Showing posts with label Dire Straits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dire Straits. Show all posts

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Romeo and Juliet - Dire Straits

'Romeo and Juliet' was released as a single from Dire Straits' 1980 album 'Making Movies' in early 1981. The lyrics of the song describe the experience of the two lovers of the title, hinting at a situation that saw the Juliet figure abandon her Romeo after finding fame and moving on from the rough neighborhood where they first encountered each other.

Mark Knopfler, who wrote the song, said that it was inspired by his failed romance with Holly Vincent, lead singer of the short-lived band Holly and The Italians. The song speaks of a Romeo who is still very much in love with his Juliet, but she now treats him like "just another one of [her] deals". Knopfler has both stated and implied that he believes Vincent was using him to boost her career. The song's line "Now you just say, oh Romeo, yeah, you know I used to have a scene with him," refers to an interview with Vincent, where she says "What happened was that I had a scene with Mark Knopfler and it got to the point where he couldn't handle it and we split up." 

The single matched the success of their debut single 'Sultans of Swing' three years earlier, peaking at number 8 in the UK singles chart. However, where the former charted in many other countries, this single did not.

My collection: 7" single no. 6173
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Romeo and Juliet' / 'Solid rock'

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Heavy fuel - Dire Straits

The Dire Straits released 'Heavy fuel' as the second single from their 1991 album 'On every street'. In it, Mark Knopfler ironically extols the virtues of such conventionally frowned-upon vices as cigarettes, hamburgers, Scotch, lust, money, and violence. The phrase 'You gotta run on heavy fuel' is from the novel 'Money' by Martin Amis, on which Knopfler based his lyric.

The single reached number 55 in the UK singles chart and peaked at number 25 in the Dutch singles chart. I didn't like the song back when it was released, but two decades on, it's actually very enjoyable. And so I got a copy a while ago.

My collection: 7" single no. 5383
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Heavy fuel' / 'Planet of New Orleans'

Sunday, 14 March 2010

On every street - Dire Straits

'On every street' was released in early 1992 as the third single of Dire Straits' sixth and final studio album from 1991. I wasn't too wild about the two earlier singles 'Calling Elvis' and 'Heavy fuel', but this single seemed to be a return to the atmospheric tracks like 'Private investigations' and 'Brothers in arms'.

No promotional video was made for the song, and the B-side was an old track, from the band's 1980 album 'Making movies'. The single stalled at number 42 in the UK singles chart as a result.

My collection: 7" single no. 1590
Found: Melody Maker, Den Haag, February 29, 1992
Cost: 6,5 guilders
Tracks: 'On every street' / 'Romeo & Juliet'

Monday, 22 February 2010

Brothers in arms - Dire Straits

'Brothers in arms' is a classic album by Dire Straits, which spawned the hit single 'Money for nothing'. A few years later, things got turned around: the compilation album 'Money for nothing' spawned the single 'Brothers in arms'. The single was re-released to promote the compilation album, which came out just in time for Christmas 1988.

'Brothers in arms' was a hit in the UK in 1985, but this re-release was unsuccessful in all territories. For me, it was the first opportunity to get this track on a 7" single.

My collection: 7" single no. 695
Found: Den Haag, December 5, 1988
Cost: - (present)
Tracks: 'Brothers in arms' / 'Going home (live)'

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Money for nothing - Dire Straits

Bizarrely, Mark Knopfler from the Dire Straits wrote 'Money for nothing' during a visit at a New York appliance store. At the back of the store, there was a wall of TV's which were all tuned to MTV. A man working there, dressed in a baseball cap, work boots, and a checkered shirt was watching them. As he was standing there, Knopfler remembers the man coming up with classic lines such as 'what are those, Hawaiian noises? That ain't workin'' etc. Knopfler asked for a pen to write some of these lines down and then eventually put those words to music. According to Knopfler: 'He's singing the song. I wanted to use a lot of the language that the real guy actually used when I heard him, because it was more real...'

Sting contributed backing vocals to the track, and the classic line 'I want my MTV'. Knopfler modelled his guitar sound for the recorded track after ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons' trademark guitar tone, as ZZ Top's music videos were already on heavy rotattion on MTV. Gibbons later told an interviewer in 1986 that Knopfler had solicited Gibbons on how to replicate the tone, adding, 'He didn't do a half-bad job, considering that I didn't tell him a thing!'.

'Money for nothing' was not a hit in the Netherlands (which is quite remarkable in fact!) but reached number 4 in the UK singles chart and was a number 1 hit in Canada and the USA.

My collection: 7" single no. 320
Found: LP Top 100, Den Haag, 1985
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Money for nothing' / 'Love over gold (live)'

Sunday, 17 January 2010

So far away - Dire Straits

'So far away' was released as the first single from Dire Straits' 1985 album 'Brothers in arms'. The single reached number 19 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, number 20 in the UK singles chart and number 31 in the Dutch Top 40.

The B-side of this single is 'Walk of life', which was subsequently released as the fourth single from the album.

My collection: 7" single no. 908
Found: Parkpop, Den Haag, June 25, 1989
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'So far away' / 'Walk of life'

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Private investigations - Dire Straits

Dire Straits surprised, I think, everyone with 'Private investigations'. Up until the release of this single, they delivered rather straight guitar-based rock songs, while this track added a layer of sophistication to their work. Mark Knopfler commented about the lyric of the song: 'It's just about the private investigations... What have you got at the end of the day... Nothing more than you started out with'.

The single reached number 2 in the UK singles chart and number 1 in the Dutch Top 40. I bought my copy from my sister, who bought a second copy of this single because she played this one so often. When I listen to it now, the single hasn't deteriorated much.

My collection: 7" single no. 306
Found: Den Haag, 1982
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Private investigations' / 'Badges posters stickers t-shirts'

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Your latest trick - Dire Straits

'Your latest trick' is a track from the classic Dire Straits album 'Brothers in arms'. It was released as a single in the UK, with all the royalties from the sale of the record donated to 'the hospitals for sick children'. Whether this helped a lot remains to be seen: the single peaked at number 26 in the UK singles chart, with only six weeks in the chart not one of the band's biggest hits.

The saxophone solo on the track was performed by Michael Brecker, an American jazz saxophonist who worked with many famous contemporaries including Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Chet Baker, George Benson, Quincy Jones and Pat Metheny.

My collection: 7" single no. 2205
Found: Record fair, October 9, 1994
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Your latest trick' / 'Irish boy', 'The road'

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Brothers in arms - Dire Straits

The Dire Straits were used prominently in the Eighties to promote the new compact disc format. This may have contributed to their squeaky clean, slightly boring image. It's refreshing, therefore, to listen to their music from vinyl, with all the imperfections that appear in the music once you hear clicks and dust.

'Brothers in arms' is the title track from their 1985 album and is arguably one of their best songs. In the UK this single made number 16, in other countries it only made the charts years later when it was re-released as part of the promotion for a compilation album.

My collection: 7" single no. 2770
Found: House of Rhythm, London, October 29, 1996
Cost: 40p
Tracks: 'Brothers in arms' / 'Going home (live)'

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