Dire Straits were a British rock band active from 1977 to 1995, composed of 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, including jazz, folk, blues, and came closest to beat music within the context of rock and roll. Despite the prominence of punk rock during the band's early years, the band's stripped-down sound contrasted with punk, demonstrating a more "rootsy" influence that emerged out of pub rock. Many of Dire Straits' compositions were melancholic. Dire Straits became one of the world's most commercially successful bands, and sold over 120 million albums worldwide. The band's biggest selling album, Brothers in Arms, has sold over 30 million copies.
Dire Straits won numerous music awards during their career, including three BRIT Awards, four Grammys, and two MTV Video Music Awards. Dire Straits' most popular songs include "Sultans of Swing", "Romeo and Juliet", "Tunnel of Love", "Private Investigations", "Money for Nothing", "Walk of Life", "So Far Away" and "Brothers in Arms".