Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms – Review

*This is a Repost*

This album is the definitive Dire Straits album, and quite probably one of the defining albums of the 1980’s full stop (It was one of the first to be directed at the CD market and fully digitally recorded when most still used analog equipment). This Album also spawned some of Dire Straits’ biggest hits ‘Money For Nothing’ (one of the most played MTV videos of the era), ‘Walk Of Life’ (UK no.2 in the charts) and the incredible title track ‘Brothers In Arms’.

Track By Track Guide: –

1. So Far Away:

A good start to the album with palm muted guitar that then develops straight into a slow rock n roll rhythm. Marks voice is good as it is a slow song and suits his voice. The song is made by its beat with the guitar making the rhythm with its clean palm muting, the keyboard adds the melody with its distinct 80s electronic sound. The outro to the song in the background has harmonised singing that is really relaxing.

2. Money For Nothing:

This is the heaviest song on the album, its an award winning song and it deserved it. This is a powerful song starting with its synth and ‘I Want My MTV’ before the banging drums and introduction of overdriven guitar that achieves pure tonal Mecca. Your pulse rate heightens as it moves to the main rhythm of the song with the guitar making its cool overdriven power chords; this is well complimented by the really good Bass work. Mark’s singing in this song is a mixture of talking and singing which is cleverly worked, the lyrics are good and very catchy to sing to, singing about “MTV” and “playing guitar” and “getting chicks for free’. The outro is the main rhythm that includes guest vocalist Sting singing in a high voice “I want my, I want my, I want my MTV”. This is one of the best songs on the album.

3. Walk Of Life:

Without doubt the most upbeat and mainstream song on the album, lots of keyboard for the melody with Mark Knopfler supplying guitar work reminiscent of a 1950’s/1960’s rock and roll song. The vocals are decent however I challenge anyone to sing this song and get all the ‘woo-hoo’s’ in the right place as I think it may well be an impossible task.

4. Your Latest Trick:

From this point forward the album takes a different turn towards slower more balled-esque songs. Starting with a saxophone this song has a really relaxing feel to it, the guitar is used sparingly and only when needed but adds that extra dimension, a decent song.

5. Why Worry:

This is the slowest song of them all, with its soothing slide guitar and lovely arpeggiated acoustic. This song seems at times makes you feel like you’ve drifted into a fantasy world; the vocals are soft in this and are perfectly complimented by the guitars. There’s not a lot more I can say about this song besides it’s a really nice almost beautiful sounding song.

6. Ride Across The River:

This song is a somewhat eclectic mix of instruments and has an almost Caribbean feel and groove to it, this though to me is the worst song on the album as I find it somewhat bores me. The production on the song however is phenomenal and a lot of time has obviously been spent making sure you get clarity between all the instruments so it’s a shame that it gets lost on me.

7. The Mans Too Strong:

This song kicks off with an acoustic guitar that works its way through the verses, the chorus kicks in with powerful drums, before it goes back to being normal, then it repeats the process. There is no solo here but the melodic structure is good and makes up for it.

8. One World:

This has a real rocky vibe with its sudden outbursts of overdriven lead guitar and some phenomenally funky sounding slap bass. This is the shortest song on the album and a good track that keeps the album ticking over nicely as we lead up to the final song.

9. Brothers In Arms:

This is without any shadow of doubt my favourite song on this album it is truly monumental! A slow brooding synth intro with some thunder sounds overdubbed start us off before Mark Knopfler graces us with the first finger plucked notes that you just know are leading you somewhere epic. Knopfler’s whispering vocals talking about war are beautifully interwoven with the haunting guitar solos and once and for all prove you don’t need to overplay the guitar to make a song if what you play is good. The keyboard accompaniment works stunningly well and this song includes arguably some of Knopfler’s best solos, a true classic song and I love it!

Impression: –

Finally despite the fact that other the years Dire Straits have become one of those bands from the 1980’s that everyone finds easy to attack (and somewhat unfairly as well) I genuinely believe this album to be a magnificent piece of work. And the bottom line is it has sold over 29 Million copies, it is the Third best-selling album of all time in the UK, the first album to succeed in the CD market, A Grammy Award winner and an earner of enough Platinum to build a not just a house but a mansion. Brothers In Arms is a sensation on every level and its production raised the bar for all music to come.

PDC

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