Saturday Spins: Dire Straits

Christopher Bradley

Christopher is a lawyer from NEPA, aka, Pennsultucky, He is an avid baseball fan, audiophile, and dog owner. He spends the majority of his free time with his wife and daughters, reading, listening to music, watching baseball (except the Yankees) and writing. If you wish to send him a positive missive, any errata concerning albums, or requests regarding albums: saturdayspins32 at gmail dot com

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10 Responses

  1. Michael Cain says:

    One other factor might have affected the CD vs LP sales for this album. All five of the songs on side one of the LP had to be cut — almost eight minutes in total — to fit the medium. The CD version of “Money for Nothing”, for example, is 1:22 longer than the LP version. The famous music video uses the CD version of the song.Report

  2. Brandon Berg says:

    The guy doing the talking was and is your prototypical scared white dude who cannot wrap his head around someone or something that is a little bit different than him.

    Oh, so it’s just a rich celebrity disparaging blue-collar workers. I guess that’s all right, as long as they’re white.Report

    • That’s kind of my reaction. I do think that’s what he’s doing, but I also think it goes a little deeper than that. The guy doing the talking is a bigot, and he’s wrong for choosing bigotry, but his other critiques of the musician, and (for lack of a better word) “MTV culture,” is not necessarily off-base, at least not in my opinion.

      That doesn’t necessarily (to my mind) let Knopfler off the hook. So I guess you can say I’m conflicted.

      ETA: I just realized this might be a “Mindless Diversions” type thread. Sorry for making a political argument in it.Report

    • Brent F in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      I don’t think its that though. Knofler tends to have very working class sensiblities and sympathies. I’d say the critique of their viewpoint in the song has a lot of empathy for why the character he’s speaking for feels that way even if he thinks it’s wrong. After all, it does seem unfair that a musician is rewarded way more than an ordinary working stiff for their labour when its not obvious how much labour and talent goes into being a successful performer.

      So this isn’t a mean spirited thing here.Report

      • Kristin Devine in reply to Brent F says:

        Great comment. Mark Knopfler was capturing a slice of life in the song and whether it’s something we feel comfy with now or not, that was absolutely the way a whole lot of people talked in 1985. At least some of it was borne of (not entirely unjustified) class resentment, a resentment that is still very much present and accounted for here and now.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    The title track might be my favorite of theirs. A great little bluesy song where Knopfler’s voice is hazy and mumbly and becomes an instrument in its own right that acts as counterpoint to his crystal-clear guitar.Report

  4. Mark says:

    BTW, catch Knopfler on tour if you get a chance. He plays like eight different guitars and plays each one thrillingly. Not to be missed!Report

  5. Brent F says:

    This album was a favourite of my car rides with my late boomer father. It works particularly great as a travel CD because as you noted, you don’t have to skip any of the tracks, they’re all good and work together. And it worked cross-generationally because it doesn’t feel like its from a particular era of music history in terms of what was popular when, its a creation of artists doing their own thing.Report

  6. DW Dalrymple says:

    The Catalogue of Dire Straits contains some timeless music. I was in high school when Brothers in Arms dropped. I was already hooked on the band from earlier releases (Their debut album, Communique, Making Movies, Love Over Gold) Brothers is not my favorite album by them but there are songs from it that bring back some good memories from back in the day. Nice piece CBReport