Dire Straitswas a British band which was formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (guitar player and vocalist), his brother David Knopfler (guitar), John Illsley (bass player), and Pick Withers (drum player). The band performed classic rock instead of punk rock. Mark and David suggested to the club owners that they turn down the amps so the band could play and the audience could also talk while the band player. The rock and roll band were a big hit and their first album which was released in 1978, was called, Dire Straits, went milti- platinum. Some of the groupís best known songs were Sultans of Swing, Romeo and Juliet, Private Investigations, Money For Nothing, Walk For Life, and Brothers In Arms.
The groups first album was released on the Vertigo record label and went to the Top 10 in Europe. Karin Berg, assistant for A&R, a department of Warner Bros. Records, in New York City, discovered the group and signed them on to Warner bros. Records. The record then went platinum. Sultans of Swing, from the album, was re-released later and it went to the Top 10 in the U. K.. Their album eventually went to the Top 10 in every European country.
In 1979 the group released their second album called Communique and it reached number one on the German charts. And Dire Straits went to number 3. After Dire Straits went on the Brothers In Arms Tour in 1986, they took a vacation from each other and Mark went on to do solo performances and film soundtracks. The band regrouped for the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute concert in 1988. They were joined by Eric Clapton for their set. Eric performed his hit, Wonderful Tonight, with the band.
In 1988, Terry Williams left the band. Mark Knopfler worked and toured with The Notting Hillbillies. Dire Strait reformed in 1991 and began recording tracks for a new album called On Every Street, which was released in 1991. The album met with only moderate success. The song called The Bug, taken from the album, had backing vocals by Vince Gill. Vince was asked to join the group full time but turned the offer down. The album was the groups last studio album released. The group went on a world tour in 1991 and 1992. They released a live album in 1993 and called it, On the Night. The next album released was Live At the BBC which was a collection of live recordings from their earlier years. The band split up after that in 1995. Knopfler did not want to tour on a large scale anymore.
The band Dire Straits has released a total of 14 albums, compilations, and Eps, 21 singles, and have received 5 awards during their music career. They have sold over 118 million albums to date.
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