This is one retro article about Dire Straits and their beginnings. The article is written by Angie Errigo and is published in Observer Magazine on June 10, 1979. What was written then, read below, and enjoy!
Dire Straits (above) are the latest example of that weird phenomenon of a British group achieving international success when on home ground they were cold-shouldered. While their first record went gold, platinum, and double platinum in the USA, Australia, and across Europe, the British public took its time making up its mind.
Only now – after their debut album ‘Dire Straits’ had tentatively dipped into and out of the lower 40s of the charts here five times – have they taken off with the re-promotion and success of the year-old single ‘Sultans of Swing’.
Meanwhile, the Straits – songwriter, lead guitarist and singer Mark Knopfler, rhythm guitarist David Knopfler, bassist John Illsley, and drummer Pick Withers – have racked up number ones in countries they’ve yet to visit and have been wowing audiences all over America.
“We don’t know what the hell’s going on,” Illsley admitted recently before the band left for what looks like stretching into a six-month world tour. “There’s no way we’d have called a halt if the thing had only sold 5,000, but it’s wonderful.”
Dire Straits’ sound, particularly Mark Knopfler’s writing and vocal style, has drawn comparisons with that of artists as disparate as Bob Dylan and Lou Reed. While such allusions sometimes have been aimed as criticisms, they underline a universality of an appeal made evident by the worldwide sales figures.
The band’s second album ‘Communicate’, was recorded in the Bahamas last December. It seems likely to match the success of the first – with less resistance.