So Far Away – Dire Straits

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………..on November 1st of 1982 Dire Straits’ CD “Brothers In Arms” passes the three million sales mark, becoming one of the UK’s all-time best selling albums. It charted at #1 worldwide, spending 10 weeks at #1 on the UK Albums Chart (between 18 January and 22 March 1986), nine weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 in the United States, and 34 weeks at #1 on the Australian Albums Chart. Brothers in Arms was the first album certified 10-times platinum in the UK and is the eighth-best-selling album in UK chart history, is certified nine-times platinum in the United States, and is one of the world’s best-selling albums, having sold over 30 million copies worldwide.[From that best selling LP comes the first track “So Far Away”. Written by frontman Mark Knopfler it was released in 1985, it is a great example of Dire Straits at the peak of their mid-80s stride – they had an unmistakable sound, and very strong faith in sticking to their formula. It became the band’s fourth and final top 20 hit (as well as top 40) on the Billboard charts, peaking at #19 and #20 in the UK.The line, “I’m tired of making out on the telephone, ’cause you’re so far away from me” hails back to a common element of the 1980s: the phone-sex line. Remember, it was before the Internet. You had phone lines you could call that began with prefixes like 1-800, 1-900, and so on. They’d bill an outrageous price per minute, and you’d find yourself talking to a phone sex worker, or listening to an erotic recording, or even on a “party line” socializing with real, actual people. Then the bill would come in and you’d have to bluff the phone company that a phreaker hijacked your line and ran up that bill. Good times!Billy Joel took on this topic in his song “Sometimes A Fantasy.” Because of the time when the album came out, Brothers in Arms was one of the first to be recorded in direct digital aimed at a CD release. The album was still released on vinyl as well anyway. This dual release strategy actually led to some discrepancies; half the tracks on the CD are longer than their LP equivalents.