Love over Gold is all about contrast, tension, and composition. Dire Straits’ fourth album finds the ensemble continuing to evolve by welcoming increasingly bold rrangements and exploring moody variations. Parts edgy and sharp, and parts seductive and relaxed, the five extended songs on Love over Gold sprawl out like a long,
winding road cutting through a pastoral landscape. The addition of a new rhythm guitarist, Hal Lindes, encourages deeper atmospheric interplay. Taking its time to arrive at destinations, the quintet paints evocative portraits steeped in patience, drama, and, often times, sadness. Leader Mark Knopfler remains in top form throughout, his
whiskey-coated rasp conveying romantic ache, ongoing frustration, and what Rolling Stone beautifully deemed “wracking schizophrenia between the heart and the heartless, the loving and the pain.”
Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s 180g 45RPM 2LP set and hybrid SACD of Love over Gold teem with superb balances, front-to-back soundstages, and crystalline purity. Gear heads will hear the unique characteristics afforded by Knopfler’s use of a Mesa Boogie Mark II guitar amplifier (employed
again on Brothers in Arms) and carefully chosen selection of Schecter Stratocasters, a 1937 National steel guitar, and Ovation six- and twelve-string models. Reference-level separation places Dire Straits in your room while tube-like warmth and airiness cause the music to breathe anew. On these reissues, everything seemingly
turns to gold.