A Review of Streets of Heaven by John Illsley

Ben1976 By Ben1976, 14th Feb 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Music>Blues

A Review of Streets of Heaven by John Illsley, formerly of Dire Straits.

CD Review

CD Review – John Illsley – Streets of Heaven

Creek Records – 5 060233 520008

7 out of 10

A wide ranging career has seen John Illsley provide the bottom notes for Dire Straits, both in the studio and on the road. Playing in front of millions, and appearing on some of the best selling albums of the 1980’s has allowed him to indulge his love of painting. ‘Streets of Heaven’ is Illsley’s third album, and it sees him swapping bass for lead guitar, (although former boss Mark Knopfler plays on two of the album’s songs), and the band also features other former Dire Straits musicians Guy Fletcher on Keyboards and String Arrangements, and Chris White on Saxophone, Flute and Brass Arrangements. As well as this, a certain folk ambience is given to the albums, with the addition of John McCusker on Cittern, Fiddle, and Whistle, and Andy Cutting on Melodeon, and other forms of music flit in and out of the album. The acoustic ballad ‘Young Girl’ is well played, whilst the title track shows that Mr Knopfler can still do a lot with a few notes, and ‘Banks of the River’ is an attempt at Cajun flavoured soft rock. The album is not the most original. Mark Knopfler’s influence can be seen on the lead guitar on such tracks as ‘Toe the Line’ and ‘Is it Real?’ is the same chord progression as ‘Money for Nothing’ with added Brass. Whilst Lou Reed should ask for a share of ‘No way to Say Goodbye’ it is that close to ‘Perfect Day’. The musicianship on the album is of a universally high quality, and Illsley’s vocals have a pleasingly care worn timbre, whilst some of the song-writing shows real insight, and it can sit alongside his other albums ‘Never Told a Soul’ and ‘Glass’ as the work of a maturing talent.


Bassist, Bluesy Rock, Dire Straits, Singer, Singer Songwriter

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author avatar Ben1976
I am a reviewer of films, books. and music, with a wide range of interests. I am hoping to add a page a day.

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