Brothers in Arms - band photos

Was he thinking about the horn section ??
I do hope it wasn’t the viola player.

To be honest, I’m completely unsure now about the very first batch of releases of CDs (although I’m as sure as I can be that it included a Karajan recording of Richard Strauss on DG).

I’ve looked online, since my earlier post, but cannot find a list of which albums they were.

So my apologies if ‘Brothers In Arms’ was incorrect. It might have been another Dire Straits album (as they were a big seller for the Philips group of companies), but I won’t try to hazard a guess, as I may well get it wrong all over again!!

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There doesn’t seem to be any consensus, partly because it depends what you mean by release (limited edition or general release? On sale in shops or given away promotionally?) and where it was available (worldwide or just in some territories?).

The nearest I’ve seen to an answer is Billy Joel’s 52nd Street, which was released in late 1982 in Japan along with 49 other titles. It’s often cited as the first of this batch of 50 only because its catalogue number was the lowest!

By comparison, CDs didn’t hit European shops until, I think, early in 1983.


Great photos from another age. It was about this time I installed a Naim hifi to drummer Terry Williams house in Swansea (to take the story full circle).
Really nice man and he loved the Naim sound.


Love this. My dress sense hasn’t moved on much from 1985, though as a nod to modern trends I no longer roll up the sleeves to my leather jacket.


I first heard CD at the Swiss Cottage show in ‘83, remember thinking how awful it sounded.

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No particular comment on the band’s dress sense but, from memory, lots of people dressed like that in the 80s. Particularly the formal jacket with rolled up sleeves.

More interestingly I remember reading that by that point only Knopfler and Illsley were part of the band earning royalties etc. Everyone else was just a contract musician.

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G - your memory isn’t far out, as BiA (rel. May 1985) was heavily promoted in CD format. I remember walking by several record shops in London where the windows were plastered with posters and images of the album & CD (far more than usual). Unquestionably, it was heavily marketed to promote CD as a medium which, when you think about it, must have meant the hardware was already out there. I think BiA was the first million-selling CD.

I’ve been told that if you have early versions of CDs from the 1980/90s, it’s worth getting later versions as the DACs used in the production are far better (unless a DDD produced album).

DACs have indeed improved enormously, but there is also the unfortunate loudness war phenomenon from the mid-90s onwards that often results in later remasterings being of lower overall SQ. If you look up conversations about specific releases on the Hoffman forum (‘Best CD pressing of X’ etc.), you will very often find that an early 80s pressing is the favoured version. Similar results on various blogs (such as ‘The Best Version Of…’).

It’s a real shame that just as DACs were getting good, (some) mastering engineers starting going crazy on over-compressing/EQing re-releases. What could have been, eh?


I’ve got re-mastered copies on CD of DS’s albums (inc. BiA/MM/LOG) and, as you impute, it seems all they did was turn up the gain before lifting from the tape (you can hear tape noise in parts) n.b these are the main label re-issues not from MoFi.

More detail is revealed but there’s an unwanted sheen at the top end and the dynamics are compromised.

I used to see a group called The Burns Brothers in my local pub (The House They Left Behind, long since closed) in Limehouse in London, who did lots of Dire Straits covers. They weren’t particularly good at playing their guitars, but they put a helluva lot of energy into their shows, and the noise (not music, really) was tremendous.

I wonder if they’re still doing their ‘thang’, as I’d love to see them again.

If it’s the same people, they’re still at it according to their FB page. Two brothers with auxiliary members. Still gigging by the looks of things (socials etc)

Are we still talking about Dire Straights? :grinning:

Lol…a mere tangent…

I did have a Burns Bison bass once. No use to me as a drummer!

Funny old game … … … I once had an electronic drum kit … … … not much use to me as a guitarist … … … not that the guitars were a resounding success either! :roll_eyes: :joy:

You do know they were contracted to do a collaboration with Chris Rea.

In 1986 I was an assistant manager at Dixon’s in Ealing. Brothers in arms was used to promote laser disk and we had it on all day every day. Literally took over 30 years before I could listen to the album again. Quite like it now but prefer making movies and love over gold


My first cd I heard was Van Morrison Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast 1984, and it sounded so harsh and non musical that I didn’t get a CD player until many years later and was still disapointed with the sound quality. It wasn’t until I started using an Audiolab 8200 cd player that I felt that things were getting better. I know have a Naim CD player that is very musical and makes my hairs stand up on back of my neck when listening to Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast, especially track 5. Haunts Of Ancient Peace (Pee Wee Ellis at his most best :saxophone:)

In 1984 I worked at a record bar on Saturdays (was still at school) and we had a box of about 20 CDs on the counter. The biggest selling Dire Straits album at the time was ‘Alchemy’, but this was on vinyl. BIA was only released in 1985 and in 1986 I started working in a hi-fi/photography store and it was the demo CD of choice for the hi-fi sales people.

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I’m amazed that, after that experience, you are able to listen to BIA at all.

You may be releasing your inner masochist tendencies!

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