Music Monday – Brothers In Arms

An absolute classic album. Released in 1985, Brothers In Arms became the first album to sell a million copies on CD and gave Dire Straits a 14-week run at number one in the UK album charts. It features three UK top 20 singles, two of which broke the top 5, Money For Nothing and Walk of Life.

Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms

It was one of the first albums I ever bought on CD and unfortunately, the disc shows the extent to which it has been played. It’s usually an album I play when in a melancholy mood, despite a couple of uplifting tracks – the aforementioned top 5-hits. The majority of it is classic Dire Straits, with their natural, ‘vibrato’ guitar sound and Knopfler’s whispery vocals. It’s an album I close my eyes to, sit back, and enjoy.

Money For Nothing is as well known for its video as it is for its musical content, both of which were instant hits. Seeing constant play on MTV it hit the top of the charts in the US. You just can’t help but reach for the air guitar and make stupid faces of concentration as you rock out the intro – or is that just me?

Walk of Life has everyone calling out, ‘Woo-hoo!’ and doing silly, strutty walks, and everyone seems to know the lyrics. They’re great songs that are guaranteed to make anyone of that era smile, but the best track of the album, at least in my opinion, is the closer, ‘Brothers In Arms.’

These mist covered mountains

Are a home now for me

Whenever I hear the guitar intro, the hairs on my arms stand up. Everything about this song is perfect, right from the atmospheric guitars to the meaningful lyrics – Knopfler’s voice carries the song of sublimely. If you can’t tell by now, this is one of my favourite tracks of all-time.

Of the other songs on the album it’s hard to pick out a weak link. They all have something to offer, whether it’s musicality, vocal harmony, or deep lyrics. I’d probably plumb for Your Latest Trick, as it doesn’t feel quite in sync with the other the tracks, but it is only a minor irritation on my behalf.

The album as a whole, is very well produced and to really get the most out of it you need to play it play it on a decent set up. The first time I played the CD on my, then new, Pioneer with a good pair of Bang & Olufsen speakers, I was amazed. I was able to pick out instruments I’d never heard on there before and I began to appreciate what had gone into making the Brothers In Arms album, one of the first ever albums recorded on a 24-track digital tape machine.

I really need to replace my copy now, it’s so scratched I have trouble playing it. I once owned it on Vinyl, but that went the same way. A definite advantage to digital downloads there, but unless you have plenty of free memory available to digitally keep the very highest quality recordings, then Vinyl or CD is the best way to get a true representation of the music as intended, and this is one album that really shines in those formats.

Brothers In Arms

Released 1985

Track Listing

  1. So Far Away
  2. Money For Nothing
  3. Walk Of LIfe
  4. Your Latest Trick
  5. Why Worry
  6. Ride Across The River
  7. The Man’s Too Stong
  8. One World
  9. Brothers In Arms

My Version: CD – Vertogo label – 824 499-2 – 1985. On Discogs it has a low of £1.98, a median of £4.42, and a high of £26.49, I’d put my copy at the lower end due to its condition.

6 thoughts on “Music Monday – Brothers In Arms

  1. Another classic Justin, Money for nothing is used very well as the intro music for the film Kingsman, and it always gets my foot tapping

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not a big Dire Straits fan, although I did like Sultans of Swing! However, Justin, you do get my wife’s seal of approval for featuring this album (and that’s worth way more than mine ever would be)! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting, I had no idea they were a British rock band! That might explain why I felt a bit out of touch with them. Money for Nothing got way too much airplay for my taste, and I quickly got sick of seeing it on MTV. Though, like most radio stations, they often overplayed everything. It also marked the time when my tastes were shifting to Heavy Metal, and leaving most Pop rock behind. I did just have a listen to Brothers in Arms, and that’s a good song. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brilliant album, and I second the appreciation for Brothers in Arms.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Buying this album gave me one of those “WTF!” moments when I was but a lad. Used to the classic poppiness of “Money for Nothing” I was kind of disappointed that the rest of the album was completely bloody different to the awesome song I’d been hearing on the telly and radio. To be honest, teenage me found it boring, but it’s grown on me over the years. My fave Dire Straits song has to be “Industrial Disease”, I’ve always loved that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the rest of the album is quite different from the likes of Money for Nothing… and The Walk of Life – bet you thought I was going to say ‘And your chicks for free’ there?
      I think it is a ‘grown-ups kind of album’, though I can’t put it into words exactly why I think that.
      Can’t bring Industrial Disease to mind, I’ll check it out – what album was it on?


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