Dire Straits - Sultans Of Swing - Live 1979 (HD Remastered)




"Sultans of Swing" is a song by British rock band Dire Straits from their eponymous debut album, which band frontman Mark Knopfler wrote and composed. Although it was first released in 1978, it was its 1979 re-release that caused it to become a hit in both the UK and U.S.


The song was recorded at Pathway Studios, North London, in July 1977 and quickly acquired a following after it was put on rotation at Radio London. Its popularity soon reached record executives, and Dire Straits were offered a contract with Phonogram Records. The song was then re-recorded in February 1978 at Basing Street Studios for the band's debut album. The record company wanted a less-polished rock sound for the radio, so an alternative version was recorded at Pathway Studios in April 1978 and released as the single in some countries including the United Kingdom and Germany.





The music for "Sultans of Swing" was composed by Mark Knopfler on a National Steel guitar in an open tuning, though Knopfler did not think very highly of it at first. As he remembered, "I thought it was dull, but as soon as I bought my first Strat in 1977, the whole thing changed, though the lyrics remained the same. It just came alive as soon as I played it on that ’61 Strat which remained my main guitar for many years and was basically the only thing I played on the first album and the new chord changes just presented themselves and fell into place."


Inspiration for the song came from witnessing a jazz band playing in the corner of a practically deserted pub in Deptford, South London. At the end of their performance, the lead singer announced that they were the "Sultans of Swing", and Knopfler found the contrast between the group's dowdy appearance and surroundings and their grandiose name amusing.




Lyrics


You get a shiver in the dark

It's raining in the park but meantime

South of the river you stop and you hold everything

A band is blowing Dixie double four time

You feel alright when you hear that music ring


Well, now you step inside but you don't see too many faces

Coming in out of the rain to hear the jazz go down

Competition in other places

Oh, but the horns, they're blowing that sound

Way on down south, way on down south London town


You check out guitar, George

He knows all the chords

Mind it's strictly rhythm

He doesn't wanna make it cry or sing

Left-handed old guitar is all he can afford

When he gets up under the lights to play his thing


And Harry doesn't mind if he doesn't make the scene

He's got a daytime job, he's doing alright

He can play the honky tonk like anything

Saving it up for Friday night

With the Sultans, with the Sultans of Swing


And a crowd of young boys, they're fooling around in the corner

Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles

They don't give a damn about any trumpet-playing band

It ain't what they call "Rock 'n' Roll"

And the Sultans, yeah, the Sultans, they play Creole, Creole


And then the man, he steps right up to the microphone

And says at last just as the time bell rings

"Goodnight, now it's time to go home."

Then he makes it fast with one more thing,

"We are the Sultans, we are the Sultans of Swing."