Set among the turquoise waters of Australia's Torres Strait, The Straits follows the life of a criminal family as they smuggle drugs into Australia and exotic wildlife out through blood ties in the Torres Strait Islands.
Runtime: 60 minutes
The Straits - Dire Straits - Netflix
Dire Straits were a British rock band formed in London in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Pick Withers (drums and percussion). The band became one of the world's best-selling music artists, with records sales of over 100 million. Their first hit single “Sultans of Swing”, from their self-titled debut album, reached the top ten in the UK and US charts in 1978. They released hit singles in the 1980s, such as “Private Investigations” (1983), “Money for Nothing” (1985), and “Walk of Life” (1985). Their most commercially successful album was Brothers in Arms (1985), which has sold more than 30 million copies and was the first album to sell a million copies on the compact disc (CD) format. Dire Straits' sound was drawn from a variety of musical influences, including jazz, folk, and country, though mainly from the blues-rock of J. J. Cale. Their stripped-down sound contrasted with punk rock and demonstrated a roots rock influence that emerged from pub rock. Many of Dire Straits' compositions were melancholic. According to the Guinness Book of British Hit Albums, Dire Straits have spent over 1,100 weeks on the UK albums chart, ranking fifth all-time. Brothers in Arms is the eighth-best-selling album in UK chart history. Their career spanned 15 years. They split in 1988, reformed in 1991, and disbanded again in 1995 after Mark Knopfler launched his solo career full-time. There were several changes in personnel over both periods, with Mark Knopfler and Illsley the only members who remained throughout the band's career. Dire Straits won four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards (Best British Group twice), two MTV Video Music Awards, and various other music awards. The band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
The Straits - 1985–1986: The Brothers in Arms era - Netflix
Dire Straits returned to the recording studios at the end of 1984, and began recording tracks at Air Studios Montserrat for their upcoming fifth studio album, Brothers in Arms, produced by Knopfler with Neil Dorfsman. The sessions saw further personnel changes. With Mandel having returned to session work, the band added a full-time second keyboardist, Guy Fletcher, who had previously worked as a session musician with Roxy Music and on the Cal soundtrack. Guitarist Hal Lindes left the band during the recording sessions and was replaced by New York guitarist Jack Sonni. According to a Sound on Sound magazine interview with Neil Dorfsman, a month after the recording sessions began, drummer Terry Williams was temporarily replaced by jazz session drummer Omar Hakim, who recorded his drum parts for the entire album during a two-day stay before leaving for other commitments. Both Hakim and Williams are credited on the album, although Williams' only contributions were drumming on “Walk of life” and the improvised crescendo at the beginning of “Money for Nothing”. Andy Kanavan was briefly with the band as a drummer. Williams would be back in the band for the music videos and the subsequent world tour. Released in May 1985, Brothers in Arms entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1 and spent a total of 228 weeks in the charts. It went on to become the best-selling album of 1985 in the UK. Brothers in Arms was similarly successful in the US, peaking at No. 1 on Billboard 200 for nine weeks, going multi-platinum, selling nine million copies. The album spent 34 weeks at number 1 on the Australian ARIA Chart, and it remains the longest-running number one album in Australia.
The album featured a more lavish production and overall sound than Dire Straits' earlier work, and spawned several big chart singles: “Money for Nothing”, which reached number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 4 in the UK Singles Chart, “So Far Away” (No. 20 UK, No. 19 US), “Brothers in Arms” (No. 16 UK), “Walk of Life” (No. 2 UK, No. 7 US), and “Your Latest Trick” (No. 26 UK). “Money for Nothing” was the first video to be played on MTV in the UK and featured guest vocals by Sting, who is credited with co-writing the song with Mark Knopfler, although it was the inclusion of the melody from “Don't Stand So Close To Me” that triggered the copyright credit, as no actual lyrics were written by Sting. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in February 1986. Brothers in Arms was the first album recorded entirely digitally due to Knopfler pushing for improved sound quality. Written around the period of the British involvement in the Falklands War, the album's title track, “Brothers in Arms”, has become a favourite at military funerals. Reported to be the world's first CD single, it was issued in the UK as a promotional item distinguished with a logo for the tour, Live in '85, while a second to commemorate the Australian leg of the tour marked Live in '86. Containing just four tracks, it had a very limited run. “Walk of Life” meanwhile was nearly excluded from the album when co-producer Neil Dorfsman voted against its inclusion, but the band members out-voted him. The result was Dire Straits' most commercially successful hit single in the UK, peaking at number two.
Additionally in 1985, a group set out from London to Khartoum to raise money for famine relief led by John Abbey, was called “The Walk of Life”. Dire Straits donated the Brothers in Arms Gold disc to the participants in recognition of what they were doing. The band's concert of 10 July 1985 at Wembley Arena, in which they were accompanied by Nils Lofgren for “Solid Rock” and Hank Marvin joined the band at the end to play “Going Home” (the theme from Local Hero), was televised in the United Kingdom on The Tube on Channel 4 in January 1986. (Although never officially released, bootleg recordings of the performance entitled Wembley does the Walk (2005) have been circulated.) In 1986 Brothers in Arms won two Grammy Awards, and also won Best British Album at the 1987 Brit Awards. Q magazine placed the album at number 51 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever in 2000. The album also ranked number 351 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” in 2003. Brothers in Arms is also ranked number 3 in the best albums of 1985 and number 31 in the best albums of the 1980s, and as of December 2017, the album was ranked the eighth-best-selling album in UK chart history, and is the 107th-best-selling album in the United States. In August 1986, MTV Europe was launched with Dire Straits' “Money for Nothing”.
The album is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first compact disc (CD) to sell a million copies, and it has been credited with popularising the CD format. The Guardian ranked the Brothers in Arms CD number 38 in their list of the 50 key events in rock music history. The album featured the full version of the “Money for Nothing” cut, rather than the LP version, and it also includes extended versions of all tracks on the first side of the LP, with the exception of “Walk of Life”. The 1985–1986 Brothers in Arms Tour world tour which followed the album's release was phenomenally successful, with over 2.5 million tickets sold. The tour included dates in Europe, Middle East (Israel), North America, and Australia and New Zealand. The band played 248 shows in over 100 different cities. Saxophonist Chris White joined the band, and the tour began on 25 April 1985 in Split, Croatia (then part of Yugoslavia). While playing a 13-night residency at Wembley Arena in London, the band moved down the road to Wembley Stadium on the afternoon of 13 July 1985, to appear in a Live Aid slot, in which their set included “Money For Nothing” with Sting as guest vocalist. The tour ended at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Australia on 26 April 1986, where Dire Straits still holds the record for consecutive appearances at 21 nights. The band also made an impromptu attempt at the Australian folk song “Waltzing Matilda”. With 900,000 tickets sold in Australia and New Zealand it was the biggest concert tour in Australasian music history, until it was overtaken in 2017–2018 by Ed Sheeran.
The Straits - References - Netflix