|Brothers in Arms|
|Studio album by Dire Straits|
|Released||13 May 1985|
|Recorded||November 1984 - March
1985 AIR Studios, Montserrat
AIR Studios, London
Power Station, New York
|Label||Vertigo (UK), Warner Bros. (U.S.)|
|Producer||Mark Knopfler, Neil Dorfsman|
|Dire Straits chronology|
Brothers in Arms is the fifth studio album by British rock band Dire Straits, released in 1985. The first half of the album is a development of their unique brand of arena rock which had evolved in their music since the 1980 album Making Movies, while the second half consists of more folk-influenced material. The whole album maintains the original Dire Straits' bluesy and laid back guitar-based sound whilst retaining a more lavish and bombastic production and overall sound. It is the band's best-selling album, and one of the top 10 best-selling albums in UK music history.
Brothers in Arms was one of the first albums to be directed at the CD market, and was a full digital recording (DDD) at a time when most popular music was recorded on analog equipment. It was also released on vinyl and cassette.
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 United States and on September 19, 2000 in the United States. It was also released in XRCD2 format in 2000, then the 20th Anniversary Edition was issued in Super Audio CD format on July 26, 2005 (becoming the 3000th title for the SACD format) and DualDisc format with DVD-Audio 24 bit/96 kHz track on August 16, 2005, remixed in 5.1 by Chuck Ainlay and winning a Grammy for Best Surround Sound Album.
In 2006, a half-speed-mastered vinyl version of the album was issued. Mastered by the renowned Stan Ricker, this version puts the full-length songs on vinyl for the first time. In order to do this, the album spans four sides on two 33 1/3 rpm discs.
In 2000 Q magazine placed Brothers in Arms at number 51 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2003, the album was ranked number 351 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In November 2006, the results of a national poll conducted by the public of Australia revealed their top 100 favourite albums. Brothers in Arms came in at number 64 (see "My Favourite Album"). Brothers in Arms is ranked number 3 in the best albums of 1985 and number 31 in the best albums of the 1980s.
As of April 30 2008, Brothers in Arms was 5th on the list of best-selling albums (UK) and is the 107th best-selling album in the United States.
All songs written by Mark Knopfler, except where indicated. The track lengths on the LP version differ from the lengths on the CD and cassette versions, due to the limitations of the medium. The full tracks would not all fit on one side of vinyl. (This was one of the first rock albums where the CD was longer than the LP.)
"Money for Nothing" was one of the most played music videos on MTV during the era. It is the only Dire Straits song on a studio album to not be solely credited to Mark Knopfler. Sting was given a co-writing credit because his vocal hook, "I want my MTV," is the same melody as The Police's "Don't Stand So Close to Me".
"Walk of Life" was a number 2 hit for the band in the UK in early 1986 and a number 7 hit in the United States later that year. The song was nearly left off the album, but was included after the band out-voted producer Neil Dorfsman.
On the second side of the album, three songs ("Ride Across the River", "The Man's too Strong" and "Brothers in Arms") are lyrically focused on the guerrilla wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua of the 1980s. The title of the album was inspired by a conversation in which Knopfler's father remarked, "We shouldn't be at war with our brothers in arms."
"Ride Across the River" is built on an off-beat rhythm. The song uses immersive Latin American rain forest imagery, accompanied by pan flute and eerie background noises, to allude to the elements of guerilla warfare.
A few songs from the album were shortened for the LP. These songs are the following:
A 2005 vinyl reissue contained the full-length versions of all songs by spreading out the songs over two LPs.
According to a recent Sound on Sound magazine interview with the co-producer/engineer of the album, Neil Dorfsman, then-permanent drummer Terry Williams' performance was found to be unsuitable for the desired sound of the album during the first month of the recording sessions. He was therefore temporarily replaced by one of the most popular jazz session drummers of the time, Omar Hakim, who recorded the whole album's drum parts in two days and then left. Terry Williams' only contribution is the improvised crescendo at the beginning of "Money for Nothing." Everything else features Hakim's drumming, although Williams would be back in the band for the music videos and the tour.
The album was a hit for the group. In the United States, propelled by the success of #1 single "Money For Nothing," the album also reached the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 and remained to the top for nine weeks. In the UK, thanks to a string of Top 10 hits, the album also easily hit #1 on the UK Albums Chart. Brothers in Arms topped the Australian albums chart for 34 (non-consecutive) weeks. Brothers In Arms is 2nd album with most weeks at number-one in ARIA Albums Chart. The album topped the charts in 24 countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Yugoslavia, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Norway, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, UK and U.S. In the UK Albums Chart, Brothers in Arms has been 228 weeks. In The Netherlands, the album broke the all-time longest chart history with its (non-consecutive) 269 weeks. In Australia, Brothers in Arms was the biggest selling album in 1985 and the second best selling album in 1986, behind Whitney Houston's eponymous album.
|1986||UK Albums Chart||1|
|1985||Australian ARIA Albums Chart||1|
|1985||Austria Albums Chart||1|
|1985||U.S. Billboard 200||1|
|1985||Canada CRIA Albums Chart||1|
|1985||German Albums Chart||1|
|1985||France SNEP Albums Chart||1|
|1985||Norway Albums Chart||1|
|1985||Sweden Albums Chart||1|
|1985||Switzerland Albums Chart||1|
|1985||Italy Albums Chart||4|
|Year||Song||Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks||The Billboard Hot 100||Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks||Australia Singles Chart||Austria Singles Chart||France Singles Chart||Italy Singles Chart||Norway Singles Chart||Sweden Singles Chart||Switzerland Singles Chart||UK singles|
|1985||Money For Nothing||-||#1||#1||#4||#7||#34||-||-||-||-||#4|
|1985||So Far Away||-||-||#29||#22||-||-||#33||#4||#7||#6||#20|
|1985||Brothers in Arms||-||-||#29||#57||-||-||-||-||-||-||#16|
|1986||Walk of Life||#4||#7||#6||#11||#18||-||-||-||-||#24||#2|
|1986||Ride Across the River||-||-||#21||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1986||So Far Away||#3||#19||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1986||Your Latest Trick||-||-||-||-||-||#1||-||-||-||-||#26|
|1985||Brothers in Arms||Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical|
|1985||"Money for Nothing"||Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal|
|2006||Brothers in Arms||Best Surround Sound Album|
|BPI – UK||Silver||May 16, 1985|
|BPI – UK||Gold||May 16, 1985|
|BPI – UK||Platinum||May 16, 1985|
|CRIA – Canada||Gold||July 1, 1985|
|CRIA – Canada||Platinum||July 1, 1985|
|RIAA – U.S.||Gold||July 23, 1985|
|CRIA – Canada||Double Platinum||August 1, 1985|
|RIAA – U.S.||Platinum||August 13, 1985|
|CRIA – Canada||Triple Platinum||August 27, 1985|
|BPI – UK||Double Platinum||September 13, 1985|
|CRIA – Canada||4X Platinum||September 17, 1985|
|RIAA – U.S.||Double Platinum||September 24, 1985|
|CRIA – Canada||5X Platinum||October 17, 1985|
|CRIA – Canada||6X Platinum||October 31, 1985|
|RIAA – U.S.||Triple Platinum||November 13, 1985|
|CRIA – Canada||7X Platinum||November 25, 1985|
|BPI – UK||Triple Platinum||December 5, 1985|
|CRIA – Canada||8X Platinum||December 23, 1985|
|IFPI – Germany||Gold||1985|
|IFPI – Germany||Platinum||1985|
|RIAA – U.S.||4X Platinum||January 29, 1986|
|CRIA – Canada||9X Platinum||February 6, 1986|
|CRIA – Canada||10X Platinum (Diamond)||April 23, 1986|
|RIAA – U.S.||5X Platinum||May 28, 1986|
|BPI – UK||8X Platinum||February 24, 1987|
|BPI – UK||9X Platinum||September 28, 1987|
|BPI – UK||10X Platinum||November 1, 1987|
|SNEP – France||Diamond||1988|
|RIAA – U.S.||6X Platinum||January 18, 1989|
|SNEP – France||2X Diamond||1990|
|BPI – UK||11X Platinum||February 1, 1992|
|BPI – UK||12X Platinum||February 1, 1992|
|SNEP – France||3X Diamond||January 9, 1994|
|RIAA – U.S.||7X Platinum||August 17, 1994|
|RIAA – U.S.||9X Platinum||August 7, 1996|
|BPI – UK||13X Platinum||October 31, 1997|
|ARIA – Australia||17X Platinum||2009|
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