Dire Straits (The Sultans of Swing) was formed way back in 1977 in the UK by brothers Mark and David Knopfler, and friends John Illsley and Pick Withers. The band made a demo tape that caught the attention of a local DJ who began playing their songs, and before long, they had a record deal with Phonogram Records. Their first self-titled studio album was released in 1978.
Although their initial released did not fair too well initially in the UK, the band had also caught the attention of Warner Brothers in the USA, and the album quickly charted with hit songs like "Sultans of Swings". The bands 1979 release, Communique, met with some success in the UK and Germany. In 1980, Dire Straits released Making Movies, which featured the songs "Romeo and Juliet", "Solid Rock", and "Tunnel of Love". Lover Over Gold (1982), featured the hit songs "Private Investigations" and "Industrial Disease". In 1983, Dire Straits released a four-song EP called ExtendedancEPlay, which featured the hit song "Twisting by the Pool".
It was 1985's Brothers in Arms that became the band's greatest success, featuring the hit songs "Money for Nothing", "Brothers in Arms", "Walk of Life", "Your Latest Trick" and "So Far Away". The album spent 228 weeks on the UK Albums Chart and it peaked at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 in the USA, where it spent 9 weeks. This album was also the first recorded on digital equipment and often credited with jump starting the compact disc era.
By 1988, the pressure and stress of performing had taken its toll on the band, and Mark Knopfler announced that the band was calling it quits. Knopfler went on to other projects, such as The Notting Hillbillies, was met with some success in the early 1990's. By 1991, Dire Straits was back at it, and their final studio album, On Every Street, was released in 1991. After this release, the band disbanded again, and Mark went on to a solo career. At the time of this writing in mid 2013, it appeared no reunion was on the horizon. The Dire Straits Discography is as follows:
- 1978: Dire Straits
- 1979: Communique
- 1980: Making Movies
- 1982: Love Over Gold
- 1983: ExendedancEPlay EP
- 1984: Alchemy Live
- 1985: Brothers in Arms
- 1988: Money for Nothing
- 1991: On Every Street
- 1993: On the Night Live
- 1993: Encores EP
- 1995: Live at the BBC
- 1998: Sultans of Swing: The Very Best of Dire Straits
- 2005: The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knoplfer: Private Investigations