Monday, June 22, 2015

"Industrial Disease" by Dire Straits

Song#:  1299
Date:  01/08/1983
Debut:  86
Peak:  75
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Dire Straits' 1980 album "Making Movies" ended up being a platinum seller despite the lack of a real radio-supported song. The track "Skateaway" did the best reaching #58 pop and #31 at Mainstream Rock. The strength of their music, live shows, and fan base proved you didn't need a hit single to be a major rock artist, however, it doesn't hurt. Their next album "Love Over Gold" was a major hit in Europe hitting #1 in several countries thanks in part to the album's first single "Private Investigations." The song reached #2 in the UK and Top 10 elsewhere, but the single did not get issued in the US. Instead, this song was pushed to rock radio where it reached #9. Eventually the single was released and it was able to get onto the pop chart for a short month. Although "Love Over Gold" would become one of the band's best-selling albums worldwide, in the US it would only manage gold certification - a drop from their previous LP.

ReduxReview:  Nope. Can't get into it. Same goes for the band. Yes, I know Dire Straits are great musicians, terrific live, etc., but I've just never been a fan of their music. This one sounds like Bob Dylan had a baby with Eric Clapton and they dressed it up in swaddling new wave clothes. The lyrical commentary is interesting, but that's about all I can say for this one. However, I can now understand why this was chosen for US release over "Private Investigations." Have you heard that one? It's basically spoken word verses over a noodling classical guitar. I will say it is one of their more interesting tracks, but as a single? What was Europe smoking? At least this song chugged along in an attempt to sound like single. Oh Dire Straits...maybe someday I'll get you.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The lyrics of the song reference a "disease" called Brewer's Droop. There is no disease with that name. It is a slang term for a man's inability to get an erection brought on by heavy drinking. It also happens to be the name of a band that Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler was in during his early career.  2) The band recorded a few songs during the session for the "Love Over Gold" album that didn't make it onto the LP. One of those songs was "Private Dancer." Apparently, the music was all recorded, but Knopfler thought a female voice would be better for the track. He gave the track over to Tina Turner to use for her comeback album. It would be a #3 hit for her in 1984.


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