CSPC: Dire Straits Popularity Analysis

Mark Knopfler (VI)

Dire Straits Career CSPC Results

So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by Dire Straits achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

In the following results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.

#CoverAlbumTotal CSPCSales*StreamsTotal CSPC
Studio AlbumsOther LPsPhysical SinglesDigital SinglesLast verifiedAuto updateDaily Increase
1DireDire Straits23,784,00010,320,00011,614,000474,000
(1,580,000)
428,000
(2,850,000)
316,000
(03/23/18)
948,000
(10/23/21)
Av.: 480
LD: 690
23,784,000
2CommuniquéCommuniqué7,592,0006,870,000413,000108,000
(360,000)
54,000
(360,000)
47,000
(03/23/18)
147,000
(10/23/21)
Av.: 80
LD: 130
7,592,000
3MakingMaking Movies12,021,0007,040,0004,204,000246,000
(820,000)
230,000
(1,530,000)
105,000
(03/23/18)
301,000
(10/23/21)
Av.: 150
LD: 250
12,021,000
4LoveLove over Gold9,480,0007,510,0001,547,000237,000
(790,000)
78,000
(520,000)
51,000
(03/23/18)
108,000
(10/23/21)
Av.: 40
LD: 80
9,480,000
5BrothersBrothers in Arms46,569,00030,850,00012,534,0001,185,000
(3,950,000)
759,000
(5,060,000)
423,000
(03/23/18)
1,241,000
(10/23/21)
Av.: 620
LD: 900
46,569,000
6OnOn Every Street10,233,0009,140,000637,000240,000
(800,000)
74,000
(490,000)
60,000
(03/23/18)
142,000
(10/23/21)
Av.: 60
LD: 120
10,233,000
7Orphan731,0000686,00024,000
(80,000)
12,000
(80,000)
9,000
(03/23/18)
N/AN/A731,000
*Pure sales figures updated on 03/23/18.
'Av.' stands for Average, 'LD' for Last Day.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/11750 for Video stream)

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers


At 45,75 million equivalent album sales to date, Brothers In Arms confirms one more time its position among the all-time most successful rock albums. The number can be seen as someway disappointing still. The highest selling rock album during the 80s, we can notice that it is losing ground since Bon Jovi‘s Slippery When Wet, U2‘s Joshua Tree, Bruce Springsteen‘s Born In the U.S.A. and Guns N’ RosesAppetite For Destruction are now all ahead of it with total sales ranging from 46 million to 50 million. We shouldn’t turn our nose up though, this 1985 classic is right there with all the all-time greatest records.

Dire Straits is a strong second with 23 million units generated in total. It is the biggest rock album from 1978. The remaining four albums have all similar results with sales between 7,5 million and 11,8 million equivalent album units.

In total, Dire Straits sold 108,5 million equivalent albums sales. This is an average of more than 18 million per era, almost 2 million per song ever recorded! No doubt the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame opened their doors to the group this year.

The following pages list their most successful songs as well as their records and achievements. Do not forget to check our amazing cross-artists lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector which includes the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far to better gauge their position in the history of the music industry.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, YouTube, Chartmasters.org.

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Jsak

“How can they be so high with this context? Well, thanks to sensational success in all other areas like Europe, Brazil and Oceania.”
But how many copies did they sell in Brazil?

steve

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

Lorrane

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

Lorrane

bump

Lorrane

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

Lorrane

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

They toured A LOT in europe, massive sales there

KantClark

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

Kris

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

Michael

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

Dan

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.

Michael

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.

RLAAMJR.

Impressive indeed. They should have not stop creating music.

Winston1968

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

Steven

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

SkkyWill

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.

Innocent_Eyes

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.

Winston1968

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.

Winston1968

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

Dan

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

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