Dire Straits - On Every Street
Dire straits reached the pinnacle of their commercial success during the mid 80s. Mark Knopfler recalls his brother-in-law trying to reach him on the phone yet being unable to do so. Amidst self ironic critique and alarming realisations about one losing his true self, the opener “Calling Elvis” was manifested, and for a big chunk of their fan base this is the one track standing out from this release. I think differently: the change of direction in Every Street contains some of the most mature efforts Mark and co. exhibited, yet the basis of lyrical content – storytelling - superseding the musical aspect in some of the tunes present here, may provide explanation for the above ranking misplacement of this album. This is an introspective lowdown on Mark’s aesthetics, not a low point in Dire Straits Discography.
“Fade to Black & You and your friend”
With regard to the third interval not substance, these are minor tracks.
I would never dare Mark, to prove that he is a capable blues guitar player, by asking him to play 12 bars. That is not because I'm afraid he won’t deliver, but because I am certain he will. You see, no guitar player can give himself credit for being one of the greats without knowing how to play the blues. Having said that, remember, this was 1991 and by then Mr. Knopfler had proven his craftiness on numerous minor and major occasions guitarwise; I'm glad he did however elaborate his song writing skills into these two tracks.
Regarding “Heavy Fuel” I will be damnatory... not because it’s a bad song, neither because this seems just a hint out of context against the rest of the album tunes but because of plagiarism. Admit it Mark-you stole the lyrics from Lemmy plus this particular song may be good but it would be great if Lemmy covered it. It’s imperative to add that by no means I would like to indulge into the surrealism of Lemmy covering anything else out of this album, as Dali or Pollock would provide amateurish reference points moving onwards. Then comes “Iron Hand”, which is a showcase of Mark creating soundscapes… or landscapes… colour scapes. When adding blood red to mix with green you’ll get an earthly colour, soil under blue sky maybe, perhaps English land. Sky being blue on occasion and us standing on soil, Mark cares to remind us - black is not always the sum of its parts. Some of you may not be familiar with the events pertaining to the battle of Orgreave... check it out and then tell me if someone other than Mark could find a more amiable way to throw down an iron gauntlet in front of a certain “lady” (Why isn’t he knighted").
A lyricist possessing the knack - a lady certainly had it in an aforementioned tune, not the iron lady though - should be able to create frames open to interpretation, especially after having presented credentials of him being concise, straight forward and to the point. Mark has the credentials and all the ability in this world on telling stories: the straight and the pliable, the sacred & profane…
On Every Street there’s no objectivity regarding interpretation whatsoever, and I don’t think Mark wants you to believe there is. This is non linear genius verbal and auditory narrative craftsmanship; nonetheless, it's musically flowing unlike my ensuing sentence in effort of interpretation. You won’t be able to tell if - he/she/it- left you, if you hurt -him/her/it - and/or if somebody else did. You can be the hero, the anti-hero or even the villain, most possibly all three of them and most certainly alone. One thing Knopfler definitely won’t give out is the answer to if you are ever going to find it again. He pities you in case you never got a taste of it in the first place and during the more than pertinent six string outro - Mark deplores you for not trying, then continues his investigation guitar on hand…
This was the last Dire Straits album. From this point forward Mark would solo his parties now and then, always a great host, never casual though… after all and although knowing its secrets, his ethos has always exhibited distaste for coagulated musical casein.