It’s 30 years since Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms began the CD boom. How did the revolution in music formats come about and what killed it?http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/may/28/how-the-compact-disc-lost-its-shine
Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler was an early convert (the second track on Pure, Perfect Sound Forever, the motley 1982 compilation that came free with early CD players, was Dire Straits’ Once Upon a Time in the West). Knopfler insisted on recording Brothers in Arms on state-of-the-art digital equipment, so a promotional partnership was a natural fit. Philips sponsored Dire Straits’ world tour and featured the band in TV commercials with the slogan, attributed to Knopfler: “I want the best. How about you?”
“Brothers in Arms was an iconic release,” says Gennaro Castaldo. “The CD came to symbolise the so-called yuppie generation, representing new material success and aspiration. If you owned a CD player it showed you were upwardly mobile. Its significance seemed to go beyond music to a lifestyle statement.” Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, quick to see the potential of CD as a format. Photograph: Fin Costello/Redferns
Brothers in Arms coincided perfectly with an economic recovery, more affordable CD players and the music industry’s post-Live Aid uptick. Philips had predicted that annual worldwide sales would surpass 10m that year while Sony anticipated twice that number. In fact, the figure was 61m, rising to 140m in 1986.