Funny to discover a picture of Ianto and Nigel inside studio2 control room, was it intentional to see if anyone notice? LOL
Doc, I almost get the sense that the creation/crafting part is an end in itself. I have no problems understanding that creative people need an outlet for their creativity, but remember that we, the audience/fans/customers, are not parttakers of that process. We are left with the end-product: the presentation. We all know that you guys are able to craft immaculate and beautiful records; given Mark’s high standards, the highly competent people that surround him, and the gear you have access to, anything else would be a surprise. All reviews of Mark’s albums always praise them for the high level of craftmanship, the fact they sound great, the tasteful (though restrained) guitar playing, etc., but it’s become predictable. Liam Gallagher was mentioned earlier – obviously he and you are worlds apart in a number of ways, but I get what he is saying. I love good audio, but as much as I dig high-end systems and high-quality recordings, if the music doesn’t move or captivate me, the rest is worthless. Inspiration, spontaneity and performance trump an immaculate presentation anytime. (You know I don’t say this to be harsh or mean, right?)
Never thought to see Danny back at BG to be honest. Once dumped by Mark you rarely get a second chance! Very happy about seeing him back. There are only very few musos around who have more in-depth insight and feel for Mark’s music from my point of view! The others are in the current live band plus Paul Franklin! 🙂 Would it give away too much if you told us what his job is this time around? Percussion “only” or is he also drumming? All the best, W.
Thanks for the beautiful pics in the diary!
When it comes to mixing, does mark decide how good every instruments should be heard in the mix, i.e. how loud every single instrument should be? For instance, does he say things like „the piano is too loud“ or „my guitar solo has to be louder in that place“ etc.? Long story short, does mark decide how the mix sounds in the end?
This quote from Liam Gallagher seemed interesting with regard to what you say about your recording process. Any thoughts on it? Does he have a point?
“We didn’t have much time to dwell on the music or the words. We just got in there, it felt right, and we smashed it out, which is the way I like to work. When you’ve got too much time on your hands, you start overthinking it, and before you know it, you start sucking the life out of the music.”
Doc, thanks for the diary entry. Always lovely to get a visual impression of what you’re up to. One thought, though: When the tracking process is spread out like that over time and becomes somewhat “piecemeal”, don’t you lose quite a bit of momentum as it were? I appreciate you guys’ systematic and thorough approach, but – not intending to be rude here – can’t the pursuit of perfection result in a deficit of “life”? Cheers, Tom
January for the next Diary entry? Come on, Guy, it’s not even November yet!
You can do better than that, I’m sure!
Hi Guy! Many thanks for the new diary entry. I was especially pleased to see that Danny has returned to the fold. Looking forward to the next entry in January. Cheers, Val
Hi Doc. Thanks for the long awaited diary entry. Very interesting as usual. Only one thing I would like to comment about. The pictures as a slideshow… it works well on a computer, but yesterday night I only had the smartphone to check it and it didn’t work well, I only could saw two pictures of the slideshow. Actually, the second one came after i refresh the url, while I was reading the text I only saw one picture. It looks like very modern but I personally think that having each picture one by one is better as it gives you a complete sight of the diary entry, and also gives you the chance to add some description of the picture.
Hi Doc, I need your help. I’m trying to figure out the acoustic guitar part in the song “In The Sky”. Obviously, it’s in odd tuning. The official “artist-approved” sheet music says it’s in Drop D tuning capoed on the 3rd fret. My guess is Open G tuning capoed on the 3rd fret, am I right? I can go through verses and solos just fine, but I get stuck on the chorus. I almost there, but something’s not quite right, just a bit. It’s like you need to get the sound out of two different places of the neck at the same time to get it and it just break my heart that I can’t figure it out yet. I also tried G6 and other open tunings and it all wouldn't work, let alone Drop D as suggested by the book. All the time you either lose the vibrato or the sound. I'm sorry for bringing out a 10 years old song and I will understand if nobody actually remember how it was recorded. But the absence of live recordings, photos and even covers makes it all the equivalent of finding a mare's nest. Thanks.
I appreciate the fact that you take time to make the record sound as good as possible ( it’s a rare thing indeed ). For me the last two albums ( Privateering and Tracker ) sound so good. The clarity and the lack of too much compression is amazing and it’s hard to find such high quality these days. It seems that most artists just want to make the recording process as quick as possible and eventually settle for less. That’s what I respect the most about you guys, you don’t settle for less than 100%. The live sound has the same quality ( how on earth do you guys do it ? ). Marbletown in Amsterdam last time was simply mind blowing and Jim on the piano was also one of the many highlights. I understand that it takes top notch musicians like yourself to make it all happen but you clearly have found the perfect recording method. After listening to Tracker many records never sounded the same. The latest Whitesnake album is so poorly recorded it made me laugh and so are many other albums, I just never noticed before. That’s what Privateering and Tracker did to me, it made me an audiophile.
You said it all, Rob. I grew up on those songs and albums, Dire Straits redefined the way I looked at pretty much everything. I couldn’t care less about that RRHF freak show but it’s got nothing to do with that. Respect the past, embrace the future. And I’m on your team when it comes to the excitement around these secret projects. It kind of missed the train and has lost momentum. Am I looking forward to it? Yes, but it’s certainly not high on the list anymore. I’m sure it’s gonna be high quality stuff as always but the back and forth secrecy got on my nerves really… still love you guys with all my heart though. The rationality of irrational love…
A fantastic interview just hit the US version of Apple Music. From 1993, right after OTN. Robin Ross is the interviewer. Right out of the gate, Mark is asked about the reasoning for a live album. Mark responds that he wanted to put new songs on it (I am assuming post OES songs), but the record company wanted to create a souvenir. I gotta give Mark credit, he has always been looking forward.
Another Gem that I've never seen before. Guy, We know you were not part of this, but to see Pick and Alan just shows why Dire Straits were so untouchable, even before BIA.
Hello Guy and everyone here: I, too, have been reading all the comments about the nomination here and on the other site, and feeling distressed about some of the rancor that has emerged. Rob’s thoughtful statement below about the past belonging to us as well suddenly made everything clearer for me. The HOF nomination is really an award to us old-time fans who have literally stuck around from the start; it’s a validation of our 4 decades of undiminished loyalty, love and devotion for MK, his bands, and the music. We follow this forum and others, we await anxiously for news about the new work, we know the music and lyrics on all the albums as well as those gems living on the bonus tracks! So, the nomination feels like we have been awarded a summa cum laude for our efforts!
That being said, I would probably have rolled my eyes in disappointment if there had been a great amount of outward excitement from MK over this nomination. The R&R HOF is a part of America’s giant corporate, capitalist PR machinery that like the rest of the country’s entertainment industrial complex is non-transparent, closed, and sleazy as recent reports on one of our more illustrious Hollywood producers reveal. So, any thinking person would cautiously navigate such an honor if they consider the entire context of how these awards work, what goes on behind the scenes to put on spectacles like these, and the $$ at stake. I imagine you have to put on quite a game face to operate in these environments, and I suspect MK really couldn’t care enough to do so.
I don’t interpret that as MK or Guy diminishing the previous work that has been honored by this nomination as some comments here and elsewhere allude. The band’s music during the DS days was unique: MK’s voice was different, his energy was raw and magnetic. He sounds more controlled now and does other things in his music, but I continue to enjoy all the new work as well as all the old work. Roger Waters’ terrific new album, on the other hand, which I have been listening to a lot, sounds like it could have been a part of The Wall or the Final Cut. I am a huge fan, but he sounds the same, the material is the same, bleak, despairing, and quite predictable (Maggie then, Trump now)! At least, we can all agree MK’s music is different now from 40 years ago. Sorry for the long post here. I will continue to vote daily for DS until the closing date on the HOF site! Have a good weekend everybody. SV
What do you think of Neil Finn ‘s last album “Out of silence”?
I find it brillant and i lke the way it is produced.A very intimate atmosphere.
The tracks werre mostly played live,as you do with Mark and the band i think.
Hope the new project is going well.Waiting for news….
I would like to support the very interesting post from Stephen Butler.
OK Guy and another post identified a mis-quote. Maybe so from DK re the award etc but I say well said sir. The post was passionate and spoke a LOT of sense rather than just blowing smoke etc etc..
Mr Butler is clearly a big fan and like me sometimes a very frustrated fan. For more years than I care to remember all we hear about is the band looking forward and not backwards blah blah blah.
This clearly doesn’t fit with the last couple of tours with playlists (lets not go down that one).
The statement about celebrating a wedding anniversary is very apt and well written, also the sentence that correctly identified the fact that “You guys were on Brothers in Arms – be proud of it! That is the main reason why you can pretty much do what you want, when you want.” Again well said sir…
I’m not here to bleat about playlists, arrangements or get excited about the next big release anymore because if we are honest we pretty know what to expect nowadays. For me the days of looking forward are no longer exciting. I prefer nowadays to look back to the future. This is what made you, this is what put you out there, this is what gave you the lives you have today.
Don’t disrespect the past because it is just as much our past as it is yours. THAT music will live with us in our hearts forever – it’s just a pity the feeling is not mutual.
Some of us fans (if we are honest) already feel short changed with the aparent lack of appreciation – no more looking back, having to watch a live show through binoculars, only playing songs we want to hear to specially invited corporate guests (yes that old chestnut!), criticism of anyone who dared to play the music that they refuse! and now from what it looks like brushing off a nomination that we couldn’t be more proud of had a member of our own family been nominated.
Mr Butler I applaud your post – you spoke from the heart and with passion. I only wish everyone else did the same.
I know this post is probably going to wind a few people up the wrong way (Where is Roland Dent by the way nowadays!) but each time I read a post excited about the next album or where is the latest diary entry or when is the next tour going to be. Just be like the band. Don’t get too excited and then you won’t be too disappointed. Lesson learned a few albums ago I’m afraid…
A question about the old times; do you recall if the nice Tina Turner song Overnight Sensation was also recorded by Dire Straits even as a demo, and was originally thought to be included in Brothers In Arms album? Thank you.
Regarding the Hall of Fame, I found it a disappointing place in 2006. It appears to be more about tourism and marketing then respect of music. The displays varied widely, depending on how much junk any one artist decide to donate. It’s as if the British Musueam come under management of a gossip paper.
To Stephen Butler, TBH you've also mis-quoted David's words, he would be very proud to attend the event.