Thursday, January 10, 2013
Dire Straits - ExtendedancEPlay
EPlay, the first extended play from the British rock band Dire Straits. In some markets it was known by the title of the first track - Twisting By the Pool. The UK version featured three tracks totals. The US version, which went to number 53 on the Billboard Hot 200, featured four tracks. It was the first record with drummer Terry Williams joining the group; he replaced the departed Pick Withers.
Side one begins with "Twisting by the Pool". As a single, this up-beat song went to number 31 in Germany, number 18 in Canada, number 14 in the UK, number 13 in Ireland, number 11 in Italy, number 6 in Norway number 2 in Australia, and number 1 in New Zealand. Here in the US, it stalled at number 105 on the Billboard Pop charts yet went to number 12 on the Mainstream Rock charts. Keyboardist Alan Clark goes to town on the piano hooks on this one. It is definitely a fun one which deserved to be a bigger hit here in the States.
On the US version, this side also included "Badges, Posters, Stickers, T-Shirts". The track was an outtake from the Love over Gold studio sessions; in the UK it was used as a B-side for a single. It features an up-tempo jazz swing to it, complete with Mark Knopfler scatting.
Side two opens with "Two Young Lovers", the story of a couple that goes from the start of its courtship through marriage. Mel Collins is featured on the saxophone here.
"If I Had You" closes things out with a song of promises in the name of love. I like how the lyrics quote Muhammed Ali and name-drop a few famous couples from the funny pages.
I always enjoyed about the EP format in the early 80's because it delivered a decent sampler of music without a lot of filler. We see that here as ExtendedancEPlay delivers four solid songs.