There is an interesting contrast on this 94-minute double-disc live album (recorded at London's Hammersmith Odeon in July 1983) between the music, much of which is slow and moody, with Mark Knopfler's muttered vocals and large helpings of his fingerpicking on what sounds like an amplified Spanish guitar, and the audience response. The arena-size crowd cheers wildly, and claps and sings along when given half a chance, as though each song were an up-tempo rocker. When they do have a song of even medium speed, such as "Sultans ...
There is an interesting contrast on this 94-minute double-disc live album (recorded at London's Hammersmith Odeon in July 1983) between the music, much of which is slow and moody, with Mark Knopfler's muttered vocals and large helpings of his fingerpicking on what sounds like an amplified Spanish guitar, and the audience response. The arena-size crowd cheers wildly, and claps and sings along when given half a chance, as though each song were an up-tempo rocker. When they do have a song of even medium speed, such as "Sultans of Swing" or "Solid Rock," they are in ecstasy. That Dire Straits' introspective music loses much of its detail in a live setting matters less than that it gains presence and a sense of anticipation. Alan Clark's keyboards help to fill out the sound and give Knopfler's spare melodies a certain majesty, but Dire Straits remains an overgrown bar band with a Bob Dylan fixation, and that's exactly how the crowd likes it. [The CD version of the album contains one extra track, "Love Over Gold," which adds a needed change of pace to the otherwise slow-moving first disc.] ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
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This item is a 2x vinyl record album and has been visually graded. Both VG-, a few wisps and hairlines each disc. Gatefold sleeve same with mild rubbing and some light ring-/edge-wear. UK press; VERY 11, A//4 B//3, A//2 B//3 Sleeve Condition: VERY GOOD 1st pressing World of Rare Books Item ref. vinyl1505371948HMB (Use this ID when enquiring about this item. )
A serious fan, has no trouble following Dire straits career. The first couple of albums with the "American" sound, then the change in direction with "Making movies" and after that the almost "progressive" attempt with "Love over gold" and the rock 'n' roll intermission with "Dance E.P.". But all these changes, surely baffled many people, trying to categorize them. The "Alchemy-live" double album was a revelation for both fans and casual listeners. Many live albums work as "best of" compilations, and this one does the same, but only as far as the choice of tracks. The reworking of most of their songs, with exquisite keyboards and lengthy guitar solos, blends them together in such a way, that anybody can see the lines joining the dots and the whole picture.
Only one track from each of the first two albums, but transformed in completely new songs, over 12 minutes each. "Once upon a time in the west" set the tone, and in an almost cinematic way, starts the album. "Sultans of swing" is the centerpiece, not just because it is placed in the middle of the concert, but mostly because it proves better than any other track in the album, that a track can be new every time it is played live, even if you have heard it a million times. Four songs come from the "Making movies" album. "Tunnel of love" with it's lengthy intro and powerful climax and "Romeo and Juliet", which becomes even more powerful than the studio recording, on odd thing if one considers the nature of the song. "Expresso love" and "Solid rock" are strong rock 'n' roll tracks placed fittingly, second and last but one, respectively, in order to raise spirits, in this celebration of music. Same goes with "Two young lovers" from "Dance E.P.". And then there are three more songs from "Love over gold" album, their recent hit, at the time. It is the magnum opus "Telegraph road", the almost theatrical and yet mystifying "Private investigations", and for the owners of the CD version of the album (not included in the vinyl version), the lovely "Love over gold". For the concert's end, the band plays magnificently, the theme from the film "Local hero", a Mark Knopfler penned soundtrack, with the appropriate title: "Going home".
An exquisite live recording, that works perfectly for both keen fans and new listeners and set the bar high for any live recording since. (The note on the back sleeve "...contains no re-recordings or overdubs..." says it all!) The video of the show is of the highest quality as well, and perhaps it gives a more accurate picture of the band and tracks, since it didn't have the limitations of vinyl or CD, time wise.