Dire Straits were a British rock band formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), his younger brother David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Pick Withers (drums and percussion). Dire Straits’ sound drew from a variety of musical influences.
Dire Straits’ biggest selling album, Brothers in Arms, has sold over 30 million copies, and was the first album to sell a million copies on CD format.
Dire Straits split up in 1988, but reformed in 1991, and disbanded for good in 1995 when Mark Knopfler launched his solo career full-time. There were several changes in personnel over both periods, leaving Mark and John as the only two original band members who remained throughout the band’s career.