Dire Straits are a British rock group active since the late seventies. They have had a large rotation of members throughout their history, but the core of the band is lead guitarist, singer, and songwriter Mark Knopfler. They are best known for their hits "Money for Nothing", "Brothers in Arms", "Walk of Life", "Sultans of Swing", "So Far Away", and "Telegraph Road". They released six studio albums before breaking up in 1995, though Face of the Band Mark Knopfler has continued to release solo albums since then.Discography:
With Dire Straits:
Dire Straits (1978)
Making Movies (1980)
Love Over Gold (1982)
Brothers in Arms (1985)
On Every Street (1991)
Mark Knopfler solo:
"Neck and Neck" with Chet Atkins (1990)
"Golden Heart" (1996)
"Sailing to Philadelphia" (2000)
"The Ragpicker's Dream" (2002)
"All The Roadrunning" with Emmylou Harris (2006)
"Kill To Get Crimson" (2007)
"Get Lucky" (2009)
Dire Straits provides examples of the following tropes:
Love Hurts: "Romeo and Juliet", inspired by Knopfler's own breakup with a fellow musician, Holly Vincent. Less obviously, there's "Tunnel of Love", "Hand in Hand", "Where Do You Think You're Going?" and "On Every Street".
Lower-Class Lout: The protagonist of "Money for Nothing", 'the crowd of young boys' in "Sultans of Swing" and every character except for the doctor in "Industrial Disease".
In "Money for Nothing", the word "faggot" pops up a couple of times. Knopfler has repeatedly explained that the song was inspired by an unambitious dumbass he met in an electronics store who struck him as the epitome of everything that was wrong and reactionary about rock fans, so the song is written from his perspective - many of the lines in fact were verbatim quotes from things Knopfler heard him say ("that ain't workin'", "the little faggot with the earring and make-up", "we got to install microwave ovens...", and so on).
The band's big hit, "Sultans Of Swing" is a rock and roll song rather than swing, although justified in that the "Sultans Of Swing" themselves are a swing/blues band, shown in the following stanza:
And a crowd of young boys, well they're fooling around in the corner Drunk and dressed in their best brown-baggies and their platform soles They don't give a damn about any trumpet playing band It ain't what they call rock and roll And the Sultans Yeah, the Sultans play Creole Creole blues
"Industrial Disease". A happy-sounding song about, among other things, the decline of the British manufacturing industry.
Both the music and lyrics of "Solid Rock" sound incredibly churchy, but it doesn't have any specific Biblical or God-related references.
"Ticket to Heaven", where the (imaginary) singer is clearly sincere about his belief, though the song itself is a pretty cynical jab at televangelists.
Protest Song: "Iron Hand" is a criticism of the Thatcher government's actions during a miners' strike.
Putting on the Reich: "Les Boys got leather straps / Les Boys got SS caps / but they got no gun now."
Rockstar Song: Pretty much all of their singles touch on some facet of this. Subverted by their debut single "Sultans of Swing", a song about a band that's never going to make it big and doesn't really mind.
"Money for Nothing" is a variation of the type, a song about what a working-class Joe imagines being a rock star is like.
''Now you just say "Oh, Romeo. Yeah, I used to have a scene with him."
Take That: Knopfler's solo song "Boom Like That" is a vicious slagging of the McDonald's corporation... using Ray Kroc's own words. "In The Gallery" is a Take That against modern art; Harry the sculptor, who makes angels and coal miners, goes unrecognized, while an artist who puts up a blank canvas gets into the trendy galleries in London.
The Loins Sleep Tonight: Knopfler's old band, Brewer's Droop, was named after a British slang term for alcohol-induced erectile dysfunction. The condition is also mentioned in "Industrial Disease":
''You've got smoker's cough from smoking / Brewer's droop from drinking beer"
Your Cheating Heart: "Fade to Black" and "You and Your Friend" from On Every Street explore this trope from the point of view of the man being cheated upon.