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Dire Straits: “Skateaway”

Dire Straits wasn’t quite The Beatles, The Who or The Rolling Stones, but it no doubt was one of the super bands of the 1980s and 1990s.

Lead guitarist Mark Knopfler now is well into a successful solo career that includes composing and recording film scores. His most notable were Local Hero in 1983 and The Princess Bride four years later.

Lots of Dire Straits music is less catchy than Skateaway, Money for Nothing (here with Eric Clapton) and Sultans of Swing. The latter two are the band’s two biggest hits. Good information about Knopfler and Dire Straits is available in the usual places: Wikipedia and AllMusic.

It’s ironic that Knopfler toured with Bob Dylan last year — here’s a review — since they sort of sound the same, which really isn’t a compliment to either. Luckily for them, both have noteworthy other talents.

Here are Going Home (the Theme from Local Hero), Walk of Life and Sailing to Philadelphia. Of special note is Poor Boy Blues, which Knopfler and Chet Atkins perform in a nice video. The pedal steel player apparently is Paul Franklin. Here Atkins and Knopfler play I’ll See You in My Dreams and Imagine.

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The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

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Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.