Five brilliant but underrated albums from the 1970s

Here are five gems of albums from the 1970s that you should really look out or download and listen to soon.

Phil Collins
Phil Collins / Luciano Viti/GettyImages
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Dire Straits - Communique

Dire Straits' debut self-titled album was huge. It was a slow burner at first, but after their single “Sultans Of Swing” was a hit, success for the album followed quickly. It paved the way for the band to become one of the world's biggest acts and many more hits.

In comparison to that debut album and later hits like Brothers In Arms the band's second release, Communique, often sits quietly in the background. It was released on June 5, 1979, just a year after their first. Notably, it was the last Dire Straits album to feature Mark Knopfler’s brother David after arguments between the pair. 

I recall it seemed a quiet and low-key release, it almost seemed to just appear on the shelves. Slick tracks, that distinctive guitar style, and slightly snarled vocals. It was perhaps slightly less raw and somewhat smoother and more polished in its sound than their debut disc.

“Lady Writer” was the only single, it follows on well from “Sultans Of Swing”. “Once Upon A Time In The West” and “Where Do You Think You’re Going” also have a similar style and atmosphere to the previous album. No bad thing! 

Others slightly break new ground in places. “Portobello Belle”, for example, is another great song that also seems to signpost the way forward. Its style leans heavily towards the third album, Making Movies

Perhaps a real bonus and unexpected pleasure from playing the album is that it's refreshing to hear Dire Straits in top form, but not on the usual overplayed tracks. If that appeals, then give this excellent album a play.