Dire Straits was a British rock band, formed in 1977 by former journalist and teacher Mark Knopfler, initially composed of Knopfler (lead vocals and lead guitar), his younger brother David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Pick Withers (drums and percussion). Dire Straits' sound drew from a variety of musical influences, including jazz, folk, blues, and came closest to beat music within the context of rock and roll. Despite the prominence of punk rock during the band's early years, the band's stripped-down sound contrasted with punk, demonstrating a more 'rootsy' influence that emerged out of pub rock. Many of Dire Straits' compositions were melancholic. Dire Straits' biggest selling album, Brothers in Arms, has sold over 30 million copies. They also became one of the world's most commercially successful bands, with worldwide album sales of over 120 million.
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