Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Essential Albums of the '80s: Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms (1985)

Those who know Dire Straits mostly for their iconic MTV video "Money for Nothing" will, like me, probably be surprised by this, their most notable album. First off, it's pretty laid back, like a soundtrack to your island vacation or perhaps the last few slow dances at a wedding reception. "Money for Nothing" is by far the most "up" track here, along with "Walk of Life," which is one of those songs that gets a lot of play on '80s-leaning "adult pop" stations. "Money for Nothing" is a cool song, although I'm troubled by the lyrics about the "little faggot" millionaire with the earrings, makeup and jet airplane. It's hard to imagine that was entirely acceptable back in 1985, but perhaps it (sadly) was. After "Walk of Life" the tempo slows way down for the next four songs until "One World." This romantic '80s rock sound is interesting, although it's difficult for me to see how this captured audiences enough to make it one of the decade's best-selling albums.

Best: Walk of Life, Money for Nothing, So Far Away

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