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/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)