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Dire Straits / Brothers in Arms half-speed mastered 2LP vinyl

Plus: half-speed vinyl of Mark Knopfler’s ‘Local Hero’ soundtrack

Dire Straits‘ 1985 album Brothers in Arms will be reissued as a 2LP half-speed mastered vinyl edition in March.

The band’s fifth album features the hits ‘Money For Nothing’, ‘Walk Of Life’, ‘So Far Away’, ‘Brothers In Arms’ and ‘Your Latest Trick’. Ironically enough, it is forever associated with Phillips’ promotional drive for the new compact disc format and the title track was the world’s first CD single.

Brothers in Arms is the eighth biggest selling album of all time in the UK having sold over four million copies. This new edition is a double vinyl pressing, and like the edition in the box set it will feature the CD length audio, although of course this pressing is a half-speed and comes packaged with the OBI-strip and the all non-important ‘certificate of authenticity’. This is a 45RPM pressing.
Mark Knopfler’s first film soundtrack for Bill Forsyth’s film Local Hero, is also reissued as a half-speed mastered version (33RPM, this time). This was originally released in 1983. Both albums have been remastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios.
Both albums are released on 19 March 2021.

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Dire Straits

Brothers in Arms - 2LP half-speed vinyl

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Mark Knopfler

Local Hero - half-speed mastered vinyl

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Brothers in Arms 2LP half-speed mastered vinyl

Side 1

  1. So Far Away
  2. Money For Nothing

Side 2

  1. Walk Of Life
  2. Your Latest Trick

Side 3

  1. Why Worry
  2. Ride Across The River

Side 4

  1. The Man’s Too Strong
  2. One World
  3. Brothers In Arms

Local Hero half-speed mastered vinyl LP

Side 1

  1. The Rocks And The Water
  2. Wild Theme
  3. Freeway Flyer
  4. Boomtown (Variation Louis’ Favourite)
  5. The Way It Always Starts
  6. The Rocks And The Thunder
  7. The Ceilidh And The Northern Lights

Side 2

  1. The Mist Covered Mountains
  2. The Ceilidh: Louis’ Favourite / Billy’s Tune
  3. Whistle Theme
  4. Smooching
  5. Stargazer
  6. The Rocks And The Thunder
  7. Going Home: Theme Of The Local Hero

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Lucas

My first CD was Love Over Gold in July 1989 ;-) ;-)

Chris B

Brothers in Arms is a very good album but has always had an image problem due to its immense popularity. Because it was the perfect ‘new’ album to demonstrate the audio fidelity of the new fangled CD players, it became associated with the demographic who were able to afford the new tech at that time: slightly older and more affluent, the music fan who would be quite happy to buy their record collection all over again as the record industry would soon realise.
Dire Straits also sold a lot of records on the back of Live Aid which helped.

If I put on DS, it tends to be Love over Gold, Makin Movies or, particularly, the first album for me. BOA has 8 great songs but my problem is with Walk of Life. Heard it too many times, I would be quite happy to never hear it again.

Peter Muscutt

Sorry to hijack this thread but I’ve just seen Electronic Sound magazine have a coloured vinyl 7” from Steven Wilson with their new issue.
I know there are a few Wilson fans on this forum, so here’s the link to the online store:

https://electronicsound.co.uk/

Jue Rie

Rhino has released “brothers in arms” a week ago. Its limited and part of their “Start Your Ear Off Right 2021”- campain.

Norrie MacLean

Mildly annoying having purchased the vinyl box set through SDE! Not to worry, enjoyed that and great service as always. Probably buy LOcal Hero though I think CAL better. Oddly I am not huge fan but there you go!

David Ratchford

Not into me vinyl anymore . But if this is 45 rpm release should sound incredible for sure ! First cd single for me ( heart “alone” one track promo DDD mastered . Given away free with the bad animals album . Via virgin record shops . Remember driving to crewe .

Stevie B

Dire Straits’ “Brothers in Arms” (1985) is reported to have been the world’s first CD single, issued in the UK in two separate singles as a promotional item, one distinguished with a logo for the tour, Live in ’85, and a second to commemorate the Australian leg of the tour marked Live in ’86. Containing four tracks, it had a very limited print run. The first commercially released CD Single was Angeline by John Martyn released on 1 February 1986. My first CD was also ‘Land of Confusion’ in 1986 around six months before I could afford an actual CD player (a ‘Bush’ branded one from ‘Makro’ Cash & Carry).

Mike the Fish

How many times has this been reissued over the last 20 years?! The double vinyl frustrates me in that it puts Why Worry on the beginning of side 3 instead of the end of side 2 which loses the original mid programme interval of the vinyl/cassette.

Ian Gair

Brings back memories for me of seeing them at Birmingham N.E.C, promoting this LP & there being a big crowd next to the Philips CD stall promoting the CD player.

I have still got a little promotional sticker & Dire Straits enamel guitar shaped badge. Managed to purchase a CD player 2/3 years later which had a £50 worth of CD tokens to be spent in Woolworths.

Kiwi bob

Yay!!!!!!! I get to get up off my chair every 10 mins to change the sides!!!

Chris

Not a vinyl buyer but speaking in general i really hope Mark allows some super deluxe editions for the DS stuff. There must be a goldmine there beating in mind the live stuff that is around. I would actually kill for a perfect version of the Wembley 85 show that was shown on The Tube! Some of the copies on you tube are excellent but not perfect of course.

As people are talking about their first CD purchase, mine was Rapture by Anita Baker and it remains my favourite album of all time. I got the Land of Confusion CD single too and vaguely remember it being in a3 inch format that needed an adaptor to play. Can anyone confirm that? My CDs are in storage so I can’t check

Paul Taylor

Bizarrely, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell was cut at about 105% speed!

Michael Caspar

The first CD-single I noticed was Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Rage Hard (Young Person’s Guide To The 12 Inch Mix) from 1986. What a track! Love him still…

Think the new edition of Brothers in Arms is unnecessary. Local hero, on the other hand, could be interesting.

Mark S

Paul,

Do we know the source used here?

Of course this was digitally recorded and mixed and everything was 16/44.1 but are they mastering the vinyl here from flat studio masters or mastering from a subsequent mastering.

This is important because the most recent master sounds horrible on both CD and vinyl, harsh with over exaggerated top end.

Kai

I’m satisfied with my US-Surround-DVD of BIA … beautiful sound.

Galley

My first CD purchase was Dire Straits’ Communiqué in Oct. 1985. I had a Sears CD player.

Ron

Version 397 of this album. Audiophiles do have this title already in various versions on various formats, so why another version? One of the definitive versions is the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab version, but the original 1985 vinyl version sounds still OK. The whole half-speed mastering releases are particularly marketing blah blah blah. How many people hear the differences between al those versions?

Albert

My first CD single was U2’s ‘The Unforgettable Fire in 1985’. Bought for the four B-Sides that were on the CD version. With the title track there were 5 songs. Great days and great value.

Oasis used to do wonderful 4 track CD singles too. Those BPI clowns banning 4 track singles helped kill off the CD single.

Albert

My first CD single was U2’s ‘The Unforgettable Fire in 1985’. Bought for the four B-Sides that were on the CD version. With the title track there were 5 songs. Great days and great value.
Oasis used to do wonderful 4 track CD singles too. Those BPI clowns banning 4 track singles helped kill off the CD single.

Seikotsi

Strangely noone wants these wonderful oasis 4 track singles anymore. I tried to sell them on ebay for almost nothing, and in the end one person bought it but didnt pay so I still have them. In the meantime people are paying crazy money for the vinyl issues.

Tony O

The U2 cd single you are referring to was released in 1991, it may mention 1985 on the disc but that was the year of release for the vinyl versions.

Glen

I’m curious about what you have. I thought U2’s first CD single was “With Or Without You” in 1987. On Discogs, there are two issues of “Unforgettable Fire” on CD single, but they were released in 1991.
Also, what is the story behind “BPI clowns” killing the single? It appeared to me the single died with the rise of file sharing and streaming.

Albert

The BPI in their infinite wisdom decided that four tracks were no longer allowed on CD singles. This put many buyers off as many fans of bands bought CD singles because they had three or more B Sides and some CD singles came in two versions with three or four tracks each and they were usually great value (like the 90s Suede and Blur singles). Less tracks meant less value, less customers and, worst of all, less music. And that helped the decline of the CD single.
Right about the U2 single. I saw it on my shelf and it said 1985. But it must have been in 91. I do remember buying Duran Duran’s Meet El Presidente on CD single in 87 though.

Glen

Thank you for the reply; I’d never heard of such a thing.

deceased

They also limited them to being no longer than 20 minutes as some CD Singles were more like ep’s or mini albums…
On the flip side, many bands have complained about the amount of bonus songs they had to write/produce to fill all the singles they released; 4 or 5 singles per album with 2 CD’s of 3 or 4 b-sides…them were the days!

Lucas

My first CD was Love Over Gold in July 1989 ;-) ;-)

Gary Grizzle

“Love Over Gold” is a masterpiece! Such a great album.

Chris B

Brothers in Arms is a very good album but has always had an image problem due to its immense popularity. Because it was the perfect ‘new’ album to demonstrate the audio fidelity of the new fangled CD players, it became associated with the demographic who were able to afford the new tech at that time: slightly older and more affluent, the music fan who would be quite happy to buy their record collection all over again as the record industry would soon realise.
Dire Straits also sold a lot of records on the back of Live Aid which helped.
If I put on DS, it tends to be Love over Gold, Makin Movies or, particularly, the first album for me. BOA has 8 great songs but my problem is with Walk of Life. Heard it too many times, I would be quite happy to never hear it again.

Seikotsi

AT least with 4 sides of vinyl it’s easier to skip chunks ;)

greg

and it hopefully won’t have shorter versions of “why worry” etc like the original LP

Ron

Version 397 of this album. Audiophiles do have this title already in various versions on various formats, so why another version? One of the definitive versions is the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab version, but the original 1985 vinyl version sounds still OK. The whole half-speed mastering releases are particularly marketing blah blah blah. How many people hear the differences between al those versions?

-SG-

Well, in all honesty, like all of these remasters, if you heard this album when it came out originally it probably will never sound as good as it did then: the time, the place, it was new, it was just cool, better ears etc, but it is nice that records like these are available at a reasonable price for people that want them. But to your point, if you said back in 1985 that in 2021 that the record was going to be sold with the claim that it somehow sounded better than the CD, most people would have laughed in your face.

Galley

My first CD purchase was Dire Straits’ Communiqué in Oct. 1985. I had a Sears CD player.

Kai

I’m satisfied with my US-Surround-DVD of BIA … beautiful sound.

Mark S

Paul,
Do we know the source used here?
Of course this was digitally recorded and mixed and everything was 16/44.1 but are they mastering the vinyl here from flat studio masters or mastering from a subsequent mastering.
This is important because the most recent master sounds horrible on both CD and vinyl, harsh with over exaggerated top end.

Mark S

Hi Paul,
Any feedback from Miles on his source?
Hoping he was provided with a flat final studio mix
I’m a big fan of half-speed cut vinyl done by Miles but only if he’s working off the flat studio master

Michael Caspar

The first CD-single I noticed was Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Rage Hard (Young Person’s Guide To The 12 Inch Mix) from 1986. What a track! Love him still…
Think the new edition of Brothers in Arms is unnecessary. Local hero, on the other hand, could be interesting.

Glen

I think that was my first CD single. I think the store was Infinite Records on Westheimer in Houston; it was in a locked case by the register. I remember the fellow saying, “In England they’re putting singles on CDs now.” Seemed so revolutionary at the time.
What is often titled “The Young Person’s Guide…” on compilations was the first 12″ mix, “Rage Hard+”. This was followed by a second 12″ (as ZTT is wont to do), “Rage Hard++”, sometimes referred as the Broad mix. Now, ZTT being ZTT, they couldn’t just release a straight CD version of the vinyl; instead the CD was titled “Rage Hard (Compacted)” (https://www.zttaat.com/formats.php?title=102) and was a combination of the two mixes. A straight release of the first 12″ appeared in Germany in 1989.
Strangely, the sleeve (er, “pouch”) lists “Rage Hard + ++ ★” which suggests a third remix. “Rage Hard★” appears to be nothing but a 7″ in a pop-up gatefold sleeve. Also the CD coyly notes “Rage Hard also available on record and cassette” but this seems to be the only Frankie single not available as a cassingle.
I apologize for the geeky tangent.

imsparky4u

Infinite Records!! I’m from Houston as well, and my tastes were totally shaped by time spent in Infinite, Record Rack and the old Record Exchange. My first CD single was With Or Without You by U2 which was a birthday present bought at Record Rack. It was 30 bucks! So many great memories. Glad to see you on here!

Glen

Great to see a fellow Houstonian on here. Those were the days, trolling the close to a dozen record shops along Westheimer and Shepherd; flipping through the stacks and playing anything that looked interesting.
One of my favorite memories was Vinyl Edge near Spring on Veterans Memorial. (I see there’s a Vinyl Edge near downtown now; no idea if it’s the same owners.) That’s where I picked up a copy of This Mortal Coil’s “Filigree and Shadow” and asked them to play it. After hearing less than one of the four sides, I bought the CD and thus began my love affair with (almost) all things 4AD.

Peter Muscutt

Sorry to hijack this thread but I’ve just seen Electronic Sound magazine have a coloured vinyl 7” from Steven Wilson with their new issue.
I know there are a few Wilson fans on this forum, so here’s the link to the online store:
https://electronicsound.co.uk/

Francois

the vinyl+mag bundle is sadly out of stock..
what is/are the songs on the vinyl?

bertielego

Extended versions, actually.

BJ
Mike Clasen

I always find it funny when people state “sorry to hijack this thread” as they’re hijacking it, lol.

Jue Rie

Rhino has released “brothers in arms” a week ago. Its limited and part of their “Start Your Ear Off Right 2021”- campain.

Norrie MacLean

Mildly annoying having purchased the vinyl box set through SDE! Not to worry, enjoyed that and great service as always. Probably buy LOcal Hero though I think CAL better. Oddly I am not huge fan but there you go!

David Ratchford

Not into me vinyl anymore . But if this is 45 rpm release should sound incredible for sure ! First cd single for me ( heart “alone” one track promo DDD mastered . Given away free with the bad animals album . Via virgin record shops . Remember driving to crewe .

Stevie B

Dire Straits’ “Brothers in Arms” (1985) is reported to have been the world’s first CD single, issued in the UK in two separate singles as a promotional item, one distinguished with a logo for the tour, Live in ’85, and a second to commemorate the Australian leg of the tour marked Live in ’86. Containing four tracks, it had a very limited print run. The first commercially released CD Single was Angeline by John Martyn released on 1 February 1986. My first CD was also ‘Land of Confusion’ in 1986 around six months before I could afford an actual CD player (a ‘Bush’ branded one from ‘Makro’ Cash & Carry).

Mike the Fish

How many times has this been reissued over the last 20 years?! The double vinyl frustrates me in that it puts Why Worry on the beginning of side 3 instead of the end of side 2 which loses the original mid programme interval of the vinyl/cassette.

Ian Gair

Brings back memories for me of seeing them at Birmingham N.E.C, promoting this LP & there being a big crowd next to the Philips CD stall promoting the CD player.
I have still got a little promotional sticker & Dire Straits enamel guitar shaped badge. Managed to purchase a CD player 2/3 years later which had a £50 worth of CD tokens to be spent in Woolworths.

Kiwi bob

Yay!!!!!!! I get to get up off my chair every 10 mins to change the sides!!!

Shawn C

Agreed Kiwi Bob. I love vinyl and perhaps it sounds frivolous, but I’m not sure I can offset the pain in the arse of having to turn the disc over every 10 minutes with what I perceive as only a slight improvement in sound. The struggle is real.

Chris

Not a vinyl buyer but speaking in general i really hope Mark allows some super deluxe editions for the DS stuff. There must be a goldmine there beating in mind the live stuff that is around. I would actually kill for a perfect version of the Wembley 85 show that was shown on The Tube! Some of the copies on you tube are excellent but not perfect of course.
As people are talking about their first CD purchase, mine was Rapture by Anita Baker and it remains my favourite album of all time. I got the Land of Confusion CD single too and vaguely remember it being in a3 inch format that needed an adaptor to play. Can anyone confirm that? My CDs are in storage so I can’t check

Dibbsy

Can’t argue with that. Rapture was a belter, although hardly ever mentioned these days .

Geoffers

I don’t think Mark owns his back catalogue any more. That’s they’re bringing out all theses new pressings and box sets. Still, any Dire Straits is better than no Dire Straits.

Paul Taylor

Bizarrely, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell was cut at about 105% speed!

BigBear

2 tracks a side over 2 discs, excepting the 3 tracks on side 4. Surely gotta be 45rpm. Also, £38 ticks the 45rpm box. Hope so.

Mike the Fish

Most of the 2LP cuts of this have been at 33rpm, although the MoFi is at 45rpm.

Fernando de Oliveira

Will the versions follow the original vinyl (shorters) or will be like the CDs (longers)?

MFG

As others have mentioned, BIA was designed for the compact disc. So a definite pass.
Also, as someone mentioned, would much prefer a good reissue of Alchemy. CD, vinyl, and DVD with improved audio + video quality, as much as possible. Maybe a Blu-Ray, if the video source is good enough.

Buckmustard

Those exist already, and it was originally captured on film, so there is no [original]“video source”. The film is extremely grainy and the transfer is authentic and revealing, so be prepared.

MFG

I was thinking of CD and vinyl reissues with the full track list from the concerts. The ones I know about do not have Industrial Disease, Twisting by the Pool, and Portobello Belle.
Also, video source = film, video, whatever. The quality of the DVD I have is quite poor. Hoping that a new DVD or Blu-Ray release would improve the quality. That said, I’m in the USA, so I may have missed a UK-only Blu-Ray release. I will look for it.

Stevie C

Universal did release 2cd/1dvd set in 2010, think this mirrors original release though. CD includes love over gold, which is not on DVD. DVD does include two performances from Old Grey Whistle Test, Tunnel of Love, Sultans of Swing plus BBC Arena documentary from 1980. Sound also has DTS 5.1 and Dolby update, CD audio remastered, so worth seeking out if you can find.

Deltics

There already is a very good Alchemy bluray, no? (I have one that seems purty good) :)

Remon

My first CD single was Simple Minds’ Ghostdancing (4 track). It existed in a normal (not slim) CD case.

Remon

This album and Sting’s Nothing Like The Sun (1987) to me always sounded in the same sterile fashion. I always wondered if producer Neil Dorsfman had anything to do with that sound or it was just because digitial options were limited in those days

Bob

Its that Sony digital sound of the 80’s!

Alex James

This article – https://www.soundonsound.com/people/classic-tracks-dire-straits-money-nothing – is a fascinating insight into the recording of ‘Money for Nothing’ (if you are a hi-if nerd like me!).
To be honest, BIA has never sounded better than the original CD release, & yes, I own multiple versions on vinyl & CD, including the MFSL…

Duncan Bartlett

These Dire Straits reissues look nice but they are quite a bit pricier than the Japan “Tin Drum” and “Gentlemen Take Polaroids” Abby Road Half Speed remasters which retail for about £25 each. However, they’re both getting hard to find which suggests there’s a good deal of demand.

Steven Roberts

Surprised there aren’t coloured vinyl versions of these releases – you know, just to ring out a few more coppers from the (seemingly) ever-willing collectors’ market (blue and pink for the BIA and yellow for the LH OST would seem the obvious choices).
Or have I spoken too soon?

Norbert

The question for vinyl enthusiasts could be: does it come close or does it even better the MFSL 2015 Vinyl Remaster (2 LP on 45 !).
All others (Digital Natives) may be more than satisfied with their digital versions on CD/SACD.

Harveyflood@ho

100 % it won’t come close to the MFSL 2015 version – all these “half-speed masters from Abbey Road” are made to look impressive (carry the price of a high-end product) but sound average at best on an audiophile system. All these products (Bob Marley, Sade, Rolling Stones) will unfortunately not be sought after in a few years im guessing. Too bad too

Dibbsy

Opinions vary on the Mofi pressings. Love Over Gold is one of my favourite albums on vinyl. I only ever had the bog standard pressing and I decided to splash out on the Mofi 2015 LoG as I had heard amazing things. Received it just recently and must say I was disappointed, and didn’t enjoy it as much as the original pressing. I might even sell the Mofi. Based on that I’m definitely going to give this a punt as I really enjoyed the half speed cut of What’s Going On (btw purchased the Deluxe four disc edition of WGO for the princely sum of £28.54 thanks to your alert Paul. Just checked on Amazon and the current price for that set is a pirate-like £401.77 !)

Erik

So much has been written about this record being the first big CD, the first big digitally recorded album, the first major use of CGI for the groundbreaking video, “Walk of Life” becoming a mainstay at baseball stadiums everywhere that we tend to gloss over the fact that this is one hell of a good album.
Just listened to it again recently (got the box set for Christmas) and boy does it hold up.

Paul English

The first CD single I bought was Chris Rea’s Let’s Dance in 1987

Mike Thorn

I bought Genesis & Peter Gabriel’s CD-EPs Land of Confusion and Big Time in 86. At one point they were worth good money. Got the CD player in 1987!!

Gary Tilford

Yeah me too. I still have them both and Tonight Tonight Tonight, all in card sleeves.

Marc Sutton

Was my first one too Paul along with World Party “Ship of Fools”

Alan B

I seem to remember there was a discussion at the time as to what was the first CD single between John Martyn and Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Rage Hard. I think it was accepted it was Martyn.

John Higney

John Martins Angeline was the first ever cd released I have this cd and the promo plaque that went with it.

Glen

Rage Hard probably was my first CD single. Ah, memories.

Milo

This album was entirely recorded in digital. So there’s absolutely no point in releasing it in vinyl, since there’s no way it can improve on the CD.
It’s simply impossible. It’s just physics.

Dave Finch

I already have Brothers as a half speed! Am I missing something?! Picked it up last summer.

Dave Finch

I don’t know why the don’t keep them as catalogue items , The Specials debut went out of stock straight away and who knows if they will press more.

David J

These half speed masters…. Emperors new clothes or new sonic heights unheard before?
I’ve read forums and read ‘expert’ analysis but it seems split between best thing since sliced bread and marketing bollox!
Any SDE readers have thoughts?

Graham Thomas

They often end up very bass heavy as the low end frequencies get out of control when they’re slowed too much (or something like that). Witness White Ladder and Dusty In Memphis which are both very bassy, with White Ladder unlistenable at least to me. And agree no point putting digital on vinyl, the only benefit being if your trying and stylus is way better than your CD and dac.

Graham Thomas

“Trying” = “t-t”. Bloody auto text.