British rockers Dire Straits have been kicking ass and taking tea since 1977. Led by guitar god Mark Knopfler, they sold a hundred million records across the globe, playing to sold out crowds on both sides of the Atlantic. A lot of casual fans only know “Sultans of Swing” or “Money for Nothing,” but their best work is in the nooks and crannies of an eclectic catalog. Here are five killer Dire Straits tracks you may not know.
5. Ride Across the River / Brothers In Arms, 1985
Brothers in Arms had some monster hits but the deeper cuts is where it’s at. This “world music” track is seven minutes long and manages to channel both Che Guevara and Bob Marley in the same breathes.
4. Lady Writer / Communiqué, 1979
This is a clean boogie right here. Late seventies, dry and funky, with an eye on AM radio. Listen close and you’ll hear some of Knopfler’s signature arpeggios.
3. In the Gallery / Dire Straits, 1978
Knopfler gets a lot of (deserved) credit for his playing, but he’s also one of the most talented songwriters working today. Here he adds a little Dylan sarcasm to the modern art world. All set to a deep groove, of course.
2. One World / Brothers In Arms, 1985
Another great track from Brothers in Arms. Kind of a more muscular version of their typical funk. And maybe a little over produced.
1. Once Upon A Time In The West / Communiqué, 1979
Dire Straits were equally at home slowing down to a deep caramel drizzle, like here on Once Upon the Time in the West off their second studio record.
While hardcore fans would kill for a reunion, it doesn’t look like that’s in the cards. Luckily there’s plenty of amazing songs to go around, both in the Dire Straits catalog and among Mark’s eight excellent solo records.