Wednesday, January 9, 2019

"So Far Away" by Dire Straits

Song#:  2643
Date:  03/01/1986
Debut:  66
Peak:  19
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  After two Pop Top 10 hits including the #1 "Money for Nothing," Dire Straits issued out this third single from their #1 album Brothers in Arms. Although it was the third track released in the US, it was the first single pushed out in the band's UK homeland. It did fine reaching #20. Oddly, it nearly matched that peak on the US Pop chart. It did much better at AC where the song got to #3. It also made it to #29 at Rock. The tune would end up being the band's last one to reach the US Pop chart. The unexpected massive success of the album and the associated tour took a toll on the band and by September of '88, leader Mark Knopfler announced the end of Dire Straits. However, Knopfler resurrected the band three years later and they recorded their sixth studio album On Every Street. It wasn't nearly as successful as Brothers in Arms only selling platinum and reaching #12. None of the LP's singles hit the US Pop chart, but three tracks from the album reached the Top 10 of the US Rock chart including the #1 "Heavy Fuel." After a nearly two-year worldwide tour, Knopfler and the band were stressed and worn out. Not wanting to go through it again, the band broke up for the final time.

ReduxReview:  This mid-tempo album opener was a snoozer for me. It just drones along mainly on three chords and a nap. I have no idea why they chose this as the opening track on the LP when the exciting opening of "Money for Nothing" would have been so much better. This is like one of those mediocre filler songs that you put near the end of the album. There is just not a lot going on here and it fails to keep me interested. It is musical melatonin.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  Following the success of Brothers in Arms, Knopfler decided he wanted to do a little side project with a few of his friends. They got together in '86 and began playing some classic country and blues tunes. They recorded some of these in the studio along with a couple of originals. The tracks were all recorded in a studio in the Notting Hill section of West London, so the band took on the name The Notting Hillbillies. The band then decided to take their act on the road and did a small tour of the UK. However, their recordings didn't get released until 1990 when the album Missing...Presumed Having a Good Time was finally issued. It did well around Europe including in the UK where it got to #2. In the US, the album would reach #52 and the track "Your Own Sweet Way" got to #30 on the Rock chart. It would be their only album. The band would reunite on occasion for little tours and one-off shows including being the musical guest on a 1990 episode of Saturday Night Live.


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