Retro Spins: Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms


I, like so many, got my introduction to Dire Straits via their frequently played music video to, Money For Nothing, on MTV. The video was ground breaking, and visually fantastic. Even today it stands out as one of the best music videos of all time. My liking of the song was only boosted all the more when Weird Al Yankovic did his own rendition of the song for his movie, and subsequent album, UHF.

It's interesting in listening to that song these days, because you can definitely see how times have changed. I don't think that in today's day and age that Mark Knopfler would get away with the lyrics, "See the little faggot with the earring and the makeup? Yeah buddy, that's his own hair That little faggot got his own jet airplane That little faggot, he's a millionaire." Let alone that the song would get continuous airplay both in audio and video format. Of course, those versions were heavily edited to remove that verse. In fact, even when playing the song at Live Aid, while the verse was incorporated into the performance, words were changed to be a little more appropriate.

But I digress, I'm not here to focus on just one song from the album. I want to talk about the whole thing.

Brothers In Arms had always been on my radar as an album I wanted to track down, but I never really made a push for it until coming across a blogger, who for the life of me I can't remember, posted the title track to the album. I had never heard this before, but upon doing so, the record immediately shot up my list to, "Buy This Now" status. Brothers In Arms, the song, is a masterpiece! I dare say better than any of the commercial hits from the album, and one I highly recommend everyone check out.

But speaking of those hits, you'll also find iconic tracks such as, Walk Of Life, So Far Away, and of course, Money For Nothing, with backing vocals by Sting. While I'm no fan of saxophones, I have to admit that I really enjoyed, Your Latest Trick, a song until listening to the album I was unfamiliar with. I suppose this is why I do this though. Listening to the full albums is for the purposes of not only getting the songs I like, but to find new ones. Mission accomplished!

In fact, as the album progressed, I found myself saying out loud, "Wow, I am really enjoying this album." I don't know what it was, but every track felt deep. Like each one meant something to Knopfler. He wasn't just singing songs to make an album. These tracks felt like they meant something to him personally. Was this the case? I have no clue. What I do know is that it made me go looking for more music from Dire Straits. And, I did just that, picking up the 1978 self titled debut, 1979's Communiqué, 1980's Making Moves and 1982's Love Over Gold - All original Germany pressings of course.

The only album that leaves in their discography (to date) is 1991's On Every Street. I don't know what it is about 90's albums, but I slam on the breaks once you cross that 1989 line. There are just so many 90's CD's that are bad. Even from established artists. Probably because they tried to hard to remain relevant, straying so far from their style of music that made them enjoyable to begin with. Very few 70's / 80's artists made a successful attempt at this decade.

So, I guess I've got a lot of Dire Straits in my near future. I suppose I can also say, if you haven't figured it out for yourself already, Brothers In Arms was an extremely enjoyable album.

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  1. Walk of Life is one of my favorites. Also a great video if you love pro sports from the 80s.

    1. My favorite is actually not one of the hits - Why Worry. So underappreciated. Video wise, I have to go with Money For Nothing. It revolutionized MTV.