very good. 4/5

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4

Muy personal. Inconfundible voz, bajo y ritmos.

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4

Such an statement in the year of punk!! XD

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4

Mark Knopfler is on the list of guitar gods. Rather hear him play than sing, but his voice is integral to the Dire Straits sound

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4

swingin all weekend. Love the Dire Straits sound. Not quite a 5-star album but after the first 6 tracks I was feeling tempted

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4

I didn't really have that strong of thoughts on the album. It was pretty good but not one of my favorites. Sultans of Swing is great and definetely my favorite song on the album but there were some other good ones too Favorite Songs: Water of Love, Southbound Again, Sultans of Swing, Lions Least Favorite Song: Six Blade Knife Strong 7/10

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4

Dire Straits has never been more than Sultans of Swing for me, was a great listen to hear the full album, pretty surprised with how much I enjoyed it

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4

“Down the Waterline” is awesome… and almost a carbon copy of “Sultan’s of Swing.” I’ve always loved “Sultan’s of Swing” and the MTV song and the synthier hit but otherwise never listened to dire straits in depth. This album was surprising, very Texas Roadhouse Rick/country with a dire straits twist. I always imagined dire straits to be more of a Prague Rock band, but this is Almost what I’d imagine ZZ Top should sound like. These guys are great musicians and okay lyricists, that’s the only thing holding this album back. Really enjoyed this album, all the songs were good but not great, B+.

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4

Iets trager dan ik had verwacht, maar het gitaarspel is feilloos, en 'Sultans of Swing' blijft een topplaat

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4

Really fun! I'd never heard them before.

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4

I really enjoyed this album. Mark Knolfler is a beast on guitar. All songs are enjoyable with Sultans a standout. If I could I would give this a 4.5. But a 4. This was the first time I have heard this album, will listen to it again…..and agin. It deserves to be in the 1001 list.

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4

Loved it

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4

Fantastic. A completely new guitar sound - Sultans of swing is absolutely the best single ever and the backdrop to my friday nights for a decade or so. Down to the waterline and Water of love are also still on my running playlist.

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4

A classic

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4

8/10 bom mas pouco variado

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4

About what I was expecting

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4

Just a really easy listen and everything comes together so well. The vocalist is incredibly soothing, and the instruments are vibing along. No wonder you hear these tracks in movies all the time.

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4

Solid album overall I found the first half to be a little samey but track 5 onward is just consistent quality.

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4

I think Sultan of Swing's popularity has hidden the other high points of the album. Very nice, smooth rock.

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4

Very weird to listen to an album with an absolute classic mid way through but have no idea who the artist was until that point.

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4

Just a fine album not a bad song on it. My favourite Dire Straits album. Guitar work is just gorgeous. Almost a 5 but not quite 4 🌟

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4

Really neat, and way more country than I expected! Great acoustic/electric blend and songwriting. Big fan of some of these tracks.

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4

Muy buen disco

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4

This album has established for me what "classic rock" truly is! (and, more informally, "dad rock"... which is what I will likely affectionally refer to it as in casual conversation). I instantly associated it with social outdoor activities, such as riding on a boat or hanging on a patio with family. I would comfortably play this out loud for them. I also cannot wait to "click" with a classic rock album so I can channel more power into my new Justin cowboy hat when I wear it in public while listening to my MP3 player. This specific album: seems heavy on story, which I need time to digest for any album, ever - and I cannot wait to bond with it further. I noticed elements/splashes of folk/country and prog rock in this album as well. Sultans of Swing onwards piqued my interest the most.

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4

Brings up latent childhood memories. I think one or both of my parents liked Dire Straights, so I remember it being on in the background. Didn't love it but it had a soothing quality.

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4

Pretty good bluesy classic rock. 7-8/10

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4

Obviously got a banger on in sultans of swing, otherwise a good album

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4

This is a pretty good album. Always enjoyed Sultans of Swing and hadn't really listened to these other tracks. There's a bit of "sameness" to a lot of tracks, but the band is great and Mark Knopfler's guitar playing and singing was excellent from the start. "Setting Me Up" really stood out for some excellent playing. Solid 4.

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4

I've always known that Mark Knopfler was a good guitarist from the radio songs but MAN is he good. The fact that he doesn't use a pick impresses me as well. There aren't a lot of famous guitarists that finger-pick everything. This is just a great blues/rock album from start to finish. Right from the beginning we hear his impressive style on Down to the Waterline. Water of Love has a good groove and some great dobro playing. The solo on Sultans of Swing is actually one of my favorite guitar solos too.

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4

I've always liked Dire Straits, I wish I had a chance to see them perform when they came out in the early 90s. Their first album is not my favorite, but it definitely has some great stuff here, and not just "Sultans Of Swing." Listening to this album made me go listen to their other stuff, which is really what an album wants you to do: make you hunger for more. I want to hear more of the guitar, but there's a lot of it talking in spurts, more soloing please. It's more apparent in my favorite album "Love Over Gold." Still, I'd give it a 3.6, which does round up to a 4. But it's a weak 4, at best.

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4

What a solid debut album

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4

This album is mostly known for sultans of swing, and for good reason, but the album as a whole was pretty good. The chill guitars on each song were really nice and knopflers voice is relaxing. A nice chilled out rock album. Fav songs: sultans of swing, most of the other ones

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4

Solid album. Like the instrumentals and the melodies.

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4

Sultans of Swings. Plus others.

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4

Great music. Classic Dire Straits sound which is timeless. Very listenable.

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4

Lovely stuff from start to finish, country and Americana tinged throughout with great guitar, bolstered by what I think is their best song - Sultans of Swing

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4

Great Dad rock👴🤘. A more consistent album than Brothers in Arms and a total surprise.

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4

Very chill blues rock - gotta love 'Sultans of Swing'. And man, Knopfler can play!

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4

Haven't heard this for a long time. Back then it was one of those albums that had a few good tracks but as a whole was a little boring. Was a favourite of my parents but didn't see the appeal. So it was good to get a new perspective of Dire Straits. I forgot how good the guitars was here, Mark Knopfler's solos were fantastic and the jamming just makes me want to be a part of it. The songs have a nice chilled vibes drenched in blues and rock. It's still not a favourite but have gained respect for it and will be saved for the mornings. Favourite tracks are Sultans of Swing and In The Gallery.

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4

Good but not my style

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4

Dire Straits - Self Titled Classic 80s sound. Decent listen, but was not life changing.

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4

Nice guitar riffs, but they are getting used to as the album goes.

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4

Nice and relaxed, easy to listen to

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4

Only heard greatest hits before. Very much enjoyed, though struggling to put my finger on it!

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4

Chill. No other song quite hits the mark as 'Sultans of Swing' does but an entirely pleasant listening experience. 'Lions Den' is probably my personal favourite after and rounds of the end of the album nicely.

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4

Sultans of swing

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4

It's not bad. I can never tell if I like the lead aibgers voice or not. I think I like it most of the time, then sometimes it just sounds super old and cheesey. But like, maybe this is what made the cheese? And can you fault it for that? I don't really think so, sultan of swing is a fucking banger for the ages. Overall, it's good.

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4

Good, but not amazing. Mark Knopfler is a great guitarist, and he makes that evident throughout the album. "Sultans of Swing" is obviously incredible, and I really liked the first song too, but for the most part? Nothing mind blowing. Side note, I highly recommend the Alchemy Live version of "Sultans of Swing". One of my favorite live performances of any song.

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4

WE ARE THE SULTANS😈

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4

Liked a lot

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4

Dire Straits never had a bad album, and this is one of the best. Mark Knopfler is a god. About time there's some "classic rock" on this that I actually like. I'd love to give this a full score but there is a hint of reggae at times. 4/5.

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4

Prima achtergrond muziek

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4

Otro nombre que merece más reconocimiento y fama de la que tiene actualmente: Mark Knopfler

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4

Solid Album. Little slower but great vibes

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4

Consistently good

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4

Perfect album for a Saturday morning putzing around the kitchen. The whole album is kind of one song, but it's a good song!

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4

Classic

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4

Smooth, soothing rock with hidden layers of groove underneath. When it gets to you, it can get to you and you become more impressed as the album rolls on. Good stuff, don't underestimate it. Favorites: Setting Me Up, Six Blade Knife, Sultans of Swing, In the Gallery, Wild West End.

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4

I mean it's dire straights, it's legendary for a reason. Knopfler's guitar is amazing. Album is very good but some songs just don't completely vibe with me. 4/5

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4

Parapaam 🎸

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4

Oni su mi prvo sjecanje glazbe, cak i prije vesne pisarovic!!! Ali i da nema te nostalgije rekla bi da je album jako dobar. Knopfler jednostavno zna znanje. Tekstovi i ta njegova suptilna gitara su bas uf

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4

Really nice album, some amazing songs

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4

Good album, easy listening.

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4

Great stuff, Sultans of Swing is an all-time classic but I enjoyed the whole album.

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4

It's so easy to forget there's more to some of these bigtime artists than the stuff you hear all the time - this is a great album.

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4

Good sound and has a chill vibe. Enjoyed it.

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4

То да не то

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