Vinyl Record Reviews
Mark KnopflerGet Lucky
Reprise Records 520206-1, two 33-RPM 180g LPs
I've been a fan of Mark Knopfler's music since the early Dire Straits days, so I leapt at the chance to get my hands on a copy of Get Lucky, Knopfler's sixth solo album (if we ignore his original sound track records and two EPs), recently issued by Reprise Records.
Continuing the trend established early in his solo career, Get Lucky has a laid back, light rock (almost folksy) feel about it. Many of the songs on this record are personally anecdotal in nature. For example, the second track on side 2 (Monteleon) was inspired progress reports by New York guitar builder, John Monteleon, while he was making Knopfler's Monteleon Isabella guitar. Death and remembrance are the subject of three songs: So Far From the Clyde is about ships that were built in Glasgow and Newcastle being sent to a ship breaking yard in India; Piper to the End was written for Knopfler's Uncle Freddie, a piper who carried his pipes into action and was killed with them in 1940 aged 20; and Remembrance Day is self-explanatory.
Pressed on 180g vinyl with its eleven songs generously spread over four sides, the sound quality of lucky is great for a modern recording: the bass is warm, deep, and tuneful, and the treble is clear without being splashy or bright. A good test for treble purity I like to use is how cymbals sound; on many rock records they sound like a splashy distorted mess, but on good recordings you can hear the way the sound quickly builds up, shimmers for a while, then fades away. I'm pleased to report that Get Lucky is in the latter category. Also, the record surfaces are very quiet.
Packaged in a heavy cardboard gatefold sleeve containing a lyric sheet (but, unlike Knopfler's previous release, Kill to Get Crimson, no free CD to facilitate mobile listening), I enthusiastically recommend Get Lucky, especially if you're a Mark Knopfler fan.