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Brothers in Arms

4.6 out of 5 stars 513 customer reviews

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Brothers In Arms
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Audio CD, January 11, 1989
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Dire Straits ~ Brothers In Arms

Amazon.com

Propelled by Mark Knopfler's literate songs, gruff vocals, and spidery guitar work, Dire Straits had overcome initial skepticism for their resistance to '70s new wave accents in favor of a rootsy traditionalism. This 1985 album captures the band consolidating a far more epic style than the concise shuffles and ballads that the original scrappy quartet had reeled off, their ambitions fueled by the larger canvas afforded by the CD. One of the first albums to exploit the format's longer playing time, Brothers in Arms was initially released in separate versions for CD/cassette and edited LP, and the band became digital poster boys on a world tour sponsored by CD hardware interests. Critics that had once warmed to the band sniffed at the marketing, but the album remains their best known, noteworthy for the MTV staple "Money for Nothing" and the breezy rock shuffle "Walk of Life," as well as for the wistful "So Far Away," the plot-driven narratives of "Ride Across the River," and the title song. --Sam Sutherland
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 11, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000002L7G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (513 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,682 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This review is for the 20th anniversary SACD edition and due to Amazon's system may appear INCORRECTLY with ANY version of this album for sale on Amazon.
So please read my review carefully as I cover other versions as well including which is the best to buy.

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 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!
See image below.
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 or whoever made you do this 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 or a copy of the 2013 Mobile Fidelity CD/SACD in the mini replica LP gatefold jacket.
Trust me the 1985 version and the 2013 MoFi are so much better than the 2005 remaster.
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39 Comments 115 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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