That's the way you do it: Dire Straits' studio discography will be released as a box set this fall.
The aptly-named The Studio Albums 1978-1991 will be released by Virgin/UMC in Europe and Warner/Rhino in the U.S. on October 9. It contains the band's six original albums: Dire Straits (1978), Communiqué (1979), Making Movies (1980), Love Over Gold (1982), Brothers In Arms (1985) and On Every Street (1991). All of these releases reached the Top 5 of the U.K. charts (with the latter three going to No. 1) and were certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum in America by the Recording Industry Association of America.
The box will make its CD debut as well as receive a new LP pressing, having originally been released on vinyl in Europe in 2013. (That original set was released on eight 180-gram LPs, with mastering by Bob Ludwig and lacquers cut by both Bernie Grundman and, for the last two albums, Chris Bellman. The press release describes the vinyl as "newly re-cut," though it is assumed the mastering will carry over.)
A departure from the punk sound spreading through England in the late '70s, Dire Straits' roots-rock style was anchored around the distinctive vocals and guitar of frontman Mark Knopfler, who alongside bassist John Illsley was the group's only consistent member throughout their near 15 years together. Debut single "Sultans Of Swing" made No. 8 on the U.K. singles chart and No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, showcasing the fingerstyle playing that named Knopfler No. 27 on Rolling Stone's list of the greatest guitarists of all time. Dire Straits went from strength to strength throughout the '70s and early '80s, reaching England's Top 10 with the beautiful "Romeo and Juliet" and "Private Investigations."
Dire Straits turned a new corner in 1985 with Brothers In Arms. One of the first albums recorded to digital 24-track, Brothers' sleek sound dovetailed with the increased mainstreaming of the compact disc; the CD version of the album, featuring longer edits of tracks, outsold its vinyl counterpart. And the singles - the Sting-assisted "Money For Nothing" and the bouncy "Walk Of Life" - were massive hits around the world, with "Money" aided by a groundbreaking, computer-animated music video that became the first to air on MTV in Europe. Knopfler called an end to the band in 1988 - by this point, he'd made a solo splash writing the music for The Princess Bride a year earlier - but reconvened for one more album, 1991's On Every Street. After re-dissolving the band in 1995, Knopfler's followed his muse as a soloist since, not even attending the group's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
Amazon links for the CD and vinyl box are below.
The Studio Albums 1978-1991 (Warner/Rhino (U.S.)/Virgin/UMC (U.K.), 2020)
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
CD/LP 1: Dire Straits (Vertigo 9102 021 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. BSK 3266 (U.S.), 1978)
CD/LP 2: Communiqué (Vertigo 6360 170 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. HS 3330 (U.S.), 1979)
CD/LP 3: Making Movies (Vertigo 6359 034 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. BSK 3480 (U.S.), 1980)
CD/LP 4: Love Over Gold (Vertigo 6359 109 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. 23728 (U.S.), 1982)
CD 5/LP 5-6: Brothers In Arms (Vertigo VERH 25 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. 25264 (U.S.), 1985)
CD 6/LP 7-8: On Every Street (Vertigo 510 160-2 (U.K.)/Warner Bros. 26680 (U.S.), 1991)
Which one is regarded an EP ? I count 6 studio albums.
Klaus Welters says
as far as i can see these are six lps but no ep.
Said ep should be the one with "Twisting By The Pool" as lead track but your article remains unsolved if this is included or not.
Regards from Germany
Torben Keller Schmidt says
Where is their 1988 EP “Twisting by the Pool” ?
This set has gone on and off the schedule too many times to count. Assuming it does come out, but doesn't include the Twisting By The Pool EP (along with the small handful of other rare sides) I shan't bother.
Ken A.! says
I agree. This could’ve been a nice done-in-one box with an extra disc of rarities.
Larry Davis says
No Twisting EP (from 1983 not 1988) or rarities or double live album Alchemy, not interested except for a price drop, then search for these...
David Olstein says
Geez. the couldn't even be bothered to include a bonus disk containing the Twisting By the Pool EP and other non-album tracks? How sad.
It’s 2020 and the four tracks from the Twisting By The Pool EP have never been released on CD on a single disc.
Klaus Welters says
Yes they have, although the original EP only had three songs.
In 1989 they added the live version of "Two Young Lovers" from "Alchemy" and included the video clip of "Twisting..." and released it on CD-V but the audio tracks are playable on standard CD-players.
To add some confusion the identical disc was released in the U.S. under the title "Twisting By The Pool" and in the U.K./Europe as "ExtendeDancEPlay".
The latter is currently available via Discogs for 60 Euro and more.
This seems aimed at those curious or new to them based on the lack of extras or new mastering. To that end it’s great and decently priced. Can’t imagine anyone like me who has all the last remastered sets along with them on vinyl would be tempted.
Joe Donato says
A missed opportunity for sure to include the EP and alternative tracks. Look at the upcoming Fleetwood Mac 1969-74 set. That has bonus tracks. That is how you do it.
Vladimir Fradkin says
Who needs today a CD box, containing the same remasters, which were very poorly made in 1996 at the peak of the loudness war?
All six albums should have been newly remastered, this time without the terrible compression from 1996! And a CD with singles, outtakes and rarities should have been added to the box. Just the way it did The Police last year...
Disagree, the “peak of the loudness wars” was more like 2008 or so. It was probably “the beginning” of the loudness wars for rock music, though. However the true start of the loudness wars goes back to the days of “78’s and vinyl singles, hot masterings sold better even back in the 1920’s-‘70’s.