Released in 1995 as a contractual obligation album (the band officially disbanded that year), this captures Dire Straits at the BBC in 1978 (and 1981, see below).
All I really need to do, here, is list the eight tracks. You’ll see what kind of glory we’re talking about:
Down To The Waterline
Six Blade Knife
Water Of Love
Wild West End
Sultans Of Swing
What’s The Matter Baby?
Tunnel Of Love
Awesome! The sound quality’s great. Hearing these songs live from that period is awesome, as the versions are pretty close to the albums but there’s a live edge to it all, something real and visceral and alive.
The first seven tracks were recorded July 22, 1978 for the BBC Live In Concert series. The booklet says Tunnel Of Love was recorded for The Old Grey Whistle Test On January 31, 1981, but Wiki says it was really from Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, Germany, on December 19, 1980.
What’s The Matter Baby? was an unreleased song, the only song not written solely by Mark Knopfler (it was co-written with brother David, who does play here). The riff and basic song are essentially Lady Writer, though, so it’s not really exciting new material.
Still, it’s wonderful to hear these songs in a live setting. And yes, I can think of a ton of other songs I would like to have heard them play, but this is what it is and it is pretty damn wonderful.