This band hit the music world like a sucker punch, right in the midsection of the disco era. It was impossible to ignore the furious swirl of intricate guitar picking and growling vocals that made their first single, Sultans of Swing, into their first hit. Mark Knopfler and his bandmates then followed suit again and again, layering more intriguing detail into each recording, mixing the ambience and lyric intimacy of acoustic folk with poppy hooks, rock and roll chops, and the grit and emotion of the blues.
Dire Straits’ unique style was virtually inimitable, and their virtuosity was unparalleled, as even a cursory listen to their landmark live album Alchemy will illustrate. In 1985, their career hit its apex with Brothers In Arms, an album which spawned five singles (including the indelible MTV anti-anthem Money for Nothing) and made them a worldwide sensation.
However, Knopfler’s soundtrack work and other side projects caused the band to be a bit slow with a follow-up, and their star waned considerably. They had effectually missed the turn into the 90’s, and although they released two more quite decent albums, but the throng had left the tent. The Straits finally disbanded when Mark Knopfler embarked on a solo career in 1996.