Dire Straits – Biography, Songs, Albums, Discography & Facts

Dire Straits - Biography, Songs, Albums, Discography & Facts
Dire Straits 1985 Mark Knopfler Alan Clark Jack Sonni. Image source: Zoran Veselinovic, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dire Straits Biography

Dire Straits was formed in London in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backup vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and backup vocals), and Pick Withers (drums and percussion). From 1977 through 1988 and again from 1990 to 1995, they were active.

The Café Racers were the group’s previous name. The band’s name, Dire Straits, is said to have been created by Withers’ musician flatmate while they were practicing in Simon Cowe’s kitchen in Lindisfarne. The band made a five-song demo tape in 1977 that featured “Sultans of Swing,” which would go on to become a hit, as well as “Water of Love” and “Down to the Waterline.” They took a sample tape to MCA in Soho after a concert at the Rock Garden in 1977, but they were declined. They then visited Honky Tonk’s host, DJ Charlie Gillett, of BBC Radio London. Gillett played “Sultans of Swing” on his show despite the fact that the band was only asking for advice since he loved the music so much. A recording agreement between Dire Straits and the Vertigo branch of Phonogram Inc. was inked two months later. For BBC Radio London, the band made demo tapes of “Southbound Again,” “In the Gallery,” and “Six Blade Knife” in October 1977, and “Setting Me Up,” “Eastbound Train,” and “Real Girl” in November.

At a cost of £12,500, the band’s debut album, Dire Straits, was produced at Basing Street Studios in Notting Hill, London, in February 1978. It was first released in the UK on Vertigo Records, which was then a part of Phonogram Inc., and was produced by Muff Winwood.

Their debut self-titled album from 1978 featured the band’s first song, “Sultans of Swing,” which peaked at number ten in both the US and UK charts. Hit songs like “Romeo and Juliet” (1981), “Private Investigations” (1982), “Twisting by the Pool” (1983), “Money for Nothing” (1985), and “Walk of Life” were released after it (1985). Brothers in Arms, their most commercially successful album from 1985, has sold more than 30 million copies and is the eighth-best-selling album in UK history. It was the first record to sell a million copies on a compact disc. The sixth most times overall, Dire Straits has spent more than 1,100 weeks on the UK albums chart, according to the Guinness Book of British Hit Albums.

The blues rock of J. J. Cale, jazz, folk, and country all had an impact on Dire Straits’ sound. Their raw sound was very different from punk music, and it showed how roots rock grew out of pub rock. Mark Knopfler and Illsley were the only members of the band that remained from the beginning to the finish despite numerous personnel changes. 1988 saw the couple’s first breakup, and Knopfler revealed to Rolling Stone: “Numerous news accounts claimed that we were the largest band on the planet. The emphasis is placed on popularity rather than the song itself. I required a break.” After they permanently split up in 1995, Knopfler started pursuing a solo career full-time. Since then, he’s turned down many invitations to get together.

Classic Rock magazine referred to Dire Straits as “the biggest British rock band of the 1980s,” and their 1985–1986 world tour, which including a performance at Live Aid in July 1985, broke sales records in Australasia. Between 1991 and 1992, 7.1 million tickets were sold for their last world tour. Four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, including two for Best British Group, two MTV Video Music Awards, and numerous other honors went to Dire Straits. In 2018, they were admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. One of the top-selling musical acts is Dire Straits, who have sold over 120 million albums worldwide, including 51.4 million certified albums.

Dire Straits Discography

Brothers in ArmsSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Love over GoldSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Making MoviesSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Dire StraitsSpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Many No 1 Has Dire Straits Had?

Dire Straits had six No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: “Money for Nothing”, “Walk of Life”, “So Far Away”, “Brothers in Arms”, “Private Investigations”, and “Calling Elvis”. The group also had three No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 chart: Brothers in Arms (1985), Making Movies (1980), and Love over Gold (1982).

What Was Dire Straits’S Best Selling Album?

Dire Straits’ best selling album is undoubtedly their 1985 release, Brothers in Arms. The album topped charts around the world and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. It features the band’s most popular song, “Money for Nothing,” which became a global hit single.

What Is Dire Straits’S Most Famous Song?

“Sultans of Swing” is Dire Straits’ most famous song. The song was released on the band’s debut album in 1978 and quickly rose to popularity, becoming a top ten hit in several countries. “Sultans of Swing” remains one of Dire Straits’ most iconic songs and has been covered by numerous artists over the years.

Most Searched For Dire Straits Songs

Sultans Of Swing SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Walk Of Life – Remastered 1996 SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Romeo And Juliet SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Money For Nothing – Remastered 1996 SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Brothers In Arms – Remastered 1996 SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Lady Writer SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
So Far Away SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Your Latest Trick – Remastered 1996 SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Tunnel Of Love SpotifyAppleYouTubeAmazon
Once Upon A Time In The West SpotifyAppleYouTube