25085-1 Alchemy
Produced by Mark Knopfler
Released on January 1, 1984
UK CHART POSITION #3 . . . US CHART POSITION #46 . . . GOLD RECORD (7/27/01)
Find it at GEMM
25085-1 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

I t’s not a question of alchemy but simple math: ten songs divided by two albums equals a series of small musical marathons that might test the limits of the casual listener. However, if you count yourself as a fan of the band, Alchemy transforms what might be a slow night for some into a magical evening for others. Dire Straits’ 1983 tour lingers over its songs in a long kiss, keen on creating anticipation and drama, and then delivering the goods to the delight of fans. The swell of enthusiasm that greets a “Romeo and Juliet” or “Tunnel of Love,” performed while the audience sings along as to a dream remembered, is the brass ring that all musicians hope to reach on stage. Few artists ever achieve that sort of synergy with their listeners, but the kinship shared in songs like “Once Upon A Time In The West” and “Private Investigations” is the closest thing to a Dead concert that many of Dire Straits’ fans will experience. This is a celebration of the band’s artistry and storytelling, delivered with due reverence and occasional fire (“Expresso Love,” “Solid Rock”). Mark Knopfler is such a compelling communicator (especially when he plays guitar) that the remaining members sometimes get lost in the audio presentation. Tommy Mandel and Mel Collins are vital in supporting roles, the latter playing Clarence Clemons to Knopfler’s Springsteen on “Two Young Lovers.” The track selection may surprise some, passing over radio hits like “Industrial Disease” and “Twistin’ By The Pool” for lesser known material like the theme to the film Local Hero or “Telegraph Road,” but these audiences are well educated in the Dire discography and seem to relish the more obscure material. Obviously, neophytes needn’t dive neck deep into the pool with Alchemy until they’ve tested the waters first.

25085-1 inner gatefold 25085-1 back cover
25085-1 inner gatefold 25085-1 back cover

TRACK LISTING

    record one
  1. ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST    13:01
  2. ROMEO AND JULIET    8:24
  3. EXPRESSO LOVE    5:41
  4. (*CD/CS bonus track:) LOVE OVER GOLD
  5. PRIVATE INVESTIGATIONS    7:16
  6. SULTANS OF SWING    10:53

    record two
  7. TWO YOUNG LOVERS    4:51
  8. INTRO: EXTRACT FROM THE CAROUSEL WALTZ/TUNNEL OF LOVE    (Intro by Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II)    14:43
  9. TELEGRAPH ROAD    13:00
  10. SOLID ROCK    5:35
  11. GOING HOME - THEME FROM "LOCAL HERO"    5:09

    All songs written by Mark Knopfler unless noted

CREDITS

ALAN CLARK -- keyboards
JOHN ILLSLEY -- bass
MARK KNOPFLER -- guitar & vocals
HAL LINDES -- guitar
TERRY WILLIAMS -- drums
Mel Collins - saxophone
Joop De Korte -- percussion
Tommy Mandel -- additional keyboards
Mick McKenna -- engineer
Nigel Walker -- mixing engineer
Brett Whiteley -- artwork
Pennie Smith -- photos
C->More->Tone Studios -- design

return to DIRE STRAITS discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK January 1, 1984 Vertigo 2LP/2CD/CS VERY11 gatefold cover
US January 1, 1984 Warner Bros. 2LP/2CD/CS 25085 gatefold cover, Quiex II pressing
CAN 1984 Vertigo 2LP VOT 23335  
FRA/GER/ISR/NET 1984 Vertigo 2LP 818 243 gatefold cover
JPN 1984 Vertigo 2LP 20PP78/9  
UK 1990 Polygram LD 082.740-1 laser disc
US June 3, 1996 Universal/Vertigo 2CD 818 243 digital remaster
RUS   CD-Maximum 2CD 0101-576/7  

 

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