Dire Straits: Brothers, Innovators, and Signature Sound-Makers

Dire Straits have spent more than 1,100 weeks on the UK albums chart, marking them at fifth of all time. Their 1985 album, Brothers in Arms, is the eighth best-selling album in the history of the UK charts. The band won four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, and various others. Oh, and they were, obviously, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.


John Ilsley, Mark Knopfler, and David Knopfler of Dire Straits performing in London, Britain – 1979. Photo By Andre Csillag/Shutterstock

So yeah, they’re a pretty big deal. Well, at least they were. The Brothers in Arms album alone turned Dire Straits into one of the most successful bands of all time. And many say it was thanks to technical innovation, some hard decision-making, and that particular guitar sound that was, in fact, created by accident.

This is the story of Dire Straits and the making of their most successful album.