Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Number 405 - Dire Straits

Number 405

Dire Straits

"Brothers In Arms"


404 ..........Genre: Rock........... 406
art by Cuellar
This song is one of my brothers favourite songs of all time ... funny that. Dire Straits were never one of those bands you could identify as being a "Pop" Band or a Supergroup, like, as in the ilk of a Supertramp, Bon Jovi or Journey. They were more of a une perle cachée, just, so dependable in a strong music sense of way. Perhaps they were caught in a time period that they just did not fit or suit for that matter - and - Sure, they sang some quintessential 80s bullshit to put the food in their [family] stomachs and to justify a means to record the real music they wanted to make. But in all honesty, I don't think they would have fitted in the 70's just as much as I don't think they would have in the 90's either. Dire Straits and to the same extent Supertramp are the unsung hero's of a generation [stuck in between?] that 10 years earlier had Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones who were held in far higher regard to critics and fans. I say this group demands better reward and far more attention then what it has had. Lest we forget comrades. ~ crowbarred
You shall listen brother
Brothers in Arms brought the atmospheric, jazz-rock inclinations of Love Over Gold into a pop setting, resulting in a surprise international best-seller. Of course, the success of Brothers in Arms was helped considerably by the clever computer-animated video for "Money for Nothing," a sardonic attack on MTV. But what kept the record selling was Mark Knopfler's increased sense of pop songcraft -- "Money for Nothing" had an indelible guitar riff, "Walk of Life" is a catchy up-tempo boogie variation on "Sultans of Swing," and the melodies of the bluesy "So Far Away" and the down-tempo, Everly Brothers-style "Why Worry" were wistful and lovely. Dire Straits had never been so concise or pop-oriented, and it wore well on them.

wrong one you banana head
Though they couldn't maintain that consistency through the rest of the album -- only the jazzy "Your Latest Trick" and the flinty "Ride Across the River" make an impact -- Brothers in Arms remains one of their most focused and accomplished albums, and in its succinct pop sense, it's distinctive within their catalog. [In 2005 Mercury released a 20th anniversary limited edition version of Brothers in Arms in the Hybrid/SACD format.] Brothers in Arms was the first album to sell one million copies in the CD format and to outsell its LP version. A Rykodisc staffer would subsequently write, "[In 1985 we] were fighting to get our CDs manufactured because the entire worldwide manufacturing capacity was overwhelmed by demand for a single rock title (Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms)."It was remastered and released with the rest of the Dire Straits catalogue in 1996 for most of the world outside the U.S. and on September 19, 2000 in the United States. It was also released in Super Audio CD format on July 26, 2005 and DualDisc format on August 16, 2005, winning a Grammy for Best Surround Sound Album. ~ [Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide]

Who are these Brothers?
Circa mid 80s
There are actually two studio recorded versions of this song: the album version which is 6:58 seconds, and the shorter version which is 6:05 seconds and features slightly different (and shorter) solos at the beginning and end of the song. The version that appears on Dire Straits' greatest hits album, The Very Best of Dire Straits, is 4:55. The On The Night-version contains an extra slide guitar-solo and is 8:55 seconds. Mark Knopfler usually played the song on a Gibson Les Paul guitar, rather than his usual Schecter "Stratocaster", and a Les Paul appears in the distinctive promo video, which is in the style of a charcoal drawing, interspersing scenes of the band playing with scenes of war. During Dire Straits' tour On Every Street 1992, Mark used his Pensa Suhr MK1 for this song, like most of the others. ~ [Source: Wikipedia]
Oddities of note ....
1. In an Australian TV show commemorating Shane Warne; first part of the song was used as an introduction.
2. Metallica covered the song on Bridge School Benefit 2007
3. The song has been used on New Zealand television to promote the work of The Salvation Army.
4. Gregorian covered the song for their album, Masters of Chant, Chapter 1-3

For Everly Brothers see Number 467
For Bon Jovi see Number 475 & #522
For Led Zeppelin see Number 422, #577 & #967
For the Rolling Stones see Number 689 & #767
For more Dire Straits see Number 610
For Metallica see Number 408, Number 484, MM Vol 1 #033 & MM Vol 2 #136
What does Rolling Stone think of the Straits?
Except for their swell debut hit single, "Sultans of Swing," in 1979, the British band Dire Straits has never come as much of a surprise. And, then, what caught you off guard was how much the singer sounded like Dylan. Brothers in Arms, their first studio album since Love over Gold three years ago, offers more of their winsomely rocking tunes. The band is augmented by bassist Tony Levin, Weather Report drummer Omar Hakim, a horn section, which includes the Brecker Brothers, and some thirteen different keyboards that are used to explore orchestral textures. Carefully crafted instead of raucous, pretty rather than booming, and occasionally affecting, the record is beautifully produced, with Mark Knopfler's terrific guitar work catching the best light. The lyrics are literate, but the scenarios aren't as interesting as they used to be on records like Making Movies, still the band's most solid LP. ~ [Source: Rolling Stone]
For Bob Dylan see Number 491, #841 & #929
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '405th Song of all Time' was "We've Only Just Begun" by The Carpenters. The Carpenters has not appeared in The Definitive 1000.
Other songs with reference to Dire Straits #522, #779, #958
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Not one song!) and the Album ranked at 358
This song has a Definitive 1000 rating of 78.3 out of 108

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