Vinyl–Dire Straits’ “Brothers in Arms”


Dire Straits’ “Brothers in Arms” (1985) is available in the LemonWire store. The album is a departure from what audiences might have thought about the group from the 1970s and early 1980s. By 1985, it was a big deal that a classic band like Dire Straits was changing their style, essentially challenging themselves to do something contemporary. Thus, with the success of “Brothers in Arms,” Dire Straits made themselves relevant for the rest of the 1980s.

The most popular songs from the album are arguably “Money for Nothing” and “Walk of Life.” “Money for Nothing” in particular, is popular for its attendant video. Animated working men are used to discussion class differences – – those who make money from doing “nothing,” such as popular musicians, who only “play the guitar on the M-TV,” and those who work with their hands, in this case, appliance movers. The animated workingmen consider their plight while moving refrigerators and microwaves. While they work, a music video comes on. The movers are unimpressed, hence “money for nothing.”

The song is effective at pointing at class differences and more importantly, to show a change in Dire Straits’ style. The keyboards shimmer, while high-pitched male voices intone “I want my MTV,” the vocal notes are sustained, as are the keyboard notes. When the song kicks in, there is a ripping guitar riff and a stylized pounding of the drums. That combination becomes the song groove, and people are reminded of what a stellar guitar player Mark Knopfler really is. An added attraction is the inclusion of Sting on backing vocals. He can be heard vamping at the end in his trademark mildly angsty tenor.

The entire album shows audiences what Dire Straits was ready to show the world in 1985. It was an instant classic, and for the classic rock fan, it is still is. Buy it today at the LemonWire store.


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