My newest music obsession is Dire Straits. It’s really odd, because Dire Straits, in addition to being my newest obsession, is also my oldest obsession.
Let me explain:
I was 10 years old in 1985 when Dire Straits’ fifth studio album, Brothers in Arms, was released. As those of you familiar with 1980’s pop rock will know, this album spawned several hits, including arguably the most recognizable pop rock song from the ‘80’s, Money for Nothing. If my memory serves me correctly, Van Halen’s album 1984 was the first album I ever purchased. The second was Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms.
I wore the tape out. Using my bed as a stage, I would stand atop the mattress with a tennis racket for a guitar, listening to that album over and over and over again (along with a Billy Idol greatest hits album). I completed the fantasy by imagining that me and all of my friends were the band members of Dire Straits, and were the best loved rock stars on earth (this fantasy would later evolve to include the catalogue of Guns n’ Roses).
Despite how much I loved this album (and, of course, the Money for Nothing video, which has to be one of the best videos from the 1980’s), I never really listened to side 2. I would listen primarily to the first 3 tracks (So Far Away, Money for Nothing, and Walk of Life), and occasionally (particularly on car trips to my grandparents’ house), I would let it keep playing through Your Latest Trick and Why Worry. I knew the songs on side 2 by name only.
In the late 1980’s, after we had moved to Cincinnati and I started high school, my interest in Dire Straits waned, as I began listening more and more to the aforementioned Guns n’ Roses, as well as other hard rock/heavy metal musicians. After we got our first CD player in about 1991 and became members in one of those CD clubs that were so popular at the time, we got a Dire Straits greatest hits album, but it was in the “family” collection, not my own personal collection, and I never really listened to it much. Since college, I’ve been in possession of that greatest hits album, but it has always been one of those CD’s that sits in the case and never moves.
At some point in the last ten years or so, I purchased the Brothers in Arms album on CD, and I have put it to use from time to time over the years. However, it has not been until the last year or so that I finally – after two decades – began listening to the songs that were originally on side 2 of the tape. I have found that not only is the title track, Brothers in Arms, a great song, but so are the other “deep cuts” that precede it.
Additionally, due to my sister’s love of the Dire Straits song Romeo and Juliet, I have begun, recently, listening to and learning this song (which is on the greatest hits album referred to above). Like my sister, I have grown to really love this song. And in doing so, I have begun, after all these years, to get interested in buying more Dire Straits albums.
So last week, I purchased Dire Straits’ first and second studio albums, Dire Straits and Communique, respectively. I’ve been listening to both of them for the past several days, and, as expected, I am really enjoying them. Prior to their arrival from UPS, I had been listening to the greatest hits CD which had sat dormant for so long in my CD case, so I was primed and ready for the tracks on these early albums. Dire Straits has six studio albums in total, so I have three more yet to buy. I plan on completing the collection over the next few months.
And that’s how my oldest music obsession has become my newest music obsession.