Classic Rock Bottom

The second album in the series I thought up all by myself is 1991's "On Every Street" from Dire Straits.

This is the followup to the massively popular "Brothers In Arms", released in 1985,  which sold billions and billions worldwide and was certified 9x Platinum in the US.

Maybe it was the long wait between albums. Maybe a lot of people got sick and tired of "Money For Nothing". Maybe the music climate was changing. Maybe something else was going on. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about regarding anything.

But, what I can say is that this album didn't come close to selling as selling as many copies as the previous album. It did reach #1 in a lot of countries and peaked at #12 on the US charts, with a measly platinum status reached. 

This was Dire Straits' final album and the band broke up in the mid-90's.

Personally, I like this album better than BIA, probably because it didn't get overplayed. If I were to rank the DS albums, this would be fourth. Quite a few gems on this album and it's a swell listen.

So, what does allmusic.com think about this here album?

It took Mark Knopfler more than six years to craft a follow-up to Dire Straits' international chart-topper, Brothers in Arms, but although On Every Street sold in the expected multi-millions worldwide on the back of the band's renown and a year-long tour, it was a disappointment. Knopfler remained a gifted guitar player with tastes in folk ("Iron Hand"), blues ("Fade to Black"), and rockabilly ("The Bug"), among other styles, but much of the album was low-key to the point of being background music. The group had long since dwindled to original members Knopfler and bassist John Illsley, plus a collection of semi-permanent sidemen who provided support but no real musical chemistry. This was not the comeback it should have been.

Not much.

On Every Street

1. Calling Elvis
2. On Every Street
3. When It Comes To You
4. Fade to Black
5. The Bug
6. You And Your Friend
7. Heavy Fuel
8. Iron Hand
9. Ticket To Heaven
10. My Parties
11. Planet Of New Orleans
12. How Long

Availability: Around $7 used.

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Loves me some Dire Straits!  I feel a favorable review comin' on!

Totally with you on the overplayed thing.  I think that's what make albums that precede and follow mega-albums so much more interesting.  So is the case with this - is it more mellow?  yes.  Still its no Making Movies...  But so what, its Dire Straits!

  • Calling Elvis:  The sorta-hit-single!  Nice opener though
  • On Every Street:  Sounds like it came straight out of the Love Over Gold sessions.  Much like several other DS tracks, the longer you listen the better it gets!  This is real nice Title track
  • When It Comes To You:  When you listen close you hear the rhythm guitar that makes these guys so appealing, its the same feel you get from the first two albums. If it had that signature guitar solo as the track fades out - you know Sultan style - it would be perfect!
  • Fade To Black: Imagine being in a smoky jazz room, the place is half full (or half empty, you decide) and the band starts into this track.  I can feel myself sinking into my drink, fading into, well, black...  Not the best track here, but its not terrible because it does have that DS uniqueness and the guitar work, eventually, becomes interesting.  Still I'm slumped over my drink in "woe is me" mode...  And I mean that in a good way!
  • The Bug: Rock-a-billy.  Some bands can do it right, others can't (i.e.. The Mac on Behind The Mask). Here again, we get that familiar rhythm guitar (See Setting Me Up from the debut album).  If memory serves me correctly (and it usually does) this got some radio airplay as well. 
  • You and Your Friend: So here's another mellow DS track right?  Keep listening and you will be rewarded.  Not the best track here for sure, the vocals are catchy and it does drone a bit, but the guitar work does make the last third of the song interesting!
  • Heavy Fuel:  There's the distortion from BIA!  Kind of has the feel of a Money For Nothing knock-off, even vocally/lyrically.  Could've really used some guitar soloing to rock this up a bit.
  • Iron Hand/Ticket To Heaven: Kind of a two for one here as I like this acoustic style he comes up with (e,g, "News" from Communique or "Private Investigations" from LOG).  Though these are less interesting as those two tracks, they are not bad in the context of the full catalog with Ticket TO Heaven being the better of these two.
  • My Parties: Not really a Party track, but it attempts to reach the mid-tempo beat and manages to be a fun track.  Much like the rest of what we've heard so far, I crave more guitar work from Knopfler. Instead this fades out with a woodwind...
  • Planet of New Orleans: I couldn't agree more with the title of the song.  What a weird place. Another Love Over Gold cutting room floor track?  Could be!  I like this song because of that mostly.  But its mellow, jazzy, rocked up a bit, and back and forth, hey kinda like a subdued prog tune! 
  • How Long: Nice closer (Note to self: since its only been done once, I should post another Closers playlist).  Catchy and pure Knopfler

AllMusic does have a point about the backing band.  I would love it if the band from the first two albums came back together and put an album of new material together.  But alas, this is one of those bands that we will have to be happy for what we have.  And I am...

Thoughts:

  • Not a bad song here (well, maybe one).
  • On Every Street sounds very moody, almost like a Christmas song.  And it gets even cooler when it speeds up.
  • Is When It Comes To You a cover?  Or maybe someone has covered it.  Either way, I've heard it before.
  • More moody guitar on Fade To Black.
  • You And Your Friend just has some wicked guitar work.
  • Heavy Fuel sounds like Money For Nothing Part 2.  But it's the only song so far I don't care for.
  • Ticket To Heaven has a very 50's feel.
  • How jazzy is My Parties?  
  • Planet Of New Orleans is a tremendous tune.  The guitar intro is so wicked, almost like the guitar is weeping.  The sax work just adds to the awesomeness of this song.
  • How Long shows a country influence, don't you think?

In short summary, this is laid back, has amazing guitar work and is totally moody in a terrific way.  I really wanted to listen to this Sunday, but I didn't get the chance.  Too bad, because it is great Sunday afternoon music.  This is now on the radar.  I added every Dire Straits album that I don't already own on CD to my Amazon Wish List today.  Funny, this is the most expensive one of them all, but only about 12 bucks.  

Lastly, I think this is a better blockbuster follow-up than last week's choice.  Just sayin'.

WICTY is an original song, maybe you heard the John Anderson version. Wouldn't know since it's (GAK) country.  

Mark has learnt all the essential lessons from the early Peter Green and JJ Cale, and fingerpicking. The result thouhg is a unique sound, again. This tells you how it is possible to absorb a lot and filter it, and bring it out in a new sublime form, a new voice....

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