CSPC: Dire Straits Popularity Analysis

Dire Straits video window display 1985

Digital Singles Sales

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1,5 ratio between one album and one digital single.

Dire Straits (1978) – 428,000 equivalent albums

Sultans of Swing – 2,470,000
Remaining tracks – 380,000

Communiqué (1979) – 54,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 360,000

Making Movies (1980) – 230,000 equivalent albums

Tunnel of Love – 380,000
Romeo and Juliet – 920,000
Remaining tracks – 230,000

Love over Gold (1982) – 78,000 equivalent albums

Private Investigations – 270,000
Remaining tracks – 250,000

Brothers in Arms (1985) – 759,000 equivalent albums

So Far Away – 410,000
Money for Nothing – 2,070,000
Walk of Life – 1,030,000
Your Latest Trick – 360,000
Brothers in Arms – 920,000
Remaining tracks – 270,000

On Every Street (1991) – 74,000 equivalent albums

Calling Elvis – 70,000
On Every Street – 240,000
Remaining tracks – 180,000

Orphan – 12,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 80,000

I would lie if I say that these figures are impressive. In comparison to the remaining big 80s rock bands, digital sales of Dire Straits are fairly modest. Sultans of Swing and Money For Nothing remain popular with more than 2 million downloads a piece.  Then a group of 3 songs continues to appeal, it consists in Romeo and Juliet, Walk of Life and Brothers In Arms.

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I have rediscovered Dire Straits recently, and starting getting the MFSL SACD’s of their albums. Very good group.


Btw, do you know how many copies Brother in Arms sold in Portugal? It was a HUGE sucess, i guess its the best selling international record in Portugal




I just wanted to make a small correction, Romanza is not the only album that has confirmed more than 200,000 copies in Portugal, several Brazilian artists have passed the mark of 200000 there


One of my favorite bands of all time, great work!

They toured A LOT in europe, massive sales there


Impressive how Brother is Arms managed to sell 31M pure and I never heard about it or see it in any best selling lists.


I’m in the same boat, I couldn’t even think of one song by this band so I looked them up on Spotify and only recognized one song and didn’t like anything else I heard. It’s just not for me and I don’t know anyone who listens to them in my generation. However their spotify numbers are decent so someone is listening haha


I never thought that rock bands has extremely impressive sales. I never heard of Dire Straits. That is however some really2 impressive total.


Out of the top 10 best selling artists of all time, 8 are rock, in one way or another. Including Elvis, who hasn’t been studied yet.


Yeah, you are right. I only noticed that now. I also noticed that rockstars does not create as much as hype as a solo artists would. I mean MJ and Madonna was all over the media, but I guess since many of this rock stars are group. They somewhat receives less media attention as opposed to solo artists.


Impressive indeed. They should have not stop creating music.


You’re right, Dan, of course ! I was just talking about my faves but didn’t want to be too selfish… 😉


Mark Knopfler is still making albums, and he wrote all the Dire Straits songs.


I find the BIGGEST TRACKS is a very useful chapter! People not a fan of them like me can choose listening to the songs acoording to the list.


The Sound Of Music owns the longest run at #1 with 76 weeks in Australia. Unless you’re not including it?

Impressive sales in France but not too surprising given how popular they were here.


Very interesting, as always, MJD.
As you mention the fact that Dire Straits sales outsold The Beatles, may I suggest you to add (when you find time for that, of course) a total sales per country page for 3 acts : The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie. It would be very, very appreciated. Maybe when you’ll update their sales ? Cheers.


Oups, I meant “Dire Straits outsold The Beatles IN FRANCE”, of course. Sorry…


I’d like to see per country for all acts, not just those 3.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x