If get this right, there will be many cover versions by future bands. I shall try and link live versions if they exist from the tellybox or a film, the sound quality may not be the best, but there is nothing like watching a real talent live.
So, in a sort of chronological order, my fortieth legends are:
Of course, they had to be in the mix. The early 80’s for me was sunny Tidworth, then the lovely Gibraltar, (80/81) the Falklands (82), Hameln in Germany, (82-86) then Andover (86/87) and finally left the Army. Brothers in Arms was a constant companion which I had on record and tape (I think these sorts of things still exist) and now of course DVD.
The featured track, Money for Nothing, has one of the best openings in music followed by a classic guitar rift.
Dire Straits were a British rock band formed in London in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Pick Withers (drums and percussion). They were active from 1977 to 1988 and again from 1990 to 1995.
Their first single, “Sultans of Swing“, from their 1978 self-titled debut album, reached the top ten in the UK and US charts. It was followed by hit singles including “Romeo and Juliet” (1981), “Private Investigations” (1982), “Twisting by the Pool” (1983), “Money for Nothing” (1985), and “Walk of Life” (1985). Their most commercially successful album, Brothers in Arms (1985), has sold more than 30 million copies; it was the first album to sell a million copies on compact disc and is the eighth-bestselling album in UK history. According to the Guinness Book of British Hit Albums, Dire Straits have spent over 1,100 weeks on the UK albums chart, the fifth most of all time.
Dire Straits’ sound draws from various influences, including country, folk, the blues rock of J. J. Cale, and jazz. Their stripped-down sound contrasted with punk rock and demonstrated a roots rock influence that emerged from pub rock. There were several changes in personnel, with Mark Knopfler and Illsley being the only members who lasted from the beginning of the band’s existence to the end. After their first breakup in 1988, Knopfler told Rolling Stone: “A lot of press reports were saying we were the biggest band in the world. There’s not an accent then on the music, there’s an accent on popularity. I needed a rest.” They disbanded for good in 1995, after which Knopfler launched a solo career full-time. He has since declined reunion offers.
Dire Straits were called “the biggest British rock band of the 80s” by Classic Rock magazine; their 1985–1986 world tour, which included a performance at Live Aid in July 1985, set a record in Australasia. Their final world tour from 1991 to 1992 sold 7.1 million tickets. Dire Straits won four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards (Best British Group twice), two MTV Video Music Awards, and various other awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. Dire Straits have sold over 120 million units worldwide, including 51.4 million certified units, making them one of the best-selling music artists.
- Main line up:
Mark Knopfler: lead vocals, lead & rhythm guitar, producer (1977–1995)
- John Illsley: bass, backing vocals (1977–1995)
- Pick Withers: drums, occasional backing vocals (1977–1982)
- David Knopfler: rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1977–1980)
- Alan Clark: keyboards, producer (1980–1995)
- Hal Lindes: rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1980–1985)
- Terry Williams: drums (1982–1984, 1985–1988)
- Guy Fletcher: keyboards, backing vocals (1984–1995)
- Jack Sonni: rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1985–1988)
A full discography is here: Dire Straits
Sultans of Swing (Live, 1978)
Lady Writer 1979 Aplauso – TVE, Spain
Tunnel of love [Alchemy; Live – No idea what this is about but always liked it.
Skateaway [Fridays Live – 80] – You may not have heard this, but rather good.
Romeo and Juliet Live (On the Night, 1993) HD – lovely.
Private investigations — Dire Straits 1986 Sydney live pro-shot
Twisting By The Pool [Live In Vienna ’83]
Love Over Gold (Alchemy Live) – a pleasant little ditty.
Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris – So Far Away (Real Live Roadrunning | Official Live Video) – any excuse to get Emmylou in the mix, great version this.
Dire Straits / Sting – Money For Nothing (Live Aid 1985) – A most memorable performance at Live Aid in 1985 with Sting.
Brothers in arms [Live in Nimes -92]
Calling Elvis – Live in Basel 1992
Along with Money for Nothing, a favourite track is of course: Walk of Life (Live at the On Every Street Tour). Love it.
Singalong, enjoy and be happy!
Links to previous Legend articles:
© Phil the ex test manager 2022