Ex-bassist player from Dire Straits – John Illsley has released his second song for his new solo album VIII. The title of the song is “It’s A Long Way Back”, and it was released on February 21st, 2022, one month after releasing the first song called “Which Way is Up”.
An interesting moment about this song is that the lyrics include several titles from the songs of Dire Straits.
This significantly points to the fact that John retrospectively covered in this song all the important elements from the beginning of the creation of Dire Straits – where he actually has started his career.
With Dire Straits, John has been the recipient of multiple BRIT and Grammy Awards and a Heritage Award. As one of the founding band members, with Mark Knopfler, his brother David and drummer Pick Withers, John played a major role in the development of the Dire Straits’ sound.
And just because of these things, John’s new song is reminiscent of the sound, soul, and rhythm of the Dire Straits vibes.
From the reactions of the fans through social media, the song received a lot of positive praises. In most cases, this song has brought back all the memories of the fans from the days when Dire Straits were still on the stage and creating hits.
This time John had a really wonderful team to work with it on his VIII album. Also, all the videos for the VIII album were directed by Dennis Madden from Koala Films.
On this project, John has worked alongside:
- Steve Smith on keyboards,
- Scott Mckeon as lead guitar and gut-strung guitar,
- Robbie McIntosh on electric guitar,
- Melvin Duffy on pedal steel guitar,
- Paul Beavis on drums and percussion,
- Hannah Robinson as backing vocals and percussion as well as Jessica Van de Bogaerde and DeeDee Illsley on backing vocals.
For those who didn’t know, John has two daughters, DeeDee and Jessica Illsley. They’re both very talented and sometimes they’re working with him on the projects as backing vocals. In 2014 they have worked with John on the album Testing the Water as backing vocals.
“It’s A Long Way Back” definitely has that early Dire Straits sound, including the rhythm and wonderful lyrics. If you’re listening carefully to this song, you’ll find out that a very little touch of the Dire Straits debut album sounds can be felt in this song.
Also, John has an awesome performance that sounds great, and the fast-paced rhythm of the melody especially attracts attention. Illsley’s personal style, spirit, and soul of the music come true with a magnificent band.
Besides that, this brilliant heartfelt song, reflect tribute with a great groove and vibe to the old sound, spirit, and days of Dire Straits.
Singing through the song, John mentions “In The Gallery”, “Six Blade Knife” and “On Every Street”. Also, the line “Once there was a river, now there’s a stream” – reminded of “Water of Love” (“Once there was a river, now there’s a stone”).
It’s a really fantastic lyric and it is worth taking the time to listen carefully and with a lot of love. The song lasts for almost six minutes, and for every Dire Straits fan, this is really one of the special songs made by John Illsley.
You can also download the single from all music streaming services and order your copy of VIII album – HERE. We hope that you liked this blog post. Listen to the song and give your comment below.