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Dire Straits

Dire Straits are a British rock band, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (guitar and vocals), David Knopfler (guitar), John Illsley (bass) and Pick Withers (drums), and managed by Ed Bicknell. In an era when punk rock reigned, they played subdued, almost old-school rock and roll. Mark Knopfler (the band's frontman) was heard to have asked pub managers to turn down the sound, so people could talk over the music, while they were still in their early days. Despite this complete antithesis to popular culture at the time, Dire Straits still became hugely successful.

Dire Straits recorded and released their first, self-titled album in 1978 to little fanfare but five months later a single release, 'Sultans of Swing' became an unlikely chart hit and album sales took off. The second album followed soon afterwards; these first two albums featured a stripped-down band sound. The third album, Making Movies featured keyboardist Roy Bittan (from Bruce Springsteen's band) and marked a move towards more complex arrangements and production which would continue throughout the band's career. The band's 1985 release Brothers in Arms was an international hit and spawned several singles including the number one hit 'Money for Nothing'.

Aiding the success of Brothers in Arms was the fact that it was one of the first fully digitally recorded and produced albums available in the (then) new Compact Disc format. This had the accidental side effect of making it one of the 'must buy' albums for consumers wishing to demonstrate the new technology. Equally, the new format was an excellent showcase for Knopfler's meticulous production values on the earlier albums, leading many existing fans to repurchase the whole back catalogue. Partly as a result of this (and a successful appearance in Live Aid), Dire Straits were the biggest selling band in the world in the mid 1980s. The popularity of the band extends beyond the UK and US: in many parts of the world including India, Southeast Asia and Africa, Dire Straits has been one of the most well-known and admired western bands.

A long period of inactivity followed with only a hits compilation and a live set released for the next six years. The band's final original studio album, On Every Street was released in 1991 to mixed reviews and moderate success. Mark Knopfler would later concentrate on solo projects and film music.

The band's line-up changed over the years, but one constant was Mark Knopfler, who wrote most of the band's songs and acted as clear leader of the band.

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Dire Straits: On Every Street

Read "Dire Straits: On Every Street" reviewed by John Kelman

Dire Straits On Every Streetuniversal Music Japan2013 (1991) After a lengthy hiatus, Rediscovery returns with a Japanese SHM CD edition of Dire Straits' final studio record, 1991's On Every Street. While many folks who bought it on the strength of the mega-selling Brothers in Arms (Warner Bros., 1985)--which contained so many hits so (still) consistently overplayed that, for some, it's taken literally decades to begin loving it again--were disappointed at On Every Street's relative lack ...

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Forgotten Series: Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms (1985)

Forgotten Series: Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms (1985)

Source: Something Else!

By Nick DeRiso Known now (unfortunately) for its jokey songs—that headband-couture video-hit “Money for Nothing," the silly baseball-park ditty “Walk of Life"—Dire Strait's Brothers in Arms wouldn't perhaps seem like a top candidate for inclusion in the Something Else's Forgotten Series. Except that elsewhere on the album, when they weren't “playing guitar on the MTV," Dire Straits shared what may be some of the band's most interestingly topical, and deeply emotive tracks. The title track, which lacks any of the ...


Video / DVD

Sat Eye Candy: Dire Straits

Sat Eye Candy: Dire Straits

Source: JamBase

WE COULD DO WORSE FOR OUR SULTAN When Dire Straits went looking for a player to tour the more keyboard heavy Making Movies in 1980, whoever got the job had big shoes to fill—the E Street Band's Roy Bittan had played on the album. Enter Alan Clark, whose deep skill and compositional dexterity strongly influenced the group's subsequent catalog, particularly their worldwide blowout Brothers In Arms. In between his duties with the Straits—with whom he remained until the band's end ...


Music Industry

Music Group EMI in Dire Straits

Music Group EMI in Dire Straits

Source: All About Jazz

Struggling music group EMI faces being taken over by its bankers after failing to clinch a deal to sell the North American distribution rights for its artists to Universal Music Group or Sony Music.

EMI, which has the Beatles, Coldplay, Lily Allen and Pink Floyd on its books, had hoped to raise around 200 million pounds ($304 million) by offering its rivals a five- year licensing contract. A source close to both sets of talks, who requested anonymity because the ...



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