Review by JimiDiscs September 3, 2010 (13 of 17 found this review helpful)
|With the rather long lead time for this release, my assumptions about its quality wavered. But why should I worry? There was a Winwood involved in the production, Steve's brother Muff produced, so it had to come out well. I think I may have underestimated what they could do with this album sonically.
It sounds superb. Of course, the quality of the material and the playing have long kept this album actively played on my sound system. But it never sounded like this. I never imagined it could sound like this. The vinyl can be a bit murky by comparison and the CDs, in their various re-mastering states, never hinted at the warmth and cohesive tone this version displays.
To get it out of the way, this is one of my all-time favorite albums. It is the best Bob Dylan album Bob Dylan never did. The lyrics are flavored by a proud son of Britain, and they flow so well with a musical accompaniment that is at once distinctive and unique yet delicate and full bodied. It is one of those rare albums that if the songs were stripped to bare bones, they would still excel and the music could stand on its own if it were an instrumental only work. If put together they propel the listener to a world Knopfler and company build for them.
As for the sound, this presentation is one of the finest recorded works I have ever heard. The lows are full, extended and natural. The highs are clear and smooth. The mids give each instrument the space it deserves. The stereo mix is well balanced. The imaging from front to back is well maintained. They even seem to get you to feel it as Knopfler moves his guitar to 'squeeze' out the the ringing tomes on his guitar.
If you favor Dire Straits, this is their best album at its best sounding. If you are unfamiliar with the band, what a great place to start. If you do not like the band, you will after you hear this version.
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