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Dire Straits Making Movies
Old 3rd February 2019
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
BoomWomb's Avatar
 

Dire Straits Making Movies

never paid much attention to this band until hearing on this site glowing reviews of the first two albums. I have since fallen in love with those two records. I grew up near the ocean, so I know the silence and the ambience, and it is not hard to imagine how recording in Bermuda make have allowed for these absolutely to my ear sublime productions.

So, after reading on iTunes glowing and intelligent reviews of the third record, Making Movies, I decided to download it.

To my ears, which admittedly are novice, it is a sonic horror. The snare is terrible. Did snares immediately turn to **** in 1980? I see that it was recorded by Jimmy Iovine in NYC. Immediately, I began to wonder about the horrific sound of NYC, and how literally being there may have damaged temporarily the hearing of the band; I know, exaggeration, well, so not literally damaged then, but I wonder if somehow NYC made their hearing brutal and inelegant.

The record reminds me of things I don't like about Springsteen.
Hey, I am definitely a novice recordist 3 years in, and an amateur musician.
But, has anyone else ever wondered if a location of a famous record led to a disappointing listening experience?
Old 3rd February 2019
  #2
Quote:
But, has anyone else ever wondered if a location of a famous record led to a disappointing listening experience?
You can say for for just about every location. There are pros and cons
Quote:
I began to wonder about the horrific sound of NYC, and how literally being there may have damaged temporarily the hearing of the band;
Man, there's been thousands of great songs recorded in NYC.
If you do not like the sound of something, the City is not to blame.
Old 3rd February 2019
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
BoomWomb's Avatar
 

perhaps it was all in my feeble imagination and the comparison i made between the two locations.

however isn't it possible that background noise could radically change the perception of the musicians? if you are living day to day in a cacophonous concrete jungle and then traveling to an isolated recording studio.....

hey what do i know. just seems to me that something magical was lost for this guys with this third record. i know, purely subjective
Old 3rd February 2019
  #4
Quote:
however isn't it possible that background noise could radically change the perception of the musicians?
Your missing something. musicians are never in total charge of their sound in the studio, with a few exceptions.

Producers and the engineers will get the best sound from them in a studio and street noise form a city will not tire their ears. By the time you get set up and ready for recording, at least 30 minutes to a couple hours has passed and your ears have accustomed to the new quit environment
Old 6th February 2019
  #5
Gear Addict
 
PrettyGone's Avatar
 

You are right - Making Movies does sounds worse than the first two albums.

I am a huge DS fan and have often wondered why it sounds worse.

One possible reason is that MK came in for some criticism when Communique was released as it sounded too much like the first album. He might have been trying to find a new sound.

Specifically, it's possible that he was trying to find a middle ground between the root-rock sounds of the first two albums and the then dominant new-wave sounds popular in the US. (Billy Joel tried a similar trick with "It's Still Rock'n'Roll To Me' from his 1980 Glass Houses album.) I think some of the production decisions, especially the drum sounds, were made for that reason. If you listen to some J.Geils Band or the Cars from the same time you'll hear what I mean.

Furthermore, Sultans of Swing had been a belated hit in the US in 1979 and MK would likely have been mindful of consolidating his success. Hiring a 'hot' producer to shape the sound to be little more contemporary and 'America friendly' probably seemed like a wise move:- as well as producing Springsteen, Jimmy Iovine had just finished Tom Petty's break-through Damn The Torpedos album.

Having said all that, it is still strange that the album sounds the way it does - Damn The Torpedos and Born To Run sound amazing. Maybe in trying to find a middle ground between New Wave and Springsteen things just didn't quite work out! Or maybe they were all just doing loads of coke! I dunno.

Needless to say, the whole album is obviously influenced by Springsteen, particularly the Wild, Innocent and E Street Band Album. It certainly occupies a similar sonic territory and even some of the songs share an aesthetic (especially 4th July, Asbury Park and Incident on 57th Street)

Weirdly, Making Movies is often cited as DS best album. This is probably due to the presence of Romeo and Juliet; I suspect many people overlook the strange production of the rest of the songs!
Old 8th February 2019
  #6
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b0se's Avatar
Agreed, it sounds awful; harsh and squashed (both width and height). The antithesis of Brothers In Arms.

Big DS fan also.
Old 8th February 2019
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
BoomWomb's Avatar
 

Pretty Gone,thanks. Yeah at this point I hate making movies. I also did wonder if it was perhaps made worse by cocaine. the first two albums are truly sublime, and they were my first real look at DS (I was a child in the 80's but for some reason mostly always ignored the video about moving refrigerators and color tee veeeeees; even as a child the 80's did not interest me, because I somehow knew it was sonic ****, and, as a baby, I did not have access to cocaine.)

If you are a DS fan, is there anything MK has done on par with the first two records? I feel like I cannot trust most of his fans reviews on iTunes now, since I can't stand Making Movies and all his fans love it.

appreciate if you can point me toward some more MK that I can actually use
Old 8th February 2019
  #8
Deleted c2a9416
Guest
Whhhaaat?? Tunnel of Love. Never noticed the snare until now, just sublime guitar tones, great playing and instrument interaction.
Gotta be their greatest song??

yeah I hear the snare now ..fk

So lead snare ain't fashionable then?
Old 8th February 2019
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
BoomWomb's Avatar
 

It's personal preference and I'm not sure that I don't like a loud snare, I just don't like a Jimmy Iovine and whatever else situation that lead to the cocaine snare on Making Movies. Some of you were living the time of your lives in the 80's. I was not. I was a small child who loved the Beatles and even then I knew they sounded gooey and smeary and (I didn't know what to call it) flange-y, and I knew Madonna sucked, and Kiss sucked, and a lot of the stuff on MTV sucked. I don't know how I knew it sucked. But it seems clear to me now that the old school production values made an immediate difference to me, though I can't be sure why. I hated the 80's. I want to discover more of what I assume must be great about Dire Straights, because those first two records completely blow me away. I know it's also possible that they never went into those realms again, and that the rest of their career was driven by the changes that we all face in life which take us often further away from really being present for aesthetics. I just hope that's not the case. I know the band is all about the old school production values now, but on iTunes MK recent solo efforts don't have reassuring reviews.
Old 20th February 2019
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomWomb View Post
Pretty Gone,thanks. Yeah at this point I hate making movies. I also did wonder if it was perhaps made worse by cocaine. the first two albums are truly sublime, and they were my first real look at DS (I was a child in the 80's but for some reason mostly always ignored the video about moving refrigerators and color tee veeeeees; even as a child the 80's did not interest me, because I somehow knew it was sonic ****, and, as a baby, I did not have access to cocaine.)

If you are a DS fan, is there anything MK has done on par with the first two records? I feel like I cannot trust most of his fans reviews on iTunes now, since I can't stand Making Movies and all his fans love it.

appreciate if you can point me toward some more MK that I can actually use
Everything he's done post Dire Straits is with Chuck Ainlay, so sounds fantastic.

My personal fave is Ragpicker's Dream; more acoustic, rich and beautiful. "Sailing to Philadelphia" is also fantastic, if a bit more on the polished "on every street" vibe.

"Golden Heart" has a few weak songs, but the playing and production also amazing. I love the more leftfield songs on here - "Done with Bonaparte" is Knopfler's folk masterpiece IMO.

I don't know the later albums that well - I've been lazy in checking them out - heard Shangri-La a bit and that's good too, but I can't imagine you'd be disappointed.

"Making Movies" isn't my fave DS album by any means (I also love the first 2 albums, and find the middle period a bit overblown) but "Tunnel of Love"/"Romeo and Juliet" still sound fine to me.
Old 20th February 2019
  #11
PS I wouldn't listen to iTunes reviews - you have access to spotify, check them out for yourself!
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