Communiqué (Dire Straits album)

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Dire Straits Communique.jpg
Studio album by Dire Straits
Released 15 June 1979 (1979-06-15)
Recorded Compass Point Studios,
Nassau, Bahamas,
28 November –
12 December 1978
Genre Roots rock
Length 42:24
Producer Barry Beckett,
Jerry Wexler
Dire Straits chronology
Dire Straits
(1978)Dire Straits1978
Making Movies
(1980)Making Movies1980
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. 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, while their debut album, Dire Straits was still at the number three position. The album went on to sell over 7 million copies worldwide: in Europe it sold 3.6 million copies, and in the United States it reached gold status.

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
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau B– [2]

In his retrospective review for AllMusic, William Ruhlmann gave the album two and a half out of five stars, writing that the group's sophomore effort "seemed little more than a carbon copy of its predecessor with less compelling material."[1]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Mark Knopfler.

No. Title Length
1. "Once upon a Time in the West" 5:25
2. "News" 4:14
3. "Where Do You Think You're Going?" 3:49
4. "Communiqué" 5:49
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


  • Barry Beckett – producer
  • Jerry Wexler – producer
  • Jack Nuber – engineer
  • Thelbert Rigby – tape operator
  • Gregg Hamm – mix engineer
  • Bobby Hata – mastering
  • Paul Wexler – mastering supervisor
  • Geoff Halpin – illustrations
  • Bob Ludwig – remastering
  • Alan Schmidt – art direction[3]

Charts and certifications[edit]


Communiqué spent 30 weeks on the UK Albums Chart.

Chart (1979) Peak
Australia Albums Chart 5
Austria Albums Chart 7
Germany Albums Chart 1
Italy Albums Chart 17
Norway Albums Chart 2
New Zealand Albums Chart 1
Sweden Albums Chart 1
UK Albums Chart 5
US Billboard 200 11


Year Song Billboard
Hot 100
UK Singles
1979 "Lady Writer" 45 51

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[4] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[citation needed] Platinum 50,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[5] Gold 25,000[5]
France (SNEP)[6] 2× Platinum 509,000[7]
Germany (BVMI)[8] Platinum 500,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[citation needed] Platinum 50,000*
South Africa (RiSA)[citation needed] Platinum 50,000
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[9] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[citation needed] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[10] 3× Platinum 150,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[11] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[12] Gold 500,000^

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


  1. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "Communiqué". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (2011). "Dire Straits". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Communiqué (booklet). Dire Straits. Burbank, California: Warner Bros. Records. 1979. p. 11. 947770-2. 
  4. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Dire Straits – Communique". Music Canada. 
  5. ^ a b "Dire Straits" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. 
  6. ^ "French album certifications – Dire Straits – Communiqué" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select DIRE STRAITS and click OK
  7. ^ "Les Albums Double Platine :" (in French). Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Dire Straits; 'Communiqué')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  9. ^ "Sólo Éxitos 1959-2002 Año A Año: Certificados 1979-1990" (in Spanish). Iberautor Promociones Culturales. ISBN 8480486392. 
  10. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Dire Straits; 'Communique')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  11. ^ "British album certifications – Dire Straits – Communiqué". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Communiqué in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  12. ^ "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]