Saturday Video Fun: Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms & Money For Nothing (1985)

Continuing our occasional series, classics of music video, this week we have two videos from Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms album which was released in 1985 and was a worldwide #1 album. It was the first rock album recorded completely in digital (DDD) and it was the first CD to outsell the vinyl version.

"Brothers in Arms" was not a single but as the signature song of the album it got a video made nonetheless. The album opened with three monster hit singles, then the rest of the album was a concept album on the subject of war and the title track concluded the album.

"Brothers in Arms" is not only a great song but it contains what many consider to be Mark Knopfler's most beautiful and emotional guitar solo. The song got a video of commensurate beauty with images of the band rotoscoped with drawings.

"Money for Nothing" featuring the voice of Sting singing "I Want My MTV" (copying an actual MTV promotion) was one of the aforementioned monster singles. The video was groundbreaking in that it was one of the very first uses of computer generated animation. Because of the MTV references in the song, it became one of the most frequently played videos on MTV.

One measure of a song or video's success is when it inspires a parody by Weird Al Yankovic. As a bonus this week, we bring you "Money for Nothing/ Beverly Hillbillies". Not only does Weird Al get the music and the vocals exactly right while substituting the lyrics from the old television show Beverly Hillbillies, but he also parodies the Dire Straits video, getting that exactly right too. Weird Al Yankovic has elevated parody to a high art.


Charlie Ricci said…
Knopfler has always been my favorite guitar player and these two songs show why. It's sad he functions these days more as a singer-songwriter on his solo CDs and gotten away from one of things that made him truly outstanding. He's still good, mind you, but he doesn't seem to highlight his axe work enough anymore.

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