I don’t care what Dire Straits album I am listening to, I always love Mark Knopfler’s guitar playing. He had a fluid, finger picking elegance in his playing that had a twinge of country and the roots of rock. An almost forgotten record today, “Making Movies” was Dire Straits’ third album and one of their best, despite not having any really big hits. It was the consistency of the songs, Knopfler’s distinct sound, and the rest of the band’s ability to accentuate that sound perfectly that propelled this 1980 gem to platinum sales (over a million copies sold) in the US and double platinum in the UK. It also ranked #52 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Best Albums of the Eighties.
When I grew up listening to my dad’s music on the record player, Chet Atkins was always a guitarist I admired. It came as no surprise to me decades later when I read an interview in which Knopfler cited Atkins as a big influence. Chet Atkins also had that same fluid finger picking style that affixed me to Knopfler’s sound. Chet just had more of a country foundation with a touch of jazz. But you know, in the end it’s all the same. When you get right down to it, innovation and talent will always inspire innovative and talented players. And in rock and roll, Mark Knopfler is one of the most innovative and talented guitarists that has ever been.
I really wish I had a copy of “Making Movies” that had a cover in better condition. I picked this copy up from a local library when they were selling off their old records. Like an idiot, I tried to remove the catalog card from the cover and it tore a section of the artwork off with it. At least the record itself is in pristine shape. In the end that’s what really matters the most.