One hazard of being on the retail side of the audio biz is that you end up hearing a lot of the same music—ad nauseam. And while I haven’t sold high-end gear for 16 years now, it’s taken that long for me to again enjoy, say, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon or Stravinsky’s Firebird. (As to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours or the 1812 Overture, uh, let’s not go there.)
Dire Straits’ 1982 Love Over Gold might well have remained on that never-want- to-hear-it-again list, if not for Warner’s outstanding new reissue mastered by Bernie Grundman and plated and pressed at Pallas in Germany. A five- song collection, filled with lengthy, highly atmospheric instrumental passages and Dylanesque lyric imagery—most strongly exemplified on the 14-minutes-long “Telegraph Road,” and the following “Private Investigations”—Love Over Gold remains the band’s high-water mark. It was also the first Dire Straits album to be entirely produced by bandleader Mark Knopfler, and the sound is a knockout. Granted, that sound is tinged with a bit of 80s, in-your-face brightness. But it also possesses real instrumental body, bottom-end punch, and a remarkably wide dynamic range. And the famous, sometimes eerie, sense of air and space is tremendously appealing, these nearly 20 years on.