Saturday, 2 June 2018

Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms (1985)

  

Released in May 1985

Recorded at Air Studios, Montserrat

Up until the release of this record-breaking, multi-million selling album, Dire Straits were a low-profile, well respected honest rock band who eschewed all fashionable trends. With this release, the beginning of the end was in sight fir them, despite it being by far their most successful albums, and indeed one of the best-selling albums of all time.

The problem was that its laid-back, immaculately recorded hi-fi sounds attracted “non-music fans” and alienated the music media cognoscenti. All of a sudden it seemed to be open season on the “stadium rock” of Dire Straits. The homely pub-rock of their appealing 1978 debut album was forgotten and, despite the huge sales, it became deeply “”uncool” to admit to liking Dire Straits. They were now the property of estate agents and conventional married couples.

There are some good tracks on there, mind, but the overall ambience is so laid back as to be almost horizontal, particularly on solemn, reflective tracks like the title track and “Why Worry”. There is some serious good guitar on the urgent “The Man’s Too Strong” and “Ride Across The River", but nothing like the glorious stuff found on “Tunnel Of Love” or “Telegraph Road”. There is nothing as inspired on this album. 

“So Far Away” is a pleasant, country-ish single and then there are the big hits, the poppy “Walk Of Life” and the somewhat irritating “Money For Nothing”. “Your Latest Trick” is a pleasurable piece of gentle saxophone and guitar AOR, however.

Dire Straits, despite the huge success of “Brothers In Arms” had only one more album left in them.

C+

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