Ride Across the River

Come for Mark Knopfler’s guitarism, stay for the flute solo. An unexpected touch, but it works, and it’s touches like this that make Dire Straits so rewarding to explore. They weren’t a band who leaned on hit singles, although they had a lot of hit singles. They leaned on musicianship and thoughtful writing, which made them outliers among their peers in the 80’s. Though their output as a unit was small – only six studio albums – it was conspicuously solid. Every album was a solid winner, every track worth remembering. These guys did not do filler material, or try to be on-trend, or make unfortunate experiments. Sometimes it’s best to quit when you’re ahead, before the urge to do all of the above overtakes you.