Dire Straits

~ Group


Dire Straits were a British rock band formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), his younger brother David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Pick Withers (drums and percussion). Dire Straits' sound drew from a variety of musical influences, including jazz, folk, and blues, and came closest to beat music within the context of rock and roll. Despite the prominence of punk rock during the band's early years, their stripped-down sound contrasted with punk, demonstrating a more "rootsy" influence that emerged from Pub rock. Many of Dire Straits' compositions were melancholic. Dire Straits' biggest selling album Brothers in Arms has sold over 30 million copies, and was the first album to sell a million copies on CD.

They also became one of the world's most commercially successful bands, with worldwide records sales of over 100 million. Dire Straits won four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards—winning Best British Group twice, two MTV Video Music Awards, and various other music awards. The band's songs include "Money for Nothing", "Sultans of Swing", "So Far Away", "Walk of Life", "Brothers in Arms", "Private Investigations", "Romeo and Juliet", "Tunnel of Love", and "Telegraph Road".

According to the Guinness Book of British Hit Albums, Dire Straits have spent over 1,100 weeks on the UK albums chart, ranking fifth all-time. Their career spanned a combined total of 15 years. They originally split up in 1988, but reformed in 1991, and disbanded for good in 1995 when Mark Knopfler launched his career full-time as a solo artist. There were several changes in personnel over both periods, leaving Mark Knopfler and John Illsley as the only two original bandmates who had remained throughout the band's career.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1978 Dire Straits Dire Straits 4.5 18
1979 Communiqué Dire Straits 4.75 14
1980 Making Movies Dire Straits 4 14
1982 Love Over Gold Dire Straits 4.8 18
1985 Brothers in Arms Dire Straits 4.45 28
1991 On Every Street Dire Straits 3 11

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1988 Money for Nothing Dire Straits 3.5 9
1991 Dire Straits Dire Straits 1
1992 Heavy Fuel Dire Straits 1
1998 Sultans of Swing: The Very Best of Dire Straits Dire Straits 3.65 8
2005 The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler: Private Investigations Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler 8
2011 2 for 1: Brothers in Arms / On Every Street Dire Straits 1
2012 Dire Straits: Greatest Hits Essential Album Songs Dire Straits 5 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1984 Alchemy: Dire Straits Live Dire Straits 5 9
1991 Cocaine - Live Dire Straits 1
1993 On the Night Dire Straits 7
1993 Calling Elvis. Live At St. Jakob Stadion Dire Straits 1
1995 Live at the BBC Dire Straits 6
2008 Sultans of Swing - Live In Germany Dire Straits 1
Live in Dortmund 1980 Dire Straits 1
London 1985 Dire Straits 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1978 Sultans of Swing Dire Straits 5 4
1985 Money for Nothing Dire Straits 3 3
1985 Walk of Life Dire Straits 3.5 3
1987 Brothers in Arms Dire Straits 5 2
1991 Calling Elvis Dire Straits 5 2
1991 Heavy Fuel Dire Straits 3 1
1992 On Every Street Dire Straits 5 1
1992 The Bug Dire Straits 1
1992 You and Your Friend Dire Straits 4 1
1994 Ticket to Heaven Dire Straits 1
Kingdome Come Dire Straits 1
Millionaire Blues Dire Straits 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1978 Sultans of Swing Dire Straits 5 1
1982 ExtendedancEPlay Dire Straits 5

EP + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1993 Encores Dire Straits 3


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2013 The Studio Albums 1978 - 1991 Dire Straits 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2011 The Ultimate Best Of Dire Straits Dire Straits 1

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