I was recently bewildered as, while I was eating at a restaurant, I heard some Dire Straits slander! I sat for the rest of the meal thinking about how one could even say such things? The group sitting at the table behind me was on the topic of rock and roll when someone mentioned Dire Straits. Not one but several people at that table then proceeded to say, “I don’t like Dire Straits”. Now, that is a perfectly fine claim to make. If you are not a fan, then you are not a fan! It happens, and it is not something to be upset over. In fact, had they left it there, this article never would have been written!
Unfortunately, they continued on the topic, and ended up making some pretty poor claims. In particular, I heard one person say that Sultans of Swing is an awful song. I am here today to refute that claim and to tell you why Sultans of Swing, by Dire Straits, is a fantastic song! When breaking down a song, there can be a lot to dive into, so we will start with the basics. First, I want to talk about the music and then we will look at the song’s lyrics!
If I had to describe the music in this song in a couple of words I would call it one of the world’s greatest jam sessions. However, let’s dig a little deeper and take a look at what makes this song sound so great! The song has a sort of chilled out feeling that gives you both relaxing and slightly eerie vibes. The song manages this sound by being in a D minor key and alternating between minor and major chords within the D minor scale. This creates that fast-pasted, deep-sounding riff that we hear at the beginning of the song.
The song is also largely blues based with the incorporation of some newer rock and roll techniques of the time. This really makes it a masterpiece in a sense. To add to the masterful rhythm and beat, there are beautiful guitar licks layers throughout the song between vocals. This gives the song a larger feeling of depth and brings you further in as you listen. Now, let’s talk about the lyrics in this song because quite frankly, they are awesome.
Upon first listen to this song, not everybody pays attention to the lyrics due to their low sounding nature. However, the lyrics in this song are just perfect! In this song, he tells the story of a man stepping into a pub to listen to a band play the blues. He then goes on to talk about the band and the members of the band. The story itself doesn’t really lead anywhere but rather, it just paints a full picture. A picture of the bar, the band, and the type of day.
I personally love the lyrics in this song! They are both relaxing and intriguing. Pair that with the music and you have a truly great song. I think that the person who slandered the band and the song should give them another try! Dire Straits has got to be one of the best bands to ever play with some of the coolest music out there!
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