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Live at the BBC Live


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Audio CD, Live, August 29, 1995
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Biography

Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Dire Straits emerged during the post-punk era of the late '70s, and while their sound was minimalistic and stripped down, they owed little to punk. If anything, the band was a direct outgrowth of the roots revivalism of pub rock, but where pub rock celebrated good times, Dire Straits were melancholy. Led by guitarist/vocalist Mark Knopfler, the ... Read more in Amazon's Dire Straits Store

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Live at the BBC + Alchemy: Dire Straits Live + On the Night - Live
Price for all three: $59.59

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 29, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000002N2X
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,907 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Down To The Waterline
2. Six Blade Knife
3. Water Of Love
4. Wild West End
5. Sultans Of Swing
6. Lions
7. What's The Matter Baby?
8. Tunnel Of Love

Customer Reviews

Personally, this is one of my favorite CDs!
Tomorryo
The booklet has a short essay, as well as some pictures and makes for an interesting read.
Spider Monkey
I recommended this to "Love over Gold" because it is another great album to this.
Telegraph Road

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Matt on August 23, 2001
Format: Audio CD
First off, the sound quality of this recording is great, not muddy like you find in a lot of live recordings. Each band member is clearly audible. 75% of the album consists of live versions of what I consider to be the best tracks off their debut album. Then there are two other songs--"What's the Matter Baby" and "Tunnel of Love." Good live versions of all these songs, but they're essentially play just like they are on the studio versions (with the exception of "What's the Matter Baby"...is there a studio version of that anywhere?). Nothing really special about them, just your run of the mill live album that happens to have exceptionally good sound quality. I will admit though that the version of "Sultans of Swing" on this recording is great, and Knopfler's guitar solo on it is amazing. I still like the "Alchemy" album better.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The BBC presents yet another great live set recorded just for them, along with the audience of that time and place. All of the selected songs, save two, are from the first Straits album, and the band doesn't deviate much from the studio arrangements. However, there's definitely a "live" feel to the proceedings.

Mark Knopfler's cool in-between verse mumblings and guitar stabs are an essential part of any Straits performance, and those elements are here in force. John Illsley's bass guitar is a little loud, but it reminds one that this is indeed a raw live recording, and not a polished studio production. "What's the Matter Baby," the previously unreleased Mark/David Knopfler composition, is essentially "Sultans of Swing" and "Lady Writer" combined, but still a very likable number.

Tacked on at the end from a performance in Dortmund, Germany, is "Tunnel of Love" from Making Movies, their third studio album. The arrangement is a really fine example of pre-Alchemy Straits (Alchemy being their first live album, released in 1983), where the song had indeed begun to breathe but had not yet expanded to its full on-stage glory. Another highlight for me is to hear the original Dire Straits drummer, the hugely underrated Pick Withers, play on a live arrangement of "Tunnel."

I would describe Live at the BBC as a must for hardcore Dire Straits fans, and I also would highly recommend it for the as yet uninitiated. If Warner Brothers unearths any more Dire Straits live recordings, particularly from the Communique and Making Movies periods, I sincerely hope they put them out. In the meantime, if I've made you curious, hesitate no longer. Go out to your favorite CD outlet, buy Live at the BBC, and pop it into your player as soon as possible. Time's a-wastin'!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Alchemy, the band's double live CD, is a bit too polished for my taste. I prefer this earlier recording with the original line up (on 7 of the 8 tracks). The material covered is primarily from the band's first two albums, so if you're not a fan of Dire Straits or Communique, you probably won't enjoy this set.
While Alchemy certainly has its moments, the album sounds like their studio recording with a lack of spontanity. This album, on the other hand, captures the band in their earlier, rawer incarnation.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on July 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
"Live at the BBC" is a decent, but not terribly memorable live album from Dire Straits. It contains a mere eight songs, most of them from their debut album, including the early hit "Sultans of Swing." Unfortunately, the recording are not substantially different from the originals and the versions on the studio album are more nuanced and therefore superior. Of the two songs included that are not from their first album, one is an obsurity called "What's the Matter Baby" and the other is an early version of "Tunnle of Love," that wouldn't make its studio debut until the band's third album, "Making Movies."
Overall, this one is strictly for diehard fans.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I love Dire Straits, and this is one of my favorites. A great choice of songs, performed incredibly well. One of the few albums I could listen to over and over again indefinitely. You will not be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Edward Rasen Jr. on April 18, 2009
Format: Audio CD
If you think Mark Knopfler is the greatest musician or guitarist in the history of rock 'n' roll then you should stop reading now. I am an avid fan of Mark and Dire Straits, but I do not think he is the greatest musician or guitarist in the history of rock. He isn't Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, Eric Clapton or Chuck Berry. And, in spite of what some reviewers say, this is not the greatest live album or even the best DS live album.

I have owned all the DS albums and have discarded some including this, after transferring to hard-drive. There is nothing exceptional or memorable about this album and that alone is disappointing because Mark is an exceptional guitar player and memorable performer.

First and foremost, there are only eight tracks on this album and the first six are from "Dire Straits," and "Communique," the band's first two albums and all are almost identical renditions. "What's The Matter Baby," a previously unreleased song written by Mark and his brother David is very similar to "Sultans of Swing" and "Lady Writer."

"Tunnel of Love." the final track is from a different concert, previously recorded in Dortmund, Germany. It is notable because it features Pick Wither, the original DS drummer. However, this version is less than stellar and a notch below the previous tracks. Moreover, a much better version appears on "Making Movies," the third DS album.

I have produced more than 25 live concert albums and the mix on this album is disappointing even though it was recorded during 1995. The problem is not the band but rather the BBC recording engineer. I have heard better BBC live albums. The Beatles Live At the BBC is a much better album. I think the band got a BBC engineer who was either distracted or just lazy.
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