Dire Straits & Alchemy Live Album

Dire Straits & Alchemy Live Album


As we know Dire Straits from 1978 to its end in 1995 as a band was a one of the greatest in the world. All members were legends for the fans who listened to them. The famous songs that they made, have really huge impact on fans. That powerful guitar from Mark Knopfler and rhythm from other members was really special and made a change in the era of punk music.

We can now discuss and write big texts for music and their songs, but the point is to see how much their Live Albums have contributed to the band to become more known in the world. The first live album that Dire Straits released is double album and named Alchemy: Dire Straits Live. For many people this album is known like one of the best albums.

Album was recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in London between 22 and 23 July 1983 on the final two concerts of Dire Straits at the eight-month Love Over Gold Tour where Dire Straits promoted their album Love Over Gold.

Hammersmith Odeon till 1992, now known as Hammersmith Apollo.

The concerts were recorded by Mike McKenna using the Rolling Stones Mobile unit. Nigel Walker was the recording engineer, and recording was mixed at AIR Studios in London 1983. Also many of the songs have reworked arrangements or extended improvisational segments. Album was released on 16 March 1984 by Vertigo Records internationally, and by Warner Bros.

Alchemy Dire Straits Live Album – contains the band’s best known and favourite fans songs from their first four albums, the ExtendedancEPlay and the Local Hero – soundtrack by Mark Knopfler.

The album cover artwork was adapted from a section of a painting by – Brett Whiteley titled Alchemy 1974. Alchemy is a hypothetical process once believed to turn ordinary elements into gold. The image of a guitar with lips held by a hand was added for the album design. The original painting, done between 1972 and 1973, was composed of many different elements on 18 wood panels.

Alchemy 1974 by Brett Whiteley.
Alchemy 1974 by Brett Whiteley & 18 Wood Panels.

Critic William Ruhlmann for “All Music” wrote on the album – “There is an interesting contrast between the music which is slow and moody, with Mark Knopfler’s vocals and large helpings of his fingerpicking on which sounds like an Spanish guitar, and the audience response. The arena-size crowd cheers wildly, and claps and sings along when given half a chance, as though each song were an up-tempo rocker.”

Ruhlmann concludes, “The CD version of the album contains one extra track, “Love Over Gold” which adds a needed change of pace to the otherwise slow-moving first disc.”

All songs on the album were written by Mark Knopfler. Album contains 4 sides. Side one has two songs “Once Upon A Time In The West” and “Romeo And Juliet”. Side two has three big popular songs – “Expresso Love”, “Private Investigations” and “Sultans of Swing”. Side three contains two love songs the “Two Young Lovers” and “Tunnel of Love” and the fourth side contains three songs “Telegraph Road”, “Solid Rock” and theme from the “Local Hero – Going Home”.

The video release of the “Concert film” was originally released in VHS video cassette and digitally remastered in 1995. DVD and Blu-Ray Disc version were released in May 2010. The song “Love over Gold” is not included in the video, just like the original album, but is available on the compilation Sultans of Swing: The Very Best of Dire Straits. This album has been ranked as the best album ever by the fans.

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