The founder of Dire Straits was guitarist Mark Knopfler, and the first line-up also featured his brother David Knopfler (guitar), John Illsley (bass), Pick Withers (drums). Initially, they played as Cafe Racers.
In the summer of 1977, they recorded a demo “Sultans of Swing”, which was heard and started to promote by London DJ Charlie Gillet. Thanks to this, they quickly signed a contract with Vertigo Records and in 1978 they released the album “Dire Straits”. Thanks to the single “Sultans of Swing” they became popular both at home and overseas. At that time, the band supported Talking Heads during their UK tour.
In 1979, Dire Straits recorded their second album “Communique”, which won over a group of fans and sold three million copies. After the release of the third album – “Making Movies” in 1980, David Knopfler left the band. Hal Lindes was the replacement. Despite this, the album gained gold status, mainly thanks to the hit singles “Romeo and Juliet” and “Skateaway”.
Two years later, with the release of the album “Love Over Gold”, drummer – Pick Withers also resigned. Despite these troubles, the group did not break up, and the latest album was successful. They went on a tour promoting “Love Over Gold” with a new drummer – Terry Williams.
In the spring of 1984, Dire Straits released a double concert album “Alchemy”, which reached number three on the British charts. Meanwhile, Allan Clark (keyboards) and Guy Fletcher (keyboards and backing vocals) joined the band.
At the end of the same year, the band started recording their fifth studio album – “Brothers in Arms”. This album was probably the band’s greatest success. It stayed at number one in the UK charts for three weeks. It also took top positions in 23 other countries. Over 9 million fans bought it around the world. There are, among others, such famous compositions by Dire Straits as “Money for Nothing”, “Walk Of Life” or “So Far Away”.
After this stunning success, Mark decided to take a longer break. He produced albums by Randy Newman and Joan Armatrading, created film music, and participated in Eric Clapton’s tour.
Only in 1991, after 6 years of break, the band released a new studio album – “On Every Street”, which, despite the fact that it became platinum in the US, did not repeat the success of previous releases. To this day, two more live albums have been released: “On the Night” (1993) and “Live at the BBC” (1995).