Dire Straits was a British rock band, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (guitar and vocals), his brother David Knopfler (guitar), John Illsley (bass), and Pick Withers (drums), and subsequently managed by Ed Bicknell. Although the band was formed in an era when punk rock reigned, Dire Straits worked within the conventions of classic rock, albeit with a stripped-down sound that appealed to modern audiences weary of the overproduced stadium rock of the 1970s. In their early days, Mark and David requested that pub owners turn down the amps so that patrons could converse while the band played — indicative of their unassuming demeanor. Despite this oddly self-effacing approach to rock and roll, Dire Straits soon became hugely successful with their first album going multi-platinum globally.
The band's best-known songs include "Sultans of Swing," "Romeo and Juliet," "Private Investigations," "Money for Nothing," "Walk of Life" and "Brothers in Arms."Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler have sold in excess of 118 million albums to date.