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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
Genre Rock
Length 55:07 (CD)
47:21 (LP)
Label Vertigo (UK), Warner Bros. (U.S.)
Producer Mark Knopfler, Neil Dorfsman
Professional reviews
Dire Straits chronology
Brothers in Arms
On Every Street
Singles from Brothers in Arms
  1. "So Far Away"
    Released: April 8, 1985
  2. "Money For Nothing"
    Released: June 24, 1985
  3. "Brothers in Arms"
    Released: October 14, 1985
  4. "Walk of Life"
    Released: December 30, 1985
  5. "Your Latest Trick"
    Released: April 28, 1986

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)."[1]

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[2] 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.

The album won Best British Album at the 1987 Brit Awards.

Track listing

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.)

  1. "So Far Away" – 5:12
  2. "Money for Nothing" (Knopfler, Sting) – 8:26
  3. "Walk of Life" – 4:12
  4. "Your Latest Trick" – 6:33
  5. "Why Worry" – 8:31
  6. "Ride Across the River" – 6:58
  7. "The Man's Too Strong" – 4:40
  8. "One World" – 3:40
  9. "Brothers in Arms" – 6:55



Side 1

"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.

Side 2

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.

LP Shortened Versions

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.


The guitar featured on the album cover is a National Style 0 Resonator. The Style 0 line of guitars was introduced in 1930 and discontinued in 1941.


Band Personnel

Additional Personnel

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.[3] 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.[4] 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.


Year Chart Position
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 One World - - #8 - - - - - - - -
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


Grammy Awards

Year Winner Category
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


Organisation Level Date
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[5] 1988
RIAA – U.S. 6X Platinum January 18, 1989
SNEP – France 2X Diamond[5] 1990
BPI – UK 11X Platinum February 1, 1992
BPI – UK 12X Platinum February 1, 1992
SNEP – France 3X Diamond[5] 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

See also


Preceded by
Songs from the Big Chair
by Tears for Fears
Billboard 200 number-one album
August 31, 1985 – November 1, 1985
Succeeded by
Miami Vice I by Various Artists
Preceded by
Hits 2 by Various Artists
Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen
Now That's What I Call Music 6 by Various Artists
UK number one album
May 25, 1985 – June 7, 1985
August 3, 1985 – August 16, 1985
January 18, 1986 – March 28, 1986
Succeeded by
Our Favourite Shop by The Style Council
Now That's What I Call Music 5 by Various Artists
Hits 4 by Various Artists
Preceded by
No Jacket Required by Phil Collins
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
May 27 – June 30, 1985
July 29 – October 13, 1985
October 28 – December 15, 1985
February 3, 1986 – April 20, 1986
Succeeded by
Be Yourself Tonight by Eurythmics
Preceded by
Can't Slow Down by Lionel Richie
UK Albums Chart biggest selling album of the year
Succeeded by
True Blue by Madonna


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