Dire Straits Biography

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Dire StraitsDire Straits was a popular British rock band that was formed by famed guitarist Mark Knopfler in 1977. Together with his brother David on guitar, John Illsley on bass and Pick withers on drums, Mark Knopfler was able to establish a band that worked within the conventions of classic rock at a time when punk rock reigned supreme.

The band was able to record and release their self titled debut album in 1978. The success of their album all over Europe (except in the UK where it did poorly), it caught the attention of Warner Bros. Records and signed the band to a record contract. The label then re-released the album and eventually went platinum.

The band followed up the success of their first album with Communique in 1979 which also went on to achieve success in Europe just like their debut album. Their initial songs were characterized by their striped down rock sound that made them different from other rock bands during this time. But with the release of their third album in 1980, the band went to a change in direction.

The band’s third album, Making Movies, marked the band’s move towards making music with more complex arrangements and production. This album features their well known ballad, "Romeo and Juliet". There was a line up change during the recording and release of the album with Mark’s brother David departing the band.

The bands next album, Private Investigations was released in 1982 and gave the band their first Top 5 hit in the UK with the carrier single. I 1985, the band released Brothers in Arms which went on to become the band’s best selling album in the UK. It carried a number of hit singles, most notably by its "Money for Nothing", a number one hit in the US. This album went on to become a major hit for the band around the world. But it was also during this time that the band found itself going through a series of line up changes.

After the immense success of Brothers in Arms, the band went on an extended hiatus to rest after a grueling touring schedule that brought them all over the world. The band regrouped in 1991 with the line up of Knopfler, Illsley, and keyboardists Alan Clark and Guy Fletcher. They went on to release another album, On Every Street in 1991 which was received with mixed reviews and only moderate success.

After two other albums released in 1993 and 1995, the band quietly decided to disband upon Mark’s decision to give up major touring and concentrate on solo projects. Overall, Dire Straits was considered as one of the commercially successful bands to come out of the UK in the 80’s. With a number of their albums enjoying success worldwide, the band was able to sell over 118 million albums to date, quite a feat for any band.

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