Dire Straits : A Visual Biography : Laura Shenton : Book Review

Dire Straits: A Visual Biography 

Unlike the previous visual biographies I’ve reviewed, mostly authored by Martin Popoff, this one focuses solely on the iconic band Dire Straits. The book stands out as the first of its kind, offering a comprehensive look at the band’s journey, enriched with a plethora of photographs, many of which I had never seen before.

The book is not just a collection of images; it’s a detailed narrative that takes you through the entire story of Dire Straits. It’s text-heavy, providing in-depth insights into the making of each album. The structure of the book is thoughtfully designed, intertwining the story of the band with batches of photographs related to the specific albums being discussed.

As you flip through the pages, you’ll find a chapter dedicated to each significant phase of the band, including their solo works. The “Brothers in Arms” chapter, for instance, is packed with information that any uber-fan would cherish. Moving into the ’90s, the book continues to offer a rich blend of text and imagery, capturing the essence of Dire Straits’ evolution over the years.

The latter part of the book is a goldmine for collectors and enthusiasts. It features a comprehensive discography of the band, complete with credits and track listings. But that’s not all – the book also delves into the individual discographies of Mark Knopfler and other band members, highlighting their solo albums and extensive session work. It’s fascinating to see the breadth of their musical contributions beyond Dire Straits.

For those who love to dive into the nitty-gritty details, the book lists all the awards the band has received and provides an exhaustive list of tour dates. Imagine finding out if Dire Straits performed in your town and when!

“Dire Straits: A Visual Biography” by Laura Shenton is more than just a book; it’s a journey through the band’s history, packed with data, details, and delightful anecdotes. The early pictures from 1979 particularly struck me – they looked so young, a reminder of the passage of time for all of us who were there.

This book would make an ideal gift for any Dire Straits fan. It’s a limited-run publication, adding to its exclusivity and value as a collector’s item.

“Dire Straits: A Visual Biography” is available now from Wymer Publishing. 

Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine

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