The History of ‘Brothers in Arms’ Song

The History of ‘Brothers in Arms’ Song

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History of Brothers in Arms song

‘Brothers in Arms’ is the single from the same name album of Dire Straits released in December 1984.

This song was originally written in 1982 by Mark Knopfler in the year of the Falklands War (war between the United Kingdom and Argentina). There are two studio-recorded versions of this song:

  • The album version which is 6:55 minutes
  • The shorter version which is 6:05 minutes, the difference is that the shorter version has featured with different and shorter solos at the beginning and end of the song.

But, there is one more version of ‘Brothers in Arms’ on Dire Straits greatest hits album ‘Sultans of Swing: The Very Best of Dire Straits’, on this album the song is 4:55 minutes.

The producer of the song is Mark Knopfler together with Neil Dorfsman. Usually, Mark played this song on Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar, rather than his usual Schecter – Stratocaster, and the sunburst Les Paul appears in the distinctive promo video, which is in the style of a charcoal drawing, interspersing scenes of the band playing with scenes of war.

An interesting fact for this song is that it was the first CD single ever released in the United Kingdom in 1985. About music video interesting is that the video shows the band performing and uses images of the First World War.

Also in the first seconds of the video, there are zoom-out scenes of the animated video from the single ‘Money for Nothing’ from the same album. All in all, BiA’ music video has a very classic appearance in black and white images.

Facts and Charts for “Brothers in Arms” song
  • The song was used in many movies and series as in the second season episode of Miami Vice, and in the second season finale of The West Wing.
  • It was also featured in the movie ‘Spy Game’ from 2001.
  • During Dire Straits – “On Every Street” tour, Knopfler used his Pensa-Suhr MK1 for this song.
  • Live version of this song at the album “On the Night” contains an extra pedal steel guitar solo and is 8:55 minutes.
  • It was re-released in 2007 as a special edition to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Falkland conflict and raise funds for veterans of it with posttraumatic stress disorder.
On the world wide charts in 1985/86 this song has good and positive numbers and positions:
  • New Zealand Singles Chart: 5 (peak position)
  • Irish Singles Chart: 10 (peak position)
  • UK Singles Chart: 16 (peak position)
  • Australian Singles Chart: 57 (peak position)
  • Dutch Top 40: 59 (peak position)

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