Sound — 8
The third Dire Straits album "Making Movies" was a turning point in the band's development and sound. While previous two albums attracted mostly roots and blues fans, the "Making Movies" album presented a more rock sound to the audience. The album's hit single "Romeo and Juliet" is referred by many as one of the most beautiful love song ever written and remains a concert regular to this date even on Knopfler's solo tours. The arrival of Alan Clark's keyboards gave a new dimension to the band's sound but the biggest changing factor was Knopfler's switching from a Fender to a Schecter guitar which distinctively sounded "heavier." Overall the sound of the album is on the border of being overproduced but the quality of composition and songwriting certainly compensates well.
Lyrics — 9
Lyrically this album is almost all about love. It consists of seven songs of which six are love stories and that's probably the biggest fault of this album. Knopfler's songwriting moved from mostly observant songs of the first two albums to a first person view on love situations and experiences. On "Tunnel of Love" the listener is taken on a journey through childhood memories of one's first love and fascination with the roller coasters, invoking a mostly nostalgic feel. "Romeo and Juliet" is one of Knopfler's most finest songwriting and it skillfully recreates the Shakespeare classic with a more personal approach. "Skateaway" is a song that tells a story about a skater girl who wants to live a "rock 'n' roll" dream and make movies and according to many fans is one of those hidden gems that are not well known. Hand in Hand is a failed love story and "Expresso Love" describes a more carnal side of relationship comparing sex to having another expresso. "Solid Rock" is a typical rock song with repeating lyrics and music and it's a less complex song of the album. The song was probably inspired with Knopfler's annoyance to the whole fame thing that being a successful musicians brings and the danger of slipping away from reality because of it. The last song on the album is a controversial number called "Les Boys." The song is merely an observation of an leather clothed, miming, homosexual act that the band saw in a hotel restaurant probably on the previous tour in Germany. It's considered by many to be the weakest point of the album and it sparked a lot of criticism of the band including the accusations of being homophobic which Knopfler denied. The songwriting on this album represents a great move forward in the band's development that will steer Dire Straits to a more mainstream place of the music industry.
Overall Impression — 9
Probably the best Dire Straits album according to many Dire Straits fans. The whole album is basically a love story except for the last song. Containing numerous classics such as "Romeo and Juliet," "Tunnel of Love" and others, this album was one the most played in concerts and on peoples record players in it's time. The album's ambiance and theme is love pure and simple. Shifting from the roots/blues sound of the previous two records to a more rock 'n' roll one certainly expanded the band's possibilities on the market and gave Dire Straits an army of new fans. The subsequent "On Location" tour and it's mostly sold out concerts proved that Dire Straits are only getting bigger and better.