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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, September 8, 2000
Audio, Cassette, October 14, 1985
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The best-selling albums from the greaatest artists on Warner Bros. have never sounded better than on their new Warner Remasters editions. State-of-the-art digitally remastered, each album sounds dramatically superior to its original CD release. In addition, the packaging returns each album to its original artwork and graphics.
Certified Platinum by the RIAA. (7/01)
Making Movies is Dire Straits's third album and includes several epic numbers that remain among Mark Knopfler's finest work. "Tunnel of Love, " "Romeo And Juliet" (covered by the Indigo Girls), and "Solid Rock" all work with the same distinctive galloping rhythm underneath Knopfler's country-blues staccato guitar. The addition of Springsteen's E Street Band pianist Roy Bittan hardly seems less a coincidence considering the Springsteen-esque tone of the material. --Rob O'Connor
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What MAKING MOVIES is, is a progressive rock quantum jump from side two of COMMUNIQUE, where the mutation occurred rendering Dire Straits from a neo-skiffle fingerstyle picking-centric universe of J.J. Cale and Atkins/Clapton influences to a forward-looking progressive art rock house. DIRE STRAITS and side one of COMMUNIQUE concentrated heavily on a fingerpicking jam force that was both incredible and entertaining. Side two of the sophomore album experimented more in other corners of rock, setting up the stage onto which MAKING MOVIES pounds away at the creative juices of Knopfler and his rhythm boys Illsley and Withers (brother David Knopler split during the recording of this album, he and Mark had “creative differences”). This progressive rock evolution will continue with great success on LOVE OVER GOLD, another outstanding album before their monster hit BROTHERS IN ARMS, but I think that MAKING MOVIES is the nest upon which all those hatchlings are fertilized.
Tunnel Of Love is a metaphorical and literal growing up story, making many references to real fairgrounds and amusement parks, thus capturing the essence of adolescence very powerfully with musical motifs and lyrical references to Spanish City (Newcastle), and the Rockaway’s in New York (Steeplechase and Palisades parks are also mentioned). The double entendre is that Mark is growing up, and in referencing the Six Blade Knife of the debut album, he demonstrates his ability to mature and change in his music. While Tunnel Of Love and MAKING MOVIES are often compared to Springsteen and the E Street Band, Knopfler and Dire Straits actually have more in common with Dylan, as musical mosaics and lyrical motifs (as well as Marks voice, also compared to Dylan by more than a few) paint very existential and colorful allegories quite often, in fact more often than not.
Romeo and Juliet paints a multilayered portrait that draws from Shakespeare’s play, from “Somewhere” in West Side Story (also based on Romeo & Juliet), and even The Angels’ My Boyfriend’s Back. Again, the song gains complexity from start to finish and while the motif is obvious on the surface, there is a hurtful personal scar which Mark has painted over with this song. Lastly, we cannot avoid noting that many have compared this music to Springsteen’s Jungleland and Bittan is hidden away in here providing some very real accents that make this one of Dire Straits greatest songs.
Skateaway reveals not only the title of the album, lyrically but hints at the progress of the group and their music as the illustrated female skater just obliviously skates through crowded streets, listening to her music on headphones. Dire Straits was an anomaly in the music industry in the very late 70’s and early 80’s, very retro roots and yet polished in an era of punk on one side and big hair glam bands on the other.
These were the side one tracks of the original LP, most people’s favorite side, but as you listen to this album as a whole on CD now, note the continued evolution and experimentalism that continues through Espresso Love (another complex heavy guitar riffed track with Bittan keyboard melody being toyed with several times and lyrics which reach back to “walking in the wild west end”), the beautiful, gentle, growth of Hand In Hand, the heavy Solid Rock which does just that (the first real rock song by Dire Straits), and the finale of Cabaret music in Les Boys which gently mocks some pretenders to S&M fashion and yet leave you wondering…why? Perhaps Dire Straits are leaving a tiny tattoo to let you know they should never be taken too seriously and that they are not always what they appear to be. I don’t think Mark threw this song on as filler and feel very strongly he was making a statement that fans should pay a small heed to. When the paint and glam exterior are removed from whomever we are looking at, there on the inside is just another person like us.
MAKING MOVIES is a definite prize in an otherwise outstanding collection of six studio albums. If you asked me what Dire Straits albums to recommend and in what order, I would probably recommend them all, but if you ask me how I rank them all, that is an individual taste! DIRE STRAITS, MAKING MOVIES, LOVE OVER GOLD, and BROTHERS IN ARMS are the four best, but I couldn’t appreciate these without COMMUNIQUE either, so I would tell you to leave off the tail (ON EVERY STREET) even though it is also played A LOT by me! I literally listen to them all in order, including the Knopfler solo albums, Notting Hillbillies, Mark and Chet Atkins, Mark and Emmylou Harris, and Dylan’s SLOW TRAIN COMING which features Mark prominently as lead guitarist throughout the album). As you can see, these guys in general and Mark specifically are in my favorites and have been since 1978! Now if you ask me what Dire Straits album is the most special, eclectic, and unusual, then start right here with MAKING MOVIES.
METALLICA-MASTER OF PUPPETS
METALLICA-AND JUSTICE FOR ALL
METALLICA-RIDE THE LIGHTNING
AC/DC-FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK
THE BEATLES-ABBEY ROAD
THE BEATLES-THE WHITE ALBUM
THE ROLLING STONES-STICKY FINGERS
BLACK SABBATH-MASTER OF REALITY
SLAYER-SEASONS IN THE ABYSS
PANTERA-FAR BEYOND DRIVEN
MEGADETH-COUNTDOWN FROM EXTICTION
QUEEN-NEWS OF THE WORLD
QUEEN-LIVE FROM THE BOWL.
But if this was the old age of albums, you could have just ignored the flat side two and just allowed the three glorious compositions of side one to play over and over on your turntable. From the opening strains of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel Waltz" that segue into "Tunnel Of Love," to the energetic description of the roller girl in "Skateaway," it was obvious that Knopfler's ambitions were keeping pace with his growth as a song writer. "Skateaway" could be one of the best songs ever written about the relationship between radio and a music lover;
"She gets rock and roll from a rock and roll station,
and a rock and roll dream.
She's making movies on location,
she don't know what it means.
But the music makes her want to be the story,
and the story was whatever was the song what it was.
Rollergirl, don't worry, the DJ plays the music
all night long."
"Skateaway" was a hit that got away in the years preceding "Money For Nothing." If you can linger on the brilliance of that song, "Tunnel Of Love" and "Romeo And Juliet," and ignore the pedestrian rock that adorns the second half (and a pox on the hideous "Les Boys"), then "Making Movies" will satisfy you. But if you're just looking for a casual listen to Dire Straits, there are other, better, albums to explore.
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I have all the vinyl records as well...Read more