Brothers in Arms
Released: May 13, 1985
Peak: 19 US, 114 UK, 118 CN, 134 AU
Sales (in millions): 9.0 US, 4.15 UK, 32.6 world (includes US and UK)
Genre: classic rock
Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
All songs written by Mark Knopfler unless noted otherwise.
Total Running Time: 55:07
4.351 out of 5.00 (average of 32 ratings)
Quotable: “The first album to sell one million copies in the CD format” – Wikipedia
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
“Dire Straits were fortunate enough to be the right band at the right time with the right product to benefit from a new music medium.” TB “When the clamour of punk began to die down at the beginning of the eighties, ex-pub rockers Dire Straits emerged with a lucrative brand of laid-back rock tailor-made for the more mature end of the market and the fledging CD format.” PR At a time when most albums were still recorded on analog equipment, Arms was recorded digitally making it a “must-have record for serious audiophiles.” ZS It was “the first album to sell one million copies in the CD format and to outsell its LP version.” WK “Industry insiders suggested everyone who owned a CD player also owned a copy of this disc.” PR The one downside – due to limitations of the latter’s format, tracks had to be edited to fit.
“Brothers in Arms brought the atmospheric, jazz-rock inclinations of Love Over Gold into a pop setting, resulting in a surprise international best-seller.” AMG The album topped the charts in 25 countries. TB One of the keys to their success “was that their music wasn’t too dynamic, nor demanding.” PR “It rocks – but not too much – and it doesn’t scream at you, so millions who would normally never buy a rock album bought it.” TB “Knopfler’s laid-back guitar licks looked back to Clapton, Rory Gallagher, and Martin Barre of Jethro Tull” PR and “his mid-Atlantic drawl reminded older fans of J.J. Cale, Springsteen, and Bob Dylan” PR positioning Knopfler as “an unpretentious Man Of The People.” TB
Original drummer Pick Withers left in 1982 and was replaced by Terry Williams. Williams was credited on Brothers in Arms, but jazz session drummer Omar Hakim came in to re-record drum parts after it was decided that Terry Williams’ style didn’t fit the goal of the album. WK Hakim had worked with Weather Report, David Sanborn, George Benson, and David Bowie (Let’s Dance, Tonight) and was also on Sting’s debut album, released just a few weeks later. He went on to work with Miles Davis, Mick Jagger (Primitive Cool), Sammy Hagar, Carole King, Anita Baker, Mariah Carey (1990’s Mariah Carey), Tracy Chapman, Lionel Richie, and Daft Punk (2013’s Random Access Memories).
“Money for Nothing”
“Money for Nothing “is the only Dire Straits song on a studio album to not be solely credited to Mark Knopfler. Sting was given a co-writing credit because his vocal hook, ‘I want my MTV,’ is the same melody as The Police’s ‘Don’t Stand So Close to Me.’” WK Sting was reportedly embarrassed that his publishing company demanded credit because he felt his contribution to the song was minimal. DSB
“Walk of Life” and “So Far Away”
“The approachably pretty” ‘So Far Away’” SER was a top 20 hit in both the U.S. and UK. It “is a catchy up-tempo boogie variation on ‘Sultans of Swing,’” AMG that “was nearly left off the album, but was included after the band out-voted producer Neil Dorfsman.” WK
“Why Worry” and “Your Latest Trick”
“Dire Straits had never been so concise or pop-oriented, and it wore well on them.” AMG “The whole album maintains the original Dire Straits’ bluesy and laid back guitar-based sound whilst retaining a more lavish and bombastic production and overall sound.” WK
“Ride Across the River”
“The Man’s Too Strong”
“Brothers in Arms”
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First posted 3/7/2008; last updated 1/10/2022.