Gear on album Communiqué

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Guitars

Knopfler’s main guitars at the time were two Fender Stratocasters (# 68354, 1961, rosewood fingerboard, and #80470, 1961-62, maple fingerboard). It is hard to say which one he favoured at exactly which time. Fact is that his main guitar on previous tour (late 1978) was the rosewood Strat #68354 (which had  just been painted red around this time), whereas on the Communiqué tour after the recording of the album he was seen almost only with the maple-board Strat #80470. There is a clear sound difference between a rosewood Strat and a maple-neck (or -board) Strat but it can be really tough to tell which is which in a complete mix. I would vote for the maple-board Strat as the guitar used mostly on Communiqué.

see also:
Early Dire Straits: Which of the two red Fenders was used in which concert?

Amps

In the Dire Straits book by Michael Oldfield book we find a hint that the band “were borrowing Robert’s [Robert Palmer] amps because all the studio ones were useless”. It makes sense that the band took their instruments over to Nassau, Bahamas, but not their own amps [live Knopfler played the Music Man 212 HD-130 before and after recording Communiqé]. Unfortunately we don’t know wat kind of amps they borrowed from Robert Palmer, if I had to guess I would clearly say Fenders.

 

Track 1 – Once upon a time in the west

MusicianGuitarPick-upTuningEffectsAmp

Guitar one – lead – center

Mark Knopfler [100%], MK fingerstyleFender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961 Stratocaster #68354 [+30% ]or 1961/62 Stratocaster #80470 [+70%]
bridge + middle or middle + neck
standard compression/limiter, reverb
no info available

Guitar two – rhythm- left channel

Mark Knopfler [100%], MK fingerstyle Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961 Stratocaster #68354 or 1961/62 Stratocaster #80470
bridge + middle or middle + neckstandardcompression/limiter, reverb
no info available

Guitar one – rhythm – right channel

David Knopfler [100%], strummedprobably David’s black Fender Stratocaster
standardPhaser, reverbno info available

 

Track 2 – News

MusicianGuitarPick-upTuningEffectsAmp

Guitar one – lead- center

Mark Knopfler
[100%],
MK fingerstyle
Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961
Stratocaster #68354
[+30% ]or 1961/62
Stratocaster #80470
[+70%]
bridge + middle or middle + neckstandardcompression/limiter, volume pedal, reverbno info available

Guitar two – picking – left channel

Mark Knopfler
[100%], MK fingerstyle
Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961
Stratocaster #68354
or 1961/62
Stratocaster #80470
bridge + middle or middle + neckstandardcompression/limiter, reverbno info availableno

Guitar three – strummed chords – right channel

David Knopfler
[100%], strummed
probably David’s black Fender Stratocasterstandard
no info available

Related blog posts:

Chord changes in News on live version of the Making Movies tour

 

Track 3 – Where do you think you’re going

MusicianGuitarPick-upTuningEffectsAmp

Guitar one – lead – center/left

Pan position about 11:00

Mark Knopfler
[100%],
MK fingerstyle
Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961 Stratocaster #68354 [+30% ]or 1961/62 Stratocaster #80470 [+70%]bridge + middle or middle + neckstandardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available

Guitar two – lead 2 – center

comes in at 2:42

ark Knopfler
[100%],
MK fingerstyle
Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961 Stratocaster #68354 [+30% ]or 1961/62 Stratocaster #80470 [+70%],bridge + middle or middle + neckstandardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available

Guitar three – strummed chords – center

Mark Knopfler
[100%], strummed (pick ?)
Acoustic guitar (Ovation ?) [Ingo: Not sure when he got his Ovations, but possibly later (early ’79)]
standardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available

Guitar four- strummed chords – right channel

David Knopfler
[100%], strummed
standard

Related blog posts:

Dire Straits – Where do you think you’re going – spontaneous cover on acoustic guitar

 

Track 4 – Communiqué

MusicianGuitarPick-upTuningEffectsAmp

Guitar one – lead – center

Mark Knopfler
[100%],
MK fingerstyle
Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961
Stratocaster #68354
or 1961/62
Stratocaster #80470
bridge + middlestandardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available

Guitar two – riff – right channel

Mark Knopfler
[100%],
MK fingerstyle
Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961
Stratocaster #68354
or 1961/62
Stratocaster #80470
bridge + middlestandardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available

Guitar three – strummed chords – left channel

David Knopfler
[100%], strummed
probably David’s black Fender Stratocaster or Telecasterbridge ?no info available

 

Track 5 – Lady writer

MusicianGuitarPick-upTuningEffectsAmp

Guitar one – lead – center

Mark Knopfler
[100%],
MK fingerstyle
Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961
Stratocaster #68354
[+30% ]or 1961/62
Stratocaster #80470
[+70%]
bridge + middlestandardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available

Guitar two – rhythm – right channel

Mark Knopfler
[100%],
MK fingerstyle
Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961
Stratocaster #68354
or 1961/62
Stratocaster #80470
bridge + middlestandardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available

Guitar three – rhythm – left channel

David Knopfler
[100%], strummed
probably David’s black Fender Stratocasterstandardno info available

Related blog posts:

Video Clip of Dire Straits – Lady Writer – Pinkpop Festival 1979

 

Track 6 – Angel of mercy

MusicianGuitarPick-upTuningEffectsAmp

Guitar one – lead – center

Mark Knopfler
[100%],
MK fingerstyle
Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961
Stratocaster #68354
[+30% ]or 1961/62
Stratocaster #80470
[+70%]
Middlestandardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available

Guitar two – rhythm – lead 2nd solo (2:20 – 3:06) left channel

Mark Knopfler
[100%],
MK fingerstyle
Fender Stratocaster (with chorus) or 12-string electric ? (possibly Burns Baldwin)Middle ?standardcompression/limiter, reverb, chorus
no info available

Guitar three – rhythm – right channel

David Knopfler
[100%], strummed
probably David’s black Fender Stratocasterstandardno info available

Related blog posts:

Angel of Mercy live in early 1979 – Mark Knopfler on slide guitar

 

Track 7 – Portobello Belle

MusicianGuitarPick-upTuningEffectsAmp

Guitar one – riff – center

Mark Knopfler
[100%],
MK fingerstyle
National steel guitar [~100%],1928 Tricone  or 1937 Style-O

Open G – capo’ed at 5th


Related blog posts:

Mark Knopfler’s Rickenbacker of Portobello Belle live in 1981

Dire Straits – Portobello Belle – The Point, Dublin, 1991

Mark Knopfler – Portobelle Belle – the only existing live video (Belfast 1996)

 

Track 8 – Single handed sailor

MusicianGuitarPick-upTuningEffectsAmp

Guitar one – lead – center

Mark Knopfler
[100%],
MK fingerstyle
Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961 Stratocaster #68354 [+70% ]or 1961/62
Stratocaster #80470
[+30%]
Neck (Di-Marzio FS-1)standardcompression/limiter, volume pedal, reverbno info available

Guitar two – rhythm – left channel

Mark Knopfler
[100%],
MK fingerstyle
Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961
Stratocaster #68354
or 1961/62
Stratocaster #80470

bridge + middle or middle + neckstandardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available

Guitar three – rhythm – right channel

Mark Knopfler
[50%], David Knopfler[50%]
[Ingo:  I’d vote for David here]
Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961
Stratocaster #68354
[+30% ]or 1961/62
Stratocaster #80470
[+70%] or David’s black Fender Stratocaster
standardno info available

Guitar four- strummed chords – right channel

0:20 – 0:56 and 1:54 – 2:11

David Knopfler
[100%], strummed, accents on the snare drum
probably David’s black Fender Stratocasterstandardno info available

Track 9 – Follow me home

MusicianGuitarPick-upTuningEffectsAmp

Guitar one – lead – center

Mark Knopfler
[100%],
MK fingerstyle
Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961
Stratocaster #68354
[+30% ]or 1961/62
Stratocaster #80470
[+70%]
bridge + middle or middle + neckstandardcompression/limiter, volume pedal, reverbno info available

Guitar two – rhythm- left channel

Mark Knopfler
[100%],
MK fingerstyle
Fender Stratocaster [~100%], probably 1961
Stratocaster #68354
or 1961/62
Stratocaster #80470
bridge + middle or middle + neckstandardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available

Guitar three – rhythm – right channel

David Knopfler
[70%]
probably David’s black Fender Stratocasterstandard

Related blog posts:

Dire Straits at the Paradiso, Amsterdam, October 23, 1978

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Gear on album Communiqué

  1. To me the first three songs sound very much like middle & neck PUs, however, the live videos we have of them mostly show bridge & middle or neck alone (OUATITW, middle solo on News)

    Bright switch: probably yes. On Fender or the Music man HD130-212 amps the bright switch becomes less effective the more you turn up the channel volume (with volume on 10 it has no effect at all anymore), this makes it harder to tell from listening.

  2. That’s right for the bright switch I agree. For me the tone of news is bridge&middle and the solo middle & neck. The same on once upon a time in the west. Only wdytyg neck & middle. I got the same tones with these positions.

  3. Hi there.

    I’m pretty sure that David is playing his telecaster (bridge/neck pos) on ‘Once Upon a Time In The West’.
    If i guess the Amp, I’ll go with the Peavey, only because the phaser. 🙂

    Best Wishes!

    1. due to the big input of phaser, I find hard to determine for sure the guitar and PU, but maybe you are right.
      the song where I hear the telecaster with birdge PU is the rhythm on the communique song

      BTW it was not David’s telecaster, but Mark’s one 🙂 the 68 sunburst one, later used on Why aye man or recently live on Father and son for example

      1. Nice to hear about the Dav.. err Mark´s 68 Sunburst Tele.
        Recently e saw that David uses a copy of that Tele made by Fame Guitars.

    1. That is only a playback mimic filmed in summer or fall 1979. It has nothing to do with the studio recording of late 1978. They just filmed it on stage with the gear they were using at that time in 1979. They apparently also made a second promo clip for Lady Writer that day.

      Of course it is still possible that it WAS the Tele for rhythm on OUATITW

      1. Yep…

        I know that is a mimic.
        The album was recorded on studio, and, like the previous album, the clip was recorded on stage.

        The Lady Writer clip was recorded at the same place, same clothes…

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