Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Live at the BBC
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Japanese-only SHM-CD (Super High Material CD) paper sleeve pressing of this classic 1995 album. SHM-CDs can be played on any audio player and delivers unbelievably high-quality sound. You won't believe it's the same CD! Un... more »
Japanese-only SHM-CD (Super High Material CD) paper sleeve pressing of this classic 1995 album. SHM-CDs can be played on any audio player and delivers unbelievably high-quality sound. You won't believe it's the same CD! Universal. 2008.
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Great Live Album from the Straits
Patrick Edward Etheridge | Titusville,FL | 10/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Dire Straits have put out two other live recordings, and some would argue that this one was unnesessary to release. However, this is a great live recording of their early days that showcases their original line up. For me, the highlights are a, very close to album version of "Sultans Of Swing," and "Tunnel Of Love." However, you feel a lot of energy from the band throughout, and this is definetly worth buying for any fan of the group. This sort of completes the trifecta of live releases for the band that showcases their early, middle, and late parts of their band history."
Jordan Lanni | USA | 05/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Live at the BBC" was the final album on Mark Knopfler's contract for Dire Straits, and it was the third completely live album to be released by the band (first being Alchemy and second On the Night). This album consists of eight songs, the first seven recorded in 1978 and the eighth in 1981.
I must admit that I was not a fan of this album on first hearing, but I grow fonder of it with every listen. The performances are simply the songs from the studio albums, but they carry that live feel that Knopfler feeds off of - they aren't just lifted off the records and played over. I find these recordings to be particularly enjoyable due to Knopfler's shy and brief descriptions and introductions for each song. To hear Knopfler describe a song as a "strange idea" always makes me chuckle.
The liner booklet is sans lyrics but includes a nice retrospective, two-page history of the band and brief information regarding these recordings, written by Charlie Gillett in 1995. It also includes one picture of each band member. The overall album art flows well, consisting mainly of sepia-tone and grayscale themes (if that's important to someone like you, or like me).
My favourite tracks, out of eight, are "What's the Matter Baby?," "Wild West End," and "Down to the Waterline." "What's the Matter Baby?" was co-written by Knopfler's brother David, but it was never officially released on a studio album, which is a shame because it's a good song.
Overall, this is a stripped-down recording, laid back and you could really picture any of these songs played in places that Knopfler has haunted over the years. It's not the greatest live album ever or the best release from Dire Straits but it provides a more intimate look into the then-four man band before they were famous."
Good Is Not Great
Edward Rasen Jr. | Maui | 04/19/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"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. I think he listened to the sound check and simply pre-set the levels. He certainly was not "riding" the levels. Remember BBC engineers are basically government employees and cannot be fired for doing an adequate job. Nor do they receive any bonus for doing a great job.
The mix is pedestrian. John Illsley on bass lacks both bottom and defined mid-range. David Knopfler is never more than a background strum. I think "On The Night," is a much better DS live album. And those reviewers who claim this is the greatest live album apparently have only listened to this album. I am not going to compile a list of great live albums because everyone has different musical tastes but besides being inferior to "On The Night," this album pales compared to "Tripping the Live Fantastic," by Paul McCartney and his 1990 world-tour band. And, in case you don't know, Mark is a fan of Paul, John and George.
Some DS fans say they like this album because it is not as polished as "Alchemy," the DS two-CD live album. That is personal taste. But, this album is not inspiring. If you have seen DS in person then you know the difference. That does not imply it is bad. It just doesn't rock as good as other performances.
If you want a document of early DS, this is a good album but, not worth buying if you own "Dire Straits," or "On The Night," or "Alchemy." If you think Mark is Christ reincarnated then you may think this is the greatest live album in the history of rock. I seriously doubt Mark would make such claim since I have never read an interview with Mark in which he stakes such heritage. Nor have I heard him claim to walk on water.
I gave this three stars because it is not as good as other DS albums, whether live or studio. And, certainly not even close to some live DS performances I have seen. But, I want to reiterate, that does not imply it is a bad or mediocre album. Good is not great when it comes to Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits. Paul McCartney and other exceptional artists face the same problem. The bar is much higher for those who are great and therefore we expect more.
Mark and DS have performed much better on other albums. Take my word for it."