Mobile Fidelity - MFSL2-467 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
Mastered by Kreig Wunderlich
Numbered Limited Edition - Pressed at RTI
Half Speed Mastered on the Mobile Fidelity The Gain 2 System
1/4" inch / 15 IPS Analog Master to DSD 256 to analog console to lathe
This much-loved (by audiophiles) 'difficult second album', swiftly delivered in 1979, has survived the past 40 years as a safe, 'more of the same' experience, a sequel to their debut in every way. It's more confident and polished, but not a great departure from its predecessor, and that's a goodly portion of its strength. Dire Straits are a default 'hi-fi' band, like Toto or Steely Dan, where the listener knows what to expect (that the sound quality will match the music) and you can only scorn such groups if you're a snob. As before, Mark Knopfler is the star, so, for all of its slick production, this is a guitar showcase – and for millions of us, that's enough. KK Hifi News
Smooth, Effortless, Relaxed, Tuneful, and Deceivingly Simple: Dire Straits' Communique Teems With Technical Perfectionism, Southern-Styled Grooves, and Low-Key Blues
Reference-Level Detail, Depth, Soundstaging, Balance, and Presence: Communique Has Never Sounded Better Than on Mobile Fidelity's 180g 45RPM 2LP Version
Mark Knopfler's Mesmerizing Textures, Intricate Lines, and Crisp Tones Pair With Engaging Storytelling and Tight Rhythms: Every Song an Example of Understated Virtuosity
The performances on Dire Straits' Communique are so smooth and effortless, they were originally criticized for replicating the blueprints of the band's breakout debut. Time, however, has a way of changing perspectives and exposing the truth. More than 35 years after its original release in June 1979, Communique rightfully takes its place as the group's most underrated record – a nine-track set spiked with engaging storytelling, relaxed vibes, and deceiving simplicity.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, Mobile Fidelity's 180g 45RPM 2LP set of Communique elevates Dire Straits' sophomore album to an even higher plane. Recorded in the Bahamas by Muscle Shoals veterans Barry Beckett and Jerry Wexler, the songs benefit from a laidback approach that makes guitarist/vocalist Mark Knopfler and company's stellar playing seem even more fluent – particularly when experienced on this collector's 45RPM version, on which the wider grooves allow for more detail retrieval and deeper musical insight.
Knopfler's mesmerizing guitar textures and composed vocals appear as if they're right in front of you, holding court amidst expansive soundstages and deep-black backgrounds. Details, imaging, and presence are on a level associated with the finest audiophile recordings. You'll be hard-pressed to find another LP with cleaner, pinpoint-accurate tones. Mobile Fidelity's LP also brings into transparent view Knopfler's seemingly perfect intricate lines as well as the simpatico accompaniment from his band mates. Whole, lively, and balanced, the bass and drums arrive with a solidity rarely heard on albums of this era. Communique has truly never sounded better.
Of course, the audiophile sonics mean little if the artistic content is lacking. Needless to say, Dire Straits' technical perfectionism and creative elan prevail throughout. Knopfler's penchant for sketching cynical characters is further developed on moody tracks like "Where Do You Think You're Going" and "News," while Wexler's presence at the boards ensures the band keeps the rhythms extra tight. The quartet's low-key blues and swampy, Southern-styled grooves turn every song into an exercise in understated virtuosity.
Refusing to give into excess, magnetic tunes such as "Lady Writer" and "Angel of Mercy" split a fine line between insinuating and insisting. The group shows off a combination of control, virtuosity, and tunefulness that harkens back to a rock n' roll's classic period while also pointing the way ahead. Need indisputable evidence of Dire Straits' compositional strengths? Cue up the closing "Follow Me Home" on this pressing and get lost amidst the peacefulness of the gentle surf and chirping crickets that frame the song. Heavenly.
The sequence serves as additional proof that Communique remains one of the best-sounding rock records ever made. Secure your lowest-numbered copy
Mark Knopfler, lead guitar, lead vocals
John Illsley, bass, vocals
David Knopfler, rhythm guitar, vocals
Pick Withers, drums
1. Once Upon a Time In the West
3. Where Do You Think You're Going?
5. Lady Writer
6. Angel of Mercy
7. Portobello Belle
8. Single Handed Sailor
9. Follow Me Home
GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ is a proprietary cutting system built and designed by legendary design genius Tim De Paravicini, with consultation from one of MFSL’s founding fathers – Stan Ricker, an audio engineer responsible for many of MFSL’s most heralded past releases.
The GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system is comprised of a Studer™ tape machine with customized reproduction electronics* and handcrafted cutting amps that drive an Ortofon cutting head on a restored Neumann VMS-70 lathe. (*It is worth noting that independent studies have confirmed that the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system can unveil sonic information all the way up to 122kHz!)
First and foremost, we only utilize first generation original master recordings as source material for our releases. We then play back master tapes at half speed enabling the GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ system to fully extract the master’s sonic information. Our lacquers are then plated in a specialized process that protects transients in the musical signal. (Due to this process, there may be occasional pops or ticks inherent in initial play back, but as the disc is played more, a high quality stylus will actually polish the grooves and improve the sound). We further ensure optimum sound quality by strictly limiting the number of pressings printed for each release. These limited editions, in addition to being collectors’ items, ensure that the quality of the last pressing matches the quality of the first.
As you can imagine, all these efforts involve a tremendous amount of time, technology, cost and effort. The introduction of GAIN 2 Ultra Analog™ maintains Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s position as the world’s leading audiophile record label, where a passion for music with extraordinary sound quality matters most.
RTI 180 HQ Vinyl
Record Technology is a world class record pressing plant located in Camarillo, California. We have been operating since 1974, pressing for most audiophile record labels and for many quality minded independent and major record labels from around the world.