DIRE STRAITS – MAKING MOVIES
Released October 17, 1980- 35 years ago
Characterized by laid-back blues-rock with jazz and country inflections that occasionally develop into epic prog-rock overtures, Mark Knopfler’s guitar virtuosity – equal parts B. B. King, Wes Montgomery, and Jimi Hendrix – and his Dylan-esque stream-of-conscious narratives are on prominent display here. Dire Straits 3rd studio album ranks among the band’s finest works.
The Classic Pick is a weekly feature at 4pm M-F on The Home Stretch, sponsored by the Good Oak Bar and curated by Kris Kerry. Each Monday at 4pm Kris stops by KXCI’s studio to give us insight on this classic album.
While Dire Straits emerged at a time that punk and post-punk were developing in the UK, their sound owed little to punk and more to early 1970s album-oriented rock acts like Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, and the jazz-inspired Steely Dan.
Making Movies was one of the band’s most successful albums, reaching 19 on the Billboard 200, 6 on the Australian charts and 4 on the UK charts. It was certified “platinum” in the US and “double platinum” in the UK.
Making Movie’s is considered one of the band’s best, and has been lauded by critics since it’s release. Rolling Stone ranks it number 52 on their list of 100 Best Albums from the 1980s.
Making Movies was co-produced by Knopfler and Jimmy Iovine. Iovine is a legendary engineer/producer and all-around 400lb gorilla of the music industry. In addition to receiving producer/engineer credit on such classic albums as Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run, Patty Smith’s Easter, Steive Nicks’ Bella Donna, Tom Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes, U2’s Under a Blood Red Sky, and Pretenders’ Get Close among others, he also co-founded Interscope Records and co-founded Beats headphone company with Dr. Dre.
Making Movies was recorded at the Power Station in New York, NY in June of 1980. Now called Avatar Studios, it has recorded countless acts, movie and TV soundtracks.
Mark Knopfler was always the driving force behind Dire Straits. He was the band’s lead singer, songwriter and guitarist. While the band was founded with his brother, David Knopfler, who left the band during early phases of recording Making Movies, from that point on Dire Straits was essentially a Mark Knopfler project. Although, it should be noted that bassist, John Illsley was a member of the band throughout the band’s life and drummer Pick Withers was with the band for majority of releases.
Knopfler has always been hailed as an amazing guitarist, being listed as number 27 on Rolling Stone’s list 100 Greatest Guitarists of All-Time.
In addition to Dire Straits, Knopfler has released 8 solo albums, and has also recorded with Chet Atkins, Emmylou Harris, James Taylor, Brian Ferry, Eric Clapton and Van Morrison among others. He’s also produced albums for Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, and Randy Newman.
Knopfler has also produced and recorded several film scores, including The Princess Bride (1987). He’s won three Grammys and has received three honorary doctorates from UK universities.
Dire Straits toured as support for Talking Heads in 1977.
Dire Straits are not in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. They have never even been nominated.