On this day in music history: October 7, 1978 - “Dire Straits”, the debut album by Dire Straits is released. Produced by Muff Winwood, it is recorded at Basing Street Studios in London from February 13 - March 5, 1978. Formed in 1977 by brothers Mark and David Knopfler, John Illsley and Pick Withers, the band play clubs around in and around London before recording a five song demo tape. The band take their tape to DJ Charlie Gillett, the host of a BBC radio show to seek his advice on the material. Gillett likes the demo so much that he begins playing their early recording of “Sultans Of Swing” on the air. This attracts the attention of Phonogram subsidiary Vertigo Records, who sign Dire Straits two months after the demo is played on the radio. Paired with former Spencer Davis Group bassist turned label A&R man Muff Winwood (older brother of musician Steve Winwood), The band enter the recording studio to work on their first album. Recorded in just three weeks of studio time, the album initially attracts little attention until Dire Straits begins touring as the opening act for Talking Heads which leads to Warner Bros Records picking it up for US release. “Sultans Of Swing” (#4 Pop) is issued as a single and breaks on US radio stations, in the Spring of 1979. Originally released on CD in the mid 80’s, it is remastered and reissued in 1996 and 2000. “Dire Straits” is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Simply Vinyl in 1999, and by Rhino Records in 2009. The album is also reissued as a SACD SHM-CD in Japan in “Dire Straits” peaks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
thanks to the most excellent Jeff Harris' blog 'Behind The Grooves On this day in Music History