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Dire Straits - 1980 Making Movies
There were some good tracks on both the debut and 'Communique', but 1980's 'Making Movies' lifted the band into the stratosphere.

Dire Straits - 1982 Love Over Gold
Nothing prepared me for a progressive rock album from a band born of the same booze soaked British pub rock scene that gave birth to Ace, Dr. Feelgood and Elvis Costello. You read right, progressive rock. 'Love Over Gold' is both jazzy and arty, alternating between light and shade atmospherics and a precursor to Mark Knopfler's prolific soundtrack work, beginning with 1983's charming cult film 'Local Hero'.

Illsley, John - 1988 Glass
'Glass' is a nice set of songs with plenty of variety. Here Illsley's music fits into the category of Chris Rea, Gerry Rafferty and Chris DeBurgh and in fact his voice is very similar to DeBurgh's although not quite as powerful.