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 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 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 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 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 3 December 2007
Here's a summary:
1) The surround mix uses the full length versions as heard on CD & cassette (rather than the edited 1,2,4&5 tracks on the vinyl)
2) Money For Nothing suffers in surround. Some of the original very prominent keyboard sounds have been mixed out and the track doesn't sound right for it.
3) The mix is very echoey and I found it hard work to listen to in a long sitting.
4) It appears that the 5.1 mix is more compressed than the original mix. The impact of the louder passages on The Man's Too Strong is not really there for me
5) The rear channels are used well, backing vocals and keyboard parts, etc can be heard at the back.
Shame about the reverb!
on 15 April 2016
Bought this as I only have this album on cassette and wanted it on vinyl for ages and as it is a 180g Audiophile Quality Vinyl I went for it. However, I was very disappointed with the fact that the records are in paper sleeves, rather than a poly-lined sleeves, which leads to scratching etc. On opening, both records were extremely dusty and static with what seems a white powder all over them. There are also scuff marks and small scratches visible. When playing, after cleaning off the dust, both records are very noisy with lots of crackle and noise when playing, especially in quite passages and between tracks. You can hear these throughout 'Why Worry', very noisy indeed. I'm very disappointed that a so called 'Audiophile Quality' record can be sold in such a state and I would expect better sleeves that protect rather than scratch the vinyl records.
on 1 June 2005
As a student, I have to put up with the constant droning of the new wave of modern electric bands on the radio. Because of this, it irritates me to read reviews that criticise Dire Straits for not dating too well, because in my eyes nothing could be further from the truth.
'Brothers In Arms' is an excellent piece of evidence that supports my point. Throughout this record Mark Knopfler and the boys whip up some musical mastery which is unmatched by anything written by anyone in recent years.
Admittedly, the opening track 'So Far Away' may be seen as a disappointment, and it ain't one of their best. Still, the original guitar effect and catchy backing vocals harmony creates a good backdrop for a story of long distance love told quite excellently by Knopfler, in which he describes how isolated he feels: 'You've been in the Sun an' I've been in the rain'.
The only other track on this LP that may be considered average is the penultimate number 'One World'. This song, despite being catchy, lacks some of the lyrical and musical depth you can hear everywhere else. Apart from these two tracks, every other is musical gold.
It's all kicked off by 'Money for Nothing', one of Dire Straits biggest hits. As an aspiring guitarist, this song is fascinating enough for me purely on the grounds of its unbelievable guitar work from Knopfler. The fantastic main riff is altered and changed throughout, therefore making it an even better listen. The lyrics are constantly humerous, and also get across the message very aptly. Of course, the backing from Sting ('Iwant my MTV'), goes towards making this a great song.
This is followed by the unbelievable 'Walk of Life'. It is unlikely you will ever hear a track quite as extroadinary as this, especially with the songwriters that dominate today. Under the ridiculously catchy keyboard tune is another fantastic guitar riff from Mark, and this goes towards making this a truly funky number. A special song.
'Your Latest Trick' begins with the famous saxophone intro, and goes on in a similar vein to 'So Far Away'. Knopfler grumbles about meeting someone he hardly knew.
'Why Worry' is something different, and something extroadinary. Where most of the songs on this album have a blue tone to them, this track stands out as being separate. A beautiful guitar melody backup the words of Knopfler, with which he gets across the message that although things are bad, it will turn out OK. A really good number to hear when you are feeling down.
Tracks number 6,7 and 9 are all soldierly themed, thus making them unlike anything you will hear in the charts. 'Ride Across the River' is the first, and some striking musical effects entrap you in this tale of lost troops in the wilderness.
'The Man's Too Strong' is another stand out track. The only song not to feature the familiar tone of Knopfler's Fender electric guitar, the acoustic notes in this story make it really exceptional. The tale of a war criminal is also a fascinating listen, and the musical explosions at the end of each chorus are really something.
However, it is questionable whether any of the previous songs are able to put up a fight against the last (and title) track. 'Brothers In Arms' begins with a wavery keyboard line, and the addition of thunder effects, to make you really imagine the settings this story is in. Knopfler then kicks in with the guitar, and the following mixture of touching vocals and melodic music is something that is hard to be found anywhere else, and is a worthy way to finish the LP.
All in all, the 'Brothers In Arms' album is an absolute classic, and a lasting tribute to the days when music was good and actually stood for something.