Album review: Dire Straits, On Every Street (1991)

 

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 19, 1991

By Steve Newton

What the hell happened to Dire Straits over the years? When the band’s debut album came out in ’78, you were hard-pressed to find one song on it that wasn’t a gem. Thirteen years later, it’s the exact opposite: you’ve gotta search to find anything on the new album worth listening to.

Things start off on a bad note with the opening track, “Calling Elvis”. The whole Elvis thing is boring—it has been for ages—and so is this tune. If we all haven’t heard “Money for Nothing” enough times already, here’s another version of it, in the guise of “Heavy Fuel”. Need another “Walk of Life”, anybody? No problem—here’s “The Bug”. Then there’s “When It Comes to You”, a tune that sounds like one of J.J. Cale’s rejects.

Being influenced by the guy is one thing, but blindly ripping off his style is another.

Was Mark Knopfler at a total loss for ideas when he flicked the tape machine on for On Every Street? It’s been six years since he last made an album with Dire Straits. If he can’t do any better than this, he might as well wait another six for the next one.

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