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124 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An era-defining classic.
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,...
Published on July 7, 2001 by Themis-Athena

versus
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT the 1985 version if it says "re-issued" or "remastered":
BEWARE - Read the fine print. Even if it says 1985, if it also says "re-issued" or "remastered," it is the horribly messed up version with all the life compressed out of it - for the "loudness wars."

This is classic rock - really good stuff, but be sure to buy a used CD with the original mastering. The original is breathtaking in its clarity. Very quiet...
Published on July 2, 2011 by David B. Jones


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124 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An era-defining classic., July 7, 2001
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Brothers in Arms (Audio CD)
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.
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.
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74 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome SACD 5.1 Surround Sound, July 17, 2006
By 
IJEFF (Milwaukee, WI USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Brothers in Arms (20th Anniversary Edition) (Audio CD)
This quite possibly is the best quality 5.1 surround sound mix I've ever heard. This is the import only SACD 5.1 CD, not to be confused with the DVD-Audio 5.1 edition available in the U.S. Actually one of the reviews posted here appears to be for the DVD-Audio version. Both versions are playable on standard CD players though the DVD-A is a 2 sided disk where you must flip it over to the other side for the standard CD mix. So, with both Hybrid SACD and DVD-A we now have CD's that can be played on any player though you really need to play them on surround sound systems to get the full appreciation of their sound. Otherwise, why buy it? I will say that most hybrid SACD's I've played on standard CD players (automobile) do sound better than their non-SACD versions.

Well, I do have both the SACD and DVD-A versions (just to show my obsession/love for this CD). The first thing to make clear, the SACD version may or may not have used the same audio source mixes used for the DVD-A version, but they are by no means inferior. The 2 versions truly do sound different. Its hard to describe in words how much additional sonic details come out in the SACD version verses the DVD-A. I have an above average system (not top high end) and I'm able to hear sonic details including guitar passages I've never heard before. One listen to the final song, Brothers in Arms is all it takes though there is not a weak moment song-wise or sound-wise on this SACD. As for the DVD-A, it's still good, but on my system I can't draw out the same details that I'm able to on the SACD version. Maybe has something to do with my DVD player being a SONY SACD/DVD combo player? Or, maybe the SACD version is just that much better. I'll leave that for further debate.

The fact that most people have a surround sound DVD system and not many people have a SACD player does mean the DVD-A will be the more popular version purchased. That is a shame as I just don't hear the same level of detail in the DVD-A 5.1 mix (at least on my system). From a playability perspective, I also prefer the SACD over the DVD-A. When you put the DVD-A in your player you will find it defaults to the standard 2 channel mix and requires you to go into the menu and select the 5.1 mix. With the SACD it will automatically detect the 5.1 mix if played in a SACD player. Also, if you have a multi-disc DVD player, once the DVD-A has finished playing it will not automatically move to the next disc in the changer as this SACD will.

So, if you love this CD and have a SACD player, don't hesitate to purchase this one. As for the DVD-A, I've heard better than this one, but I still believe the DVD-A is a worthwhile purchase if you don't have a SACD player as long as you have surround sound stereo DVD system. It will still provide a new level of enjoyment for listening to this classic Dire Straits CD.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply outstanding in 5.1 surround . . ., October 27, 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-theater 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.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SACD Review, June 23, 2005
By 
Michael R. Zwarun "phenker" (Thornhill, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brothers in Arms (20th Anniversary Edition) (Audio CD)
I've waited a long time for this album to be available on SACD. The wait was definitely worth it. This is reference quality audio that beats any vinyl in my collection.
I dare you to listen to Money for Nothing and not get chills. The surround mix is fantastic,using all speakers to great effect.
My advice, rush out and buy this one. It may be the best SACD out there.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT the 1985 version if it says "re-issued" or "remastered":, July 2, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Brothers in Arms (Audio CD)
BEWARE - Read the fine print. Even if it says 1985, if it also says "re-issued" or "remastered," it is the horribly messed up version with all the life compressed out of it - for the "loudness wars."

This is classic rock - really good stuff, but be sure to buy a used CD with the original mastering. The original is breathtaking in its clarity. Very quiet voices and instruments are clearly discernible. It is startling, actually. Not so in the remastered version. The re-mastered version might be better for jogging with an iPod, but if you are going to listen on a good stereo, the original is far superior. Turn up the volume.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Murdered by compression, August 22, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Brothers in Arms (20th Anniversary Edition) (Audio CD)
I purchased the original CD in 1985 and thankfully still have it.
Out of interest I purchased the 2005 remaster to find out how it sounded and I was horrified to discover the amount of compression and clipping on the 2005 remaster.
Initial A B listening seemed to indicate the 2005 version is brighter and has more punch.
However upon further listening I found the 1985 version was more pleasant and has more musical expression, punch and feel.
The 2005 version is strained and harsh, while the 1985 version is a extremely powerful.

To get hard evidence I ripped both CDs to wav using EAC and then compared the wave forms in Audacity.
This is when I became horrified. The compression and clipping in the 2005 version is extreme and this explains why it sounds so bad.
I used a plugin (from [...]) for Foobar2000 to measure Dynamic Range of the first track on both CDs.
2005 version has a Dynamic Range of 8
1985 version has a Dynamic Range of 20!
This explains why the 1985 version sounds soooooo much better and responds so well when you turn it up.
2005 version was mastered by Bob Ludwig, well Bob I think you should be arrested and locked up for crimes against music!

Do yourselves a favour and find an original 1985 copy or one that has NOT been remastered.
Trust me the 1985 version is so much better.
Any one that says the 2005 version sounds great has never compared it to the 1985 version on a decent stereo.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this CD - Highly Recommended, October 28, 2005
This review is from: Brothers in Arms (Audio CD)
Dire Straits Brothers in Arms is one of my favorite albums. I love pretty much every song here, and together the CD presents a long, well designed story.

You start with "So Far Away", the easily understandable lament of anybody who has been away from their loved one. It gets right at the heart of the emotion, with the same thoughts running around and around in your mind, unable to be shaken free.

Next comes the super-classic, super-popular Money for Nothing. I can still instantly remember the video, with its then-amazing computer animation. Sting makes fun of his "Don't Stand So Close to Me" melody in the background - a song about a teacher trying to resist his attraction to a young female student - by calling out "I Want My MTV!" The whole song is a big spoof of consumer culture (including that MTV reference) and the lyrics were taken from actual snippets of conversation that Mark Knopfler had heard people saying. We may take the sexy-MTV-world for granted in modern times, but back when this was released, it seemed a perfect apt commentary on the big-boobs-fancy-houses world that MTV was putting out.

Walk of Life is a straightforward "walking song", something to listen to as you head out for a walk around your neighborhood. It's about getting through life as best you can, and doing the best with what you have. I find it very inspirational.

Your Latest Trick gets more into deeper emotions. With the more sultry sound, it ponders why relationships don't always go smoothly. I'm sure we can all relate to that! Not only is the song really meaningful for anyone who's been hurt, but I just love the lyrics. "Most of the taxis, and most of the whores, are only taking calls in cash." It gives you a visceral mental image.

Next comes one of my real favorites, "Why Worry". Talk about the perfect song to play when you're feeling low. Just put a log on the fire, sit back with a glass of port, and listen to this one play. The guitar work is gorgeous, and Mark's soothing voice really does help make it feel like things will get better.

Every song in his is gorgeous, right up until the incredibly powerful and poignant Brothers in Arms. Whether you're for war or against it, you have to appreciate the things that our soldiers go through, and the great appreciation we should have for them in doing it.

Highly Recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!, December 31, 2005
By 
Patrick Mckibbon (Kenai, AK United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brothers in Arms (20th Anniversary Edition) (Audio CD)
I own 7 versions of this album now (LP's, Cassettes, CD's ect.), and this is by far the best for one reason: The 5.1 mix. As many times as I have listened to this album, I hear things I have never heard before with the 5.1 mix. In my opinion, this is THE greatest album of all time. They did a superb job on the 5.1 mix, as it isn't rolling around the room, but has a combination soundstage and background. Some percussion and specialty instuments are in the rear channels, but Knopfler is in the center channel, where he should be, and the main instruments are well placed to create a life-like soundstage. Just writing this review makes me want to plug it in right now.

If you are not sure weather or not to get it:

You made it this far, you are interested. If you are the least bit interested.... GET IT! You will be glad you did.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hearing 5.1 will make it hard to go back to basic 2 channel stereo, April 25, 2006
By 
Albert G. Smith Jr. (Daytona Beach, Fl USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have owned "Brothers in Arms" since it was released in 1985, first on cassette and then on CD. It has always been on my short list of music that comes out of my 800-plus discs to be played often. For all of my enjoyment from this fine album over the years, it has been rendered obsolete after just a few minutes of hearing this 5.1 rendering playing through my home theater system. The mastering is not just a faux 5.1, but a true experience that makes hearing the songs feel like it is the first time. The rear speakers stay busy with short fills, the center speaker is pure vocal, making Knopfler's voice so clear and distinct, and when that thunder storm cracks on the title track, the sub lets you know it is really thunder, you can feel it.

For the price, you can't get a better rendering of a great album. In short, the 5.1 DVD is a perfect way to hear this music, but at a cost. It will make it hard to enjoy basic left / right stereo recordings again.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Compression finds this Edition in Dire Straits, June 15, 2012
I bought this version thinking that since it was an SACD that it would be of superior quality. Taking a tip from an earlier reviewer I downloaded Foobar which has a dynamic rang meter. I also have a remastered version from about 1997. Comparing the two the SACD version is seriously compressed and clearly inferior. Compression squeezes the life out of the music and all so that it will sound as loud as the last compressed cut just played on the radio. The 1997 version also has some tracks with light compression. I am going to try to find a 1985 release version. The loudness wars are ruining most CD releases. Too bad manufactures aren't required to print the dynamic range on the package.
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Brothers in Arms (20th Anniversary Edition)
Brothers in Arms (20th Anniversary Edition) by Dire Straits (Audio CD - 2005)
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