The performances on Dire Straits’ Communiqué are so smooth and of the band’s breakout debut. Time, however, has a way of exposing the truth. More than 35 years after its original release, Communiqué rightfully takes its place as the group’s most underrated record—a set spiked with engaging storytelling, relaxed vibes, and deceiving
simplicity. Dire Straits’ technical perfectionism and creative élan prevail throughout. Leader Mark Knopfler’s penchant for sketching cynical characters is further developed on moody tracks like “News,” while producer Jerry Wexler ensures the band keeps the rhythms tight. The quartet’s low-key blues and Southern-styled grooves turn every song into an exercise in understated virtuosity.
Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s 180g 45RPM 2LP set and hybrid SACD of Communiqué elevate Dire Straits’ sophomore album to an even higher plane. Details, imaging, and presence are on a level associated with the finest audiophile recordings. The reissues also bring into transparent view Knopfler’s seemingly perfect intricate lines as well as the simpatico accompaniment from his band mates. Whole and balanced, the bass and drums arrive with a solidity rarely heard on albums of this era. Communiqué has never sounded better.