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Brothers In Arms, Dire Straits

It is almost impossible to pick one album from this band, but in fairness to those starting their music journey, I am selecting the one that introduced me to one of the most elegant bands in rock history, Dire Straits. This is an odd recommendation for those who know the band because it is not considered their best work, but is the most (and only) true commercial success and maybe the easiest way to "get into them."

The year was 1985, I was a junior in high school, and as I walked into the school, a weird riff sound was blasting out of the car of one of my best friends, I turned around and asked: "what is that?!" He waved and asked me to get into his car. We skipped the first period and spent the whole hour listening to "Money for Nothing," we could not decipher it, we didn't know who Dire Straits were but could not stop listening to that intro and turning the volume higher every time the riff started. And then we watched the video, a friend had a parabolic antenna and was the only person in the high school that could watch MTV. Watching the futuristic graphics added so much to the song we could not stop. Then our friend said, have you listened to "Walk of Life?" The video played a bit later, and we were hooked into Dire Straits.

The rest of the album felt slow at first, like it didn't belong. It took going back to listening to the whole Dire Straits repertoire to understand it, and now the album is whole. And now, after over 20 years of listening to this album, my favorite song is not the one with the riff but the one that titles this masterpiece.

You don't have to follow my journey, but I hope whatever route you take takes you to listen to Dire Strait's eponymous album so you can discover their masterpiece "Sultans of Swing."


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This album changed my life and got me through some very difficult times. As a guitar player, Mark Knopfler, helped me understand what true tone & feel is all about.

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