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

Have you ever noticed that some chords of  News were changed in the live version that Dire Straits used to play on the On Location tour (Making Moviers tour) in 1980/81?

The original chord sequence of News – as recorded on the Communiqué album – was:

Em –  Bm –  C –  Bm –  Am – Am –  C –  C

Live it was changed to:

Em – Bm – C – G/B – Am – Am  G/B – C – C  D

In words: The second Bm was changed to a G (while the bass still plays the B). This also lead to some changes of the melody over this chord. The G before the last C chord (also with a B in the bass) was just a transition chord (played for the last two beats of that bar), the same is true for the last D which was the transition to the Em of the next verse.

Here is a video which shows them playing this version:


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

  1. That’s an interesting version – I’m intrigued by the segue into Private Investigations at the end. Did they play PI on this tour, or was it a work in progress? (hence the end only being slotted in here).

  2. No, there was no private investigations in 1981.

    It was like this: after adding keyboards in 1980, Mark extended many songs with new sections (e.g. the long version of Sultans, the intro of Tunnel of Love, Angel of Mercy etc). One of these was News with this new outro section. Later when recording the Love over Gold album, he took this 2nd part of News and appended it to private investigation. This worked well because both were in the same key and in a similar tempo.

  3. Thanks Ingo – I never realised that ending was originally from the live version of News, you’re a fount of knowledge on all things DS!

  4. I checked it again, also with other 1980/81 live versions. I can clearly hear that the first chord is a Bm (thumb seems to alternate between A 9th and D 9th (f# and b), but in the second run you are right, there is a D (apparently thumb between A open and D 7th. Also a D chord when he occasionally adds the B string 10th fret with the pinky, e.g. at 0:57 of the video.

    The bass however seems always to play the B, but we need to remember that a D over a B in the bass is basically a Bm7 chord, so the question becomes a bit academically here.

  5. I love those 80-81 versions with experimentation, new arrangements, extended keyboard and guitar solos. the On location tour was the genesis of versions we can hear on Alchemy.
    The first thing that hit me in the 80-81 News version was the transition D just before the re-starting on the Bm. And in the second cycle, with the keyboard coming, Pick just hit the beat on this D, I love it, it adds to song IMHO.

    Ingo, if I remember right, you were at this Dortmund gig, and you met Mark, right ?

    can you tell us more about the gig, the set list, and of course your meeting with him ?

  6. I was in fact on that Dortmund gig, the first live concert of my life 🙂
    I finished a blog posts about it but wanted to scan an autograph and a photo I got from that day, but could not find both of them 🙁 (they must definitely be here somewhere…)

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