You need flash!
no cover -  

Dire Straits

classic rock rock 80s blues guitar

      Dire Straits were a band from Newcastle, United Kingdom, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (guitar and vocals), his brother David Knopfler (guitar), John Illsley (bass), and Pick Withers (drums), and subsequently managed by Ed Bicknell. The band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

      Dire Straits emerged during the era of the late '70s, and while their sound was minimalistic and stripped down, they owed little to . If anything, the band was a direct outgrowth of the roots revivalism of , but where pub rock celebrated good times, Dire Straits were melancholy. Led by guitarist/vocalist Mark Knopfler, the group built their sound upon the laid-back of J.J. Cale, but they also had jazz and country inflections, occasionally dipping into the epic song structures of . The band's music was offset by Knopfler's lyrics, which approximated the winding, stream-of-conscious narratives of Bob Dylan. As their career progressed, Dire Straits became more refined and their new maturity happened to coincide with the rise of MTV and the compact disc. These two musical revolutions from the mid-'80s helped make Dire Straits' fifth studio album, Brothers in Arms, an international blockbuster. The band - along with Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, and Steve Winwood - became one of the leaders of a group of self-consciously mature veteran rock & rollers in the late '80s that designed their music to appeal to aging baby boomers. Despite the band's international success, they couldn't sustain their stardom, waiting a full six years to deliver a follow-up to Brothers in Arms, by which time their audience had shrunk significantly.

      Knopfler (born August 12, 1949) was always the main force behind Dire Straits. The son of an architect, Knopfler studied English literature at Leeds University and worked briefly as a rock critic for the Yorkshire Evening Post while at college. He began teaching English after his graduation, leading a pub rock band called "Brewer's Droop" at night. By 1977, Mark was playing with his brother David (guitar) and his roommate John Illsley (bass). During the summer of 1977, the trio cut a demo with drummer Pick Withers. A London DJ named Charlie Gillett heard the demo and began playing "Sultans of Swing" on his BBC show Honky Tonkin'. Following a tour opening for Talking Heads, the band began recording their debut for Vertigo Records with producer Muff Winwood in early 1978. By the summer, they had signed with Warner Bros. in the USA, releasing their eponymous debut in the fall. Thanks to the Top Ten hit "Sultans of Swing", Dire Straits was a major success in both Britain and America, with the single and album climbing into the Top Ten on both sides of the Atlantic.

      The LP "Dire Straits" established Dire Straits as a major force on album-oriented radio in America, and their second album, "Communiqué" (1979), consolidated their audience, selling three million copies worldwide. As the group was recording its third album, David Knopfler left the band to pursue a solo career; he was replaced by former Darling member Hal Lindes. Like its predecessor, "Making Movies" was a sizable hit in America and Britain, even though the band was criticized for musically treading water. Nevertheless, the record went gold on the strength of the radio and MTV hits "Romeo and Juliet" and "Skateaway". Dire Straits followed the album two years later with "Love Over Gold", an album filled with long, experimental passages, plus the single "Private Investigations", which became a number two hit in the United Kingdom. The album went gold in America and spent four weeks at number one in Britain. Shortly after the release of "Love Over Gold", former Rockpile drummer Terry Williams replaced Withers.

      During 1982, Knopfler began exploring musical avenues outside of Dire Straits, scoring the Bill Forsyth film "Local Hero" and playing on Van Morrison's "Beautiful Vision". Apart from releasing the "Twisting by the Pool" EP early in 1983, Dire Straits were quiet for the majority of 1983 and 1984, as Knopfler produced Bob Dylan's "Infidels", as well as Aztec Camera and Willy DeVille; he also wrote "Private Dancer" for Tina Turner's comeback album of the same name.

      In the spring of 1984, the band released the double album "Alchemy: Dire Straits Live" and by the end of the year, they had begun recording their fifth studio album with their new keyboardist, Guy Fletcher.

      Released in the summer of 1985, "Brothers in Arms" was Dire Straits' breakthrough album, making the band international stars. Supported by the groundbreaking computer-animated video for "Money for Nothing", a song which mocked music videos, the album became a blockbuster, spending nine weeks at the top of the American charts and selling over nine million copies; in England, the album became the biggest-selling album of the '80s. "Walk of Life" and "So Far Away" kept "Brothers in Arms" in the charts through 1986, and Dire Straits played over 200 dates in support of the album.

      Once the tour was completed, Dire Straits went on hiatus for several years, as Knopfler produced records by Randy Newman and Joan Armatrading, scored films, toured with Eric Clapton, and recorded a duet album with Chet Atkins: "Neck and Neck" (1990). In 1989, he formed the country-rock group Notting Hillbillies, whose sole album, "Missing…Presumed Having a Good Time", became a British hit upon its spring 1990 release. During the extended time off, John Illsley recorded his second album; the first appeared in 1984.

      In 1990, Knopfler reconvened Dire Straits, which now featured Illsley, Clark, Fletcher, and various session musicians. The band released "On Every Street" in autumn 1991 to great anticipation. However, the album failed to meet expectations - it only went platinum in America but went to number one in the UK charts and most of Europe - it failed to generate a hit single in the UK. The tour embarked on was massive but may have been a bit of a disappointment, with many tickets going unsold in both the U.S. and Europe. Once the tour was completed, the live album "On the Night" was released in the spring of 1993 and the band again went on hiatus.

      Dire Straits released one last album in 1995, Live at the BBC, as a contractual album release to Vertigo Records. That same year, Knopfler disbanded the group.

      In 1996, Knopfler launched his solo career.

      Dire Straits 34088dd08c7e413c9391cf74e845a3ce Dire Straits 622a666da0874378875e0a6ea653d1ef Dire Straits fecab13108df4ae49a9ff946aff367a8 Dire Straits 7c47608231be440ea4f399f0f21e3d38 Dire Straits 76fdfe9f10114bb8936c44f09f430b2c Dire Straits d59d1f9f47184a7691cd6cca4a62fdea Dire Straits 09966908b5b54eddbd73e1a40b748243 Dire Straits 6f24be2e2218464fc655cddb42b9ce3f Dire Straits 30c4e4afc77c47ee86104feb93a55f44 Dire Straits 4e185bef783e4fe0b8aeb2cb67f7c94d Dire Straits a5fd751a6c3543e790d424109c5f5153 Dire Straits 500bf75c9058424db11f134c6a6d131f Dire Straits 223f91d7d442480f8282d7f7d8616bec Dire Straits 39331d13f6984d6494ca546f184259a7 Dire Straits 2d2875d779234bf887177df678a180be Dire Straits 175e7ad655774502949d3f1d7984c033 Dire Straits 8e0ba2f9b67d47b19f1302729a5354fa Dire Straits 1b707d4243b441f58820611bb5e0d5cf Dire Straits 500ba3615b684412b87ceed0391faa42 Dire Straits b866f2e63db8493a885d8846187d7efa Dire Straits 098dffbca7a04316a9f41d65ec82bbbe Dire Straits 0033813d22f24b0890ccd196bc18189e Dire Straits 704771a59e384185a2a9968b346778f2 Dire Straits 79842919a2b5422cbc10cf0fb9387a30 Dire Straits 3fc3ead8f1254124928f225ef5d0421d Dire Straits 4e51f567c14b449ca57261908dde1b44 Dire Straits cd2933a7ae5a495795070588b5b9357a Dire Straits 3c47d96fb58246eeb3bda5a4d106e199 Dire Straits 5370da3cc4444d4ea43eb9a4b79c5f8d Dire Straits 04c1cee40bd44894b159edfda9b4392a Dire Straits 7d1b443a416444628c14c30a064b4541 Dire Straits 6435f36ca8a34ff48a90d9b25f833489 Dire Straits 9074c2c2b6cb4850aae70cd476da4e5f Dire Straits 98986e95a4844f0297e4989e41e8c59a Dire Straits e7e3f74fb4534961b33bf4aa0656cb15 Dire Straits 259569f49cc646ddb02ccd7e606dec88 Dire Straits 255da69ba4254680b5cc191a69b11d73 Dire Straits 0152213504384ca7bad6b7eebca421fc Dire Straits 4c58210dfbb049bf96413998c8d22c1b Dire Straits 740529443eba4d4997117d481d40e940