Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms

I seem to have lost, or maybe I gave away, the LP that I used to have of ‘Brothers In Arms’.

So I went onto the Big River site, and ordered a new copy, in an ‘Abbey Road Studios Half Speed Mastering’, which was delivered by courier this afternoon.

On opening the package, I was surprised to find that the record has spread over 2 LPs.

Surely that was not the case when the LP was first issued in 1985? Does that have anything to do with the half speed mastering - wider grooves to carry a fuller sound?

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Dear Graham,

Are the LPs 45s? Then that would make sense.

Warm regards,

Mitch in Oz.

I don’t think so - goodness, I hope not!

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I think you’ll find it’s a couple of 45 RPM records at LP size. I’m thinking of getting the Annette Askvik records on 45 RPM. Supposedly they sound better.

There’s nothing on the record sleeve, but you’re absolutely right - the records show 45RPM.

So my first ever chance to use the Linn 45RPM adapter which fits over the motor pulley (and a spare belt).

What a major pain in the derrière. I wouldn’t have bought the records, if I had known!

You should have a got a Rega :flushed:, with one of those dual speed power supplies :+1::+1:. Just push the button, and away you go.


I’ll get a screwdriver and a few electronic components, and I’ll try to re-purpose the Armageddon to make it run at 33 and 45!

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Club for five do a delightful cover of the tittle track - well worth a listen.

Tend to agree those 45’s do sound good but the whole flip after two songs is a faff……

The original BiA LP had many of the tracks shortened to fit the limitations of the format. The CD and cassette ran for (IIRC) about 55 minutes, the LP about 46 all told. Wikipedia has a full list of track timings for your perusal.

It may well be that the new double LP release offers full length tracks at last!


I believe that is the case

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I remember being sooo impressed when it first came out and I played it a lot at that time. Whenever I dig it out, I still love it but it’s one of those albums that I don’t play all that often for some reason that I can’t fathom.

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Possibly it’s because the record has been played to death and everyone is bored of it.

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The cassette was on a permanent loop in my parents’ car from 1985 until, ooh, probably 1987 at least. As a result, I ration my listening to it, but it still surprises me when I do listen to it. The old soldier/mercenary stuff on side 2 is underrated, and even Why Worry (which I often skip as being too dirgey) has a much more interesting later section.

When I learned to play Your Latest Trick on the piano, the jazz complexities in the chords (especially under the trumpet intro) were striking.

Oh, and the 5.1 mix on the SACD is downright great!


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That’s hardly the fault of Dire Straits. I think that it was in the the first batch of 10 CDs that Polygram ever issued in 1983/4. But I stand to be corrected.

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Not possible, if Discogs is correct:

“recorded October 1984 – February 1985 and released May 17, 1985.”

The first CDs were released in 1982 in (I think) Japan, and in 1983 in the UK, so clearly it’d be impossible for BiA to be among them.

BiA was, however, the first CD to sell a million copies, which is why it’s often mentioned in articles on early CD history.

The cassette was a game changer for me. I remember reading an interview with Knopfler in a hifi/ guitar? mag in which he was extolling the vitues of the new compact disc format. He mentioned that the cd and cassette versions of BIA contained the longer variations of several tracks. He intimated that this was the way forward, releasing an artist from the confines of the vinyl playing times. So, I purchased the cassette, enjoyed the longer versions, but not the sound quality and decided to look into these new fangled cd players. Within a few months I had purchased a Philips CD104 and was on the road to “perfect sound forever!”


As a fellow CDX2 owner, I can attest that you arrived at that destination a while ago!

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@graham55 is kind of half-right here, as BiA was released on the Vertigo label, then under the wing of Philips, and BiA was heavily promoted (in mid-1985 in UK) as an example of what CD could deliver, of course with Philips’ CD players promoted alongside in many cases.

I remember walking by various record shops at the time and their windows were covered with promotional material for BiA, especially the pic of the guitar. There’s a comment on Wiki that BiA crowded-out other CD production at the time, such was the demand for the album.

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