Communiqué (Dire Straits album)

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Dire Straits Communique.jpg
Studio album by Dire Straits
ReleasedJune 15, 1979
RecordedNovember 28 - December 12, 1978
StudioCompass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas
GenreRoots rock
ProducerBarry Beckett, Jerry Wexler
Dire Straits chronology
Dire Straits
Making Movies
Singles from Communiqué
  1. "Lady Writer" / "Where Do You Think You're Going?"
    Released: 13 July 1979

Communiqué is the second studio album by the British rock band Dire Straits released on 15 June 1979 by Vertigo Records internationally and by Warner Bros. Records in the United States. The album produced the single "Lady Writer", which reached #45 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #51 on the UK Singles Chart. The album reached #1 on album charts in Germany, New Zealand, and Sweden, #11 in the United States and #5 in the United Kingdom. Communiqué was later certified gold in the United States, platinum in the United Kingdom and double-platinum in France.


Communiqué was recorded from 28 November to 12 December 1978 at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, and mixed in January 1979, in New York. The album was produced by Barry Beckett and Jerry Wexler, veteran producers from Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.


Communiqué became the first album ever to enter the German charts at number one in its first week of release,[citation needed] while their debut album, Dire Straits was still at the number three position. The album went on to sell over 7 million copies worldwide:[citation needed] in Europe, it sold 3.6 million copies,[citation needed] and in the United States it was certified gold in 1979. [1]

Communiqué was remastered and released with the rest of the Dire Straits catalogue in 1996 for most of the world outside the United States and on 19 September 2000 in the United States.


The album cover was designed by Phonogram's advertising agency Grant Advertising UK. It won album cover of the year in the NME awards in 1979.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars [2]
Robert ChristgauB– [3]

In his retrospective review for AllMusic, William Ruhlmann gave the album two and a half out of five stars, writing that the second album "seemed little more than a carbon copy of its predecessor with less compelling material."[2]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Mark Knopfler.

Side one
1."Once Upon a Time in the West"5:25
3."Where Do You Think You're Going?"3:49
Side two
5."Lady Writer"3:45
6."Angel of Mercy"4:36
7."Portobello Belle"4:29
8."Single-Handed Sailor"4:42
9."Follow Me Home"5:50
Total length:42:24


Dire Straits[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Barry Beckett (credited as B. Bear) – keyboards and producer
  • Geoff Halpin – illustrations
  • Gregg Hamm – mix engineer
  • Bobby Hata – mastering
  • Bob Ludwig – remastering
  • Jack Nuber – engineer
  • Thelbert Rigby – tape operator
  • Alan Schmidt – art direction[4]
  • Jerry Wexler – producer
  • Paul Wexler – mastering supervisor

Charts and certifications[edit]


Communiqué spent 32 weeks on the UK Albums Chart. [5]

Chart (1979) Peak
Australia Albums Chart 5[citation needed]
Austria Albums Chart [6] 7
Germany Albums Chart [7] 1
Italy Albums Chart 17[citation needed]
Norway Albums Chart 2[citation needed]
New Zealand Albums Chart 1[citation needed]
Spanish Albums Chart[8] 1
Sweden Albums Chart 1[citation needed]
UK Albums Chart[9] 5
US Billboard 200 [10] 11


Year Song Billboard Hot 100 UK Singles
1979 "Lady Writer" 45[citation needed] 51[citation needed]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[11] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[citation needed] Platinum 50,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[12] Gold 25,000[12]
France (SNEP)[13] 2× Platinum 509,000[14]
Germany (BVMI)[15] Platinum 500,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[16] Platinum 100,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[citation needed] Platinum 50,000*
South Africa (RiSA)[citation needed] Platinum 50,000
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[17] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[citation needed] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[18] 3× Platinum 150,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[19] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[20] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Dire Straits - Gold and Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "Communiqué". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (2011). "Dire Straits". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  4. ^ Communiqué (booklet). Dire Straits. Burbank, California: Warner Bros. Records. 1979. p. 11. 947770-2.
  5. ^ "Dire Straits - Albums". Official Charts. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Dire Straits - Communique". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Dire Straits - Communique". Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  8. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959-2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  9. ^ "Dire Straits - Albums". Official Charts. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Dire Straits - Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Dire Straits – Communique". Music Canada.
  12. ^ a b "Dire Straits" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  13. ^ "French album certifications – Dire Straits – Communiqué" (in French). InfoDisc. Select DIRE STRAITS and click OK. 
  14. ^ "Les Albums Double Platine :" (in French). Retrieved 21 August 2013.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Dire Straits; 'Communiqué')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  16. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Dire Straits – Communiqué" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter Communiqué in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  17. ^ "Sólo Éxitos 1959-2002 Año A Año: Certificados 1979-1990" (in Spanish). Iberautor Promociones Culturales. ISBN 8480486392.
  18. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Dire Straits; 'Communique')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
  19. ^ "British album certifications – Dire Straits – Communiqué". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Communiqué in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  20. ^ "American album certifications – Dire Straits – Communique". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]