Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms
On May 13, 1985, "Dire Straits" released their fifth album, "Brothers in Arms". Here are 30 interesting facts about the excellent album:
1. This is the band's most successful album and one of the best-selling albums in the world, with sales of over 30 million copies.
2. The album spent 14 weeks at number one on the UK Albums Chart and nine weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States.
3. This is the first album in the UK to receive 10 times platinum status and is the best-selling album of the 80s in the United Kingdom.
4. This is one of the first albums to be recorded in digital format on Sony's 24-channel digital tape. The decision to switch to digital recording came from Mark Knopfler's constant pursuit of better sound quality.
5. This is the first album to be released in CD format in massive distribution.
7. The opening song "So Far Away" is a "Rock Star" longing song for his family. Mark Knopfler laments the lifestyle of a moving and wandering man whose job keeps him away from his loved ones.
8. Mark Knopfler wrote "Money For Nothing" which mocks the lifestyle of a "rock star" - after hearing a conversation between two employees in an electrical store, while the wall of TVs showing clips from MTV in the background.
9. In 2007, Nikki Sixx, Mötley Crüe's" bass player, claimed that the conversation between the two employees in the store was when one of "Mötley Crüe's" video clips was broadcasted.
10. Mark Knopfler's unique guitar sound in "Money for Nothing" is the result of a "musical accident". Knopfler wanted to get a sound similar to that of "ZZ Top". He used his Gibson Les Paul that went through a Laney amplifier. While the guitar technician arranged the microphones in the studio he heard the "amazing" sound of Knopfler guitar, even before he finished arranging the microphones, with one of them aimed at the floor, the other not aimed at the amplifier, and a third at a random location in the studio.
11. The length of the song's album version is 8:26 minutes, compared to the single version which was shortened to 4:38 minutes.
12. This is one of the only two songs of "Dire Straits" not written exclusively by Mark Knopfler. Credit for the song was also given to Sting who was on holiday at Montserrat Island at the time and came to visit the band in the studio.
13. Credit is given to him for the singing, background vocals, and melody in the line "I Want My MTV", which is identical to the melody in the song "Don't Stand So Close to Me" by his band "The Police". Sting was ashamed that his record company had asked for the song credit.
14. Drummer Terry Williams was replaced by Sting's drummer Omar Hakim, during the recording of the album. Hakim re-recorded all the drumming roles within two days, though you can still hear Williams' drumming in the iconic opening of "Money For Nothing".
15. The song "Money for Nothing" was also the first clip to air on MTV Europe.
16. 25 years after its release the song was banned from public broadcasting in Canada, after a man complained about it being a "homophobic" song, partly due to the line "that little fagot with the earring and the make-up".
17. On August 31, 2011, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council put an end to the ban, as everyone knows the words were a quoted conversation heard by Knopfler at the electrical store.
18. Singer Mark Knopfler wrote the song "Brothers in Arms" in 1982, in the midst of the Falklands War.
19. Mark Knopfler plays a Gibson Les Paul guitar in this song, unlike most of the band's songs he had played so far on the Fender "Stratocaster" that was associated with him.
20. The video clip of the song shows the band members and pictures from the First World War in the background.
21. Following the band's visit to Israel, in May 1985, a special video clip that connects the song with the band members' impressions of the visit to Israel, was produced by the British television program "The tube".
22. The Finnish power metal band "Northern Kings" recorded a cover version of the song on the album "Reborn" from 2007.
23. "Metallica" also performed a cover version of the song in Neil Young's charity show "Bridge School Benefit" held in October 2007.
24. That same year Mark Knopfler released a new version of the song marking the 25th anniversary of the Falklands War. All profits went to support post-trauma soldiers.
25. The songs "Ride Across the River" and "The Man's Too Strong" also deal with war themes.
26. Mark Knopfler wrote "Walk Of Life" about the street musicians of London, hence the references to "Be-Bop-a-Lula" and "What'd I Say", two songs that street musicians used to sing in the years -80.
27. The trumpet solo at the beginning of "Your Latest Trick" is played by trumpeter Randy Brecker, but it only appears in the CD version and not in the vinyl version. The saxophone solo that comes later in the song is played by his brother Michael Brecker.
28. A Style "O" Resonator guitar flying in the sky appears on the album cover. Knopfler used this guitar on the album, including the song "The Man's Too Strong". This guitar from 1937 is mainly used in the blues and country styles
29. In 2000, "Q Magazine" ranked the album 51st on the list of the 100 greatest British albums ever.
30. The album is also included in "Rolling Stone" magazine's 500 greatest albums of all time and "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die" list.