on 6 July 2005
When the original CD format was launched it was said that as many people owned Brothers in Arms as owned CD players. The same by rights should be true of the SACD version. 20 years later and the new fledgling format also needs a killer sales-boosting album for people to take it seriously. Brothers in Arms delivers once again.
It has been about 10 years since I last heard a song from this album after giving away my CD copy. Hearing it again brought me as many surprises as the first time round. I had completely forgotten tracks like "Your Latest Trick" and "One World" and they sounds as fresh and stunning as when they were conceived. I simply love this album. So much so that it has reminded me how good listening to music can be. I am talking about music as music (not as background tunes) - sitting quietly and listening purely to this album is just great.
Part of this renaissance is due in no small part to the stunning 5.1 mix. It opens the soundstage right into the room and is never showy or obvious. Just like when stereo is used well and set up correctly, it's hard to discern where effects have been used. Returning back to a stereo recording soon proves just how simply amazing, good 5.1 music can be.
If you liked any of the original tracks released from this album (Money for Nothing, Brothers in Arms or The Walk of Life) then you will love this album. Though the styles of songs on this album change - the quality endures.
on 27 October 2005
This release is a two-sided disc with CD stereo on one side and superb DVD-Audio surround sound on the other. Of course, the real 'meat' on this disc is the surround-sound 5.1 DVD side which is simply stunning! If you have a DVD-Video player hooked-up to surround-sound home-theatre system, then you'll get a great sound in Dolby Digital 5.1, or 24bit LPCM stereo.
However, very best sound experience possible will come to your ears if you use a "DVD-Audio" player with its six-analog outputs going straight to your receiver's "Multichannel Analog Inputs". (These inputs bypass all the receiver's digital circuitry to keep the high-resolution analog signal intact. By the way, the DVD-Audio surround-sound is presented in 96kHz / 24bit on the disc.
Some readers here may know that there is also a SACD version of this album, but be aware that the SACD has been converted from the DVD-Audio's 24bit studio master. So, in short, this DVD-Audio will give you the very best and truest reproduction of what was crafted originally in the studio.
on 3 March 2005
Brothers in Arms was really the height of success for Dire Straits, selling over 13 million worldwide and being credited with brining on the CD generation - quite major success by anyone's standards. Time seems to have condemned this album to the 'uncool' fate that most things from the 80s have suffered, but don't let that put you off by any means - in this case the negative criticisms are totally unjustified.
The sound is a little more synthesised than Dire Straits' previous albums, and the musical styles show a little more diversity, from the rockabilly/synth sounds of 'Walk of Life' to the caribean sounds of 'ride across the river'. Songs like 'why worry' and 'so far away' retain the trademark Dire Straits sound, and there really isn't a weak track on here.
Brothers in Arms, however, has to be singled out as undoubtedly the best track on the album, and probably the best song Dire Straits ever recorded. The guitar is beautifully woven around the vocals, with the dramatic thunderstorm effects leading into the softly whispered first verse, building an unrivalled atmosphere. The guitar solos build up gradually, leading to the end of the song as it reaches it's conclusion, the chord after the line 'but we live in different ones' punching through the song like a bolt of lightening before a faster guitar solo takes over, leading to the final verse, and the guitar outro that rounds off the song perfectly. It would be worth paying double the price of this album, just to get this one song. If you can get over the '80s' brand this album has, you certainly won't regret checking it out.
on 16 July 2005
I just cannot believe the dynamics of this album could improve so much with the SACD version. Very smooth sounding and exceptional vocal clarity. The biggest surprise was the separation of the intruments, each one very distinct and can be followed individually. I own the original version of the cd as well as the LP (a reissue) and it beats both of them hands down in every department.
Any fan of Dire Straits if owns an SACD player must have this album. I thought twice about buying this since this is the third format for me, but I am glad I decided to get it. Worth every penny I spent on it.
My system is two channel.
on 2 June 2005
I have owned "Brothers In Arms" in various formats since it's 1985 release, and I have to say that this really does top the bill. The remastering on this hybrid disc is absolutely outstanding. I wasn't completely sold on the SACD format until this release and boy was I blown-away. If you have owned this album before, then do yourself a favour and get this the 20th anniversay edition. A classic album deserving of space on your shelf. Buy it!
on 28 May 2006
The major critism of this album, is that it has not aged well, and sounds dated. I have one answer to this: I am 17, and this album was written before I was born. I am primarily into iron maiden, and I still rate this album, and indeed dire straits above every contempory group.The full eight and half minutes of 'money for nothing' are a musical masterpiece by mark knopfler and sting, surpased only by the title track. This track does for war veterans 'what wish you were here'does for loss; sheer brilliance. I love this song so much i have lyrics from it as my screen name on msn. I defy anyone who calls this album outdated, as it is clearly on a par with darkside, rumours and wish you were here as national musica treasures. I am sure this will never be surpassed bt anything in its genre
on 22 February 2000
No buts, this album is the boom! If you compare this album to some of todays chart toppers, this is like comparing Citizen Kane to Titanic. Kane is a classic masterpiece just like Brothers, Titanic represents the modern day talentless garbage that is spilling out of CD shops world wide. The reason being that nowadays image is more important than quality, thus rap, R'n'B, hip hop and garage dominate the music scene. Whereas a genius such as Knopfler who produced, wrote, sung and played accrobatics on that famous Fender Strat, gets no credit what so ever. This must tell you something about modern society. In my opinion this is the greatest album the world has ever seen. Dire Straits shine over other modern rock groups such as U2, Queen and REM. Proof, check out the lyrics of the song 'Brothers in Arms'.
on 6 June 2005
There's not much point me mentioning the music; everyone knows this album and will have formed an opinion on it. I'm just glad that a steady stream of my favourite albums are being remixed for 5.1 surround. I'm a huge fan of the surround SACDs of Tommy, Dark Side of the Moon, Comfort in Sound and Bat out of Hell (all fantastic albums in stereo too) and this new mix of Brothers in Arms is well up to the standards set by the above albums. In surround, the whole album sounds absolutely crystal clear, and simply enormous to boot. Absolutely wonderful, and by far the best release of this classic album I have ever heard.
on 27 September 2006
Trust Mark Knopfler not to succumb to platitude, regardless where he is and what's going on around him. There they are sitting on the Caribbean island paradise of Montserrat, and what does the man write? Songs about the pain of separation, love gone wrong and The Blues in general ("So Far Away," "Your Latest Trick," "Why Worry" and "One World"), a part tongue-in-cheek, part grating duet with Sting, who just happened to be available because he was vacationing on Montserrat, on an underdog's gripes about rock stardom ("Money For Nothing"), followed by a more upbeat variation on the "stardom" theme (although even there, we are reminded that "after all the violence and double talk, there's just a song in all the trouble and the strife, you do the Walk Of Life") ... and no less than three songs about war and the abuse of power ("Run Across The River," "The Man's Too Strong" and of course, "Brothers in Arms").
Musically, this album is more diversified than Dire Straits' prior studio albums; there's a sax in "Your Latest Trick," "Walk Of Life" has a rockabilly feel, and the instrumentation of "Run Across the River" is inspired by the Caribbean setting in which the record was produced -- but listen to that song's lyrics and see how they contrast with what at first impression sounds like airy island paradise melodies: "I'm a soldier of fortune, I'm a dog of war and we don't give a damn who the killing is for; it's the same old story with a different name -- death or glory, it's the killing game." ("The Man's Too Strong," which deals with a dictator's thoughts upon being brought to trial, is similar in that respect; although the Caribbean sound is replaced by rhythm and steel guitars, with two single guitar riffs, sharp as bullets, accentuating the chorus.) The band also took full advantage of the advances in production techniques available to them at that time. The result was an album that drove home to even the last uninitiated chump out there that Dire Straits were a musical force to reckon with, and that the success of their prior albums had not been coincidence alone. And the SACD drives this home even more forcefully ... (to the extent this is even possible).
Among all the excellent songs on this album, it is the title track which stands out mile-high. From the growling thunderstorm opening, the sad and evocative electric guitar intro, and the first verse, more whispered than sung, through the slow and steady crescendo of the song's intensity to the closing guitar solo, Mark Knopfler's ode about war, in ancient Scotland and today, "civil" and otherwise, is nothing short of a true masterpiece. The interplay of Knopfler's vocals and his guitar. The sole riff introducing the guitar part after the line "and we have just one world but we live in different ones," tearing through the song's fabric like a sore wound breaking open. And of course, the closing guitar solo which completely defies description and makes any attempt to characterize it by words like "haunting" or "dramatic" sound like a shallow cliché.
"Brothers in Arms" was Dire Straits' most successful studio album, and one of the biggest-selling albums of the 1980, thanks to an exhaustive tour and the high exposure its single releases received on MTV. But more than anything, it helped define a decade; musically and otherwise. It has made rock music history, and it will always stand right up there with the best that anybody in the business has ever produced.
on 21 February 2011
It is difficult to believe that "Brothers in Arms" was released all the way back in 1985 (May 13th), and was one of the first new albums to be aimed at the CD market, with a full digital recording (DDD). The album mixed a variety of sounds, along with a very clever MTV inspired hit ("Money for Nothing") which pretty much guaranteed massive success in and of itself. Instant success never guarantees long-term success though, so the real strength of this album comes from the strength of the tracks which continue to be played and in demand 25 years later, and undoubtedly for a long time to come.
The album opens with "So Far Away" which was also the first single from the album, released a little over a month prior to the album itself. The song is a simple one, about being away from the one you love, a common theme for rock stars who are often on the road. Next up is the massively successful "Money for Nothing", with guest artist Sting co-writing the song and providing some of the vocals. The video for this song launched, i.e. was the debut video shown on, MTV Europe, and was a massive hit on MTV in the U.S. as well. The video and song became the target for Weird Al Yankovic in his film UHF, with Mark Knopfler contributing the guitar work and Guy Fletcher the keyboards. Unlike many songs which touch a social nerve, "Money for Nothing" has survived its early success and continues to be a fan favorite, in spite of, or perhaps aided by its controversial lyrics.
"Walk of Life" is next, the fourth single from the album, and another big hit both with the video as well as the song itself. It has kind of a rockabilly feel to the rhythm, providing a different sound from anything else on the album. "Your Latest Trick" is the fifth single from the album, and contains a wonderful saxophone intro. "Why Worry" is a slow piece, and at over 8½ minutes it is also the longest piece on the album. "Ride across the River", "The Man's Too Strong", and "One World" are all solid pieces which grow on the listener, though none is what one would call a single. The album then closes with the title track "Brothers in Arms", my personal favorite due to its lyric. It is an unusual choice for a single, and yet it was the third single from the album and did fairly well considering the serious subject matter, slow pace, and long solos.
"Brothers in Arms" in many ways is the album that killed the band. After its release the band went on a very long tour and broke up in 1988. The result was that it was six years before they would reunite and release another studio album which, at least so far, is the last from the group. Nor was the following album ("On Every Street") anywhere near as successful as its predecessor. Mark Knopfler remains one of the best guitarists out there, with a unique and easily identifiable style. He has gone on to release several solo albums, but the group itself appears to be finished.
The lineup for the group on this album was: Mark Knopfler (guitars and vocals), Alan Clark (keyboards), Guy Fletcher (keyboards and vocals), John Illsley (bass and vocals), Terry Williams (drums), and Omar Hakim (drums). Almost all the drums are provided by Omar Hakim, but Terry Williams did the initial work and returned for the tour and videos. There were a number of guest artists as well, including: Jack Sonni (guitar), Michael Brecker (saxophone), Randy Brecker (horn), Malcolm Duncan (tenor saxophone), Neil Jason (bass), Tony Levin (bass), Michael Mainieri (vibraphone), Dave Plews (horn), and of course Sting (vocals on Money for Nothing).