Once Upon A Time In The West is the first track in Dire Straits album Communiqué. Communiqué is the second studio album by the British rock band Dire Straits released on 15 June 1979 by Vertigo Records internationally and by Warner Bros. Records in the United States. The album produced the single “Lady Writer”, which reached #45 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #51 on the UK Singles Chart. The album reached #1 on album charts in Germany, New Zealand, and Sweden, #11 in the United States and #5 in the United Kingdom. Communiqué was later certified gold in the United States, platinum in the United Kingdom and double-platinum in France.
Communiqué was recorded from 28 November to 12 December 1978 at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, and mixed in January 1979, in New York. The album was produced by Barry Beckett and Jerry Wexler, veteran producers from Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.
Communiqué became the first album ever to enter the German charts at number one in its first week of release, while their debut album, Dire Straits was still at the number three position. The album went on to sell over 7 million copies worldwide: in Europe, it sold 3.6 million copies, and in the United States it was certified gold in 1979.
Communiqué was remastered and released with the rest of the Dire Straits catalogue in 1996 for most of the world outside the United States and on 19 September 2000 in the United States.
The album cover was designed by Phonogram’s advertising agency Grant Advertising UK. It won album cover of the year in the NME awards in 1979.
In a 1979 review for the Birmingham Daily Post, Jonathan Daümler-Ford called it a “competent record”, but wrote that “the songs sound like pale imitations, or the cuts which were not good enough for Dire Straits”. In his retrospective review for AllMusic, William Ruhlmann gave the album two and a half out of five stars, writing that the second album “seemed little more than a carbon copy of its predecessor with less compelling material.”