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Dire Straits

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Dire Straits were a British rock band from Newcastle, United Kingdom, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (guitar and vocals), his brother David Knopfler (guitar), John Illsley (bass), and Pick Withers (drums), and subsequently managed by Ed Bicknell. Dire Straits emerged during the post-punk era of the late '70s, and while their sound was minimalistic and stripped down, they owed little to punk. If anything, the band was a direct outgrowth of the roots revivalism of pub rock, but where pub rock celebrated good times, Dire Straits were melancholy. Led by guitarist/vocalist Mark Knopfler, the group built their sound upon the laid-back blues-rock of J.J. Cale, but they also had jazz and country inflections, occasionally dipping into the epic song structures of progressive rock. The band's music was offset by Knopfler's lyrics, which approximated the winding, stream-of-conscious narratives of Bob Dylan. As their career progressed, Dire Straits became more refined and their new maturity happened to coincide with the rise of MTV and the compact disc. These two musical revolutions from the mid-'80s helped make Dire Straits' fifth studio album, Brothers in Arms, an international blockbuster. The band - along with Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, and Steve Winwood - became one of the leaders of a group of self-consciously mature veteran rock & rollers in the late '80s that designed their music to appeal to aging baby boomers. Despite the band's international success, they couldn't sustain their stardom, waiting a full six years to deliver a follow-up to Brothers in Arms, by which time their audience had shrunk significantly.


Top Songs

Total plays on over the last 6 months
    You get a shiver in the dark
    It's raining in the park but meantime
    South of the river you stop and you hold everything
    A band is blowing Dixie double four time
    You feel alright when you hear that music ring
    Sultans of Swing  -  6,811,811 plays
    Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it
    You play the guitar on the MTV
    That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
    Money for nothin' and chicks for free
    Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it
    Money for Nothing  -  4,057,373 plays
    Woohoo, woohoo.
    Here comes Johnny singing oldies, goldies
    Be-Bop-A-Lula, Baby What I Say
    Here comes Johnny singing I Got a Woman
    Down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay
    Walk of Life  -  3,588,451 plays
    These mist covered mountains
    Are a home now for me
    But my home is the lowlands
    And always will be
    Some day you'll return to
    Brothers in Arms  -  3,688,202 plays
    A lovestruck Romeo sings the streets a serenade
    Laying everybody low with a love song that he made
    Finds a street light, steps out of the shade
    Says something like, "You and me babe, how about it?"
    Juliet says, "Hey it's Romeo, you nearly gave me a heart attack"
    Romeo and Juliet  -  2,917,620 plays
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