Dire Straits / The Studio Albums 1978-1991 CD set / unboxing video

Watch this video on the eve of release

The Dire Straits Studio Albums box is finally issued on CD, seven years after the original vinyl box was released. SDEtv takes a look with a new unboxing video…

The Studio Albums 1978-1991 is released on 9 October 2020.

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Dire Straits

The Studio Albums 1978 - 1991 6CD box set


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Dire Straits

The Studio Albums 1978 - 1991 8LP vinyl box set


CD 1 / LP 1 – Dire Straits
Down To The Waterline
Water Of Love
Setting Me Up
Six Blade Knife
Southbound Again
Sultans Of Swing
In The Gallery
Wild West End

CD 2 / LP 2 – Communiqué

Once Upon A Time In The West
Where Do You Think You’re Going?
Lady Writer
Angel Of Mercy
Portobello Belle
Single-Handed Sailor
Follow Me Home

CD 3 / LP 3 – Making Movies

Tunnel Of Love
Romeo And Juliet
Expresso Love
Hand In Hand
Solid Rock
Les Boys

CD 4 / LP 4 – Love Over Gold
Telegraph Road
Private Investigations
Industrial Disease
Love Over Gold
It Never Rains

CD 5 / LP 5 & 6 – Brothers In Arms
So Far Away
Money For Nothing
Walk Of Life
Your Latest Trick
Why Worry
Ride Across The River
The Man’s Too Strong
One World
Brothers In Arms

CD 6 / LP 7 & 8 – On Every Street
Calling Elvis
On Every Street
When It Comes To You
Fade To Black
The Bug
You And Your Friend
Heavy Fuel
Iron Hand
Ticket To Heaven
My Parties
Planet Of New Orleans
How Long



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I have been playing the albums in my vinyl boxset and arriving at the final disc (disc 2 of On Every Street) i found out that sides three and four are identical. Both have the same songs on them. Does anyone else have the same issue?

Kieran Caulfield

Bought it , ripped it, saved to NAS, sold it on ebay, probably the best thing for this.
No book or anything special, though nice to have flacs now instead of my old vinyl copies.

Jim Galvin

I bought this thinking I was upgrading the sound quality from the Remasters Warner did 10+ years ago and with the exception of “On Every Street” they all sound identical. I hear absolutely no sonic difference whatsoever. Horrible experience with the new press on vinyl as well, “Love Over Gold” Side 2 isn’t centered and Side 1 of “Brothers In Arms” has audible pits all over it.


Got it today from the FNAC shop in Nice France for 17,99 euros. Good boxset the 1996 remasters are ok for the first three albums and for the last others i m ok . Listening to 40 minutes albums is a really pleasure . You have the cream.

Ray Clark

I had looked forward to purchasing this DS release but I’m very disappointed at the use of the word “Remastered”
When you write “Remastered” and it’s a new release as a package I would expect it to be remastered in the year of release (2020) and not 24 years ago, or at least state when they were remastered (1996), I do not have the set yet so maybe it’s on the CDs.
Studio Albums 1978-1991 (6Cd/Remastered)
-All albums have been re-mastered (24 years ago!), with all original artwork restored, the six albums are packed in a handsome box set slipcase


I received my vinyl boxset from Amazon.fr wrapped in ripped plastic and without a cardboard box. Needless to say the slipcase was dented and scuffed. I ordered a replacement in the hope that that item will be packaged properly. Can’t understand this policy of Amazon.


Now I can see why the label for ON EVERY STREET went back to the black label, am I right in thinking because of the capital lettering?


I got this just to have all the (studio) albums in one compact place. Box quality seems on a par with most other clamshell CD boxes I have. I must have gotten lucky as all my CD sleeves were properly glued.
For anyone thinking they might want to reassess the final album I would suggested trying their “other” live album On The Night which, to my ears, feels like the tracks from On Every Street mesh well with the older material.


First of all – I feel this is only for those who would like to get hold of the music in CD-format.
Awful boxing and quality of the box in general. Seems to give the real fans a finger like “What did you expect?”
I got it in HD all the albums and one has to have them in HD with great sound system to hear the full experience from Dire Straits. However this box is a big let down. Will not even consider it as a back-up option.
I even have Tidal in Lossless format. Can’t take lossy formats like ACC / Mp3


Hi Dejan two Bose speakers a Denon Amplifier and a normal Philips cd reader are good enough to listen to all the albums. In my opinion there are no hidden treasures through the mixes or hidden guitar parts to discover today. Tunnel of Love is still the best DS track ever.


First of all, this is a music CD box, it is not a photo album, much less a collection for who collect trinkets or souvenirs, who makes this video puts emphasis on irrelevant details. This is music my friend, and that must be what matters. It’s not perfect, well. So what? I’ve already ordered it


Sorry, but i cannot agree with that point of view! To support physical formats to survive, you need some extras, and the visual and tactile part of it is very important. If it don’t appeal to your senses, then you can live only with the digital!


I too bought it at Sainsbury’s (York) today for £15. I didn’t have it long, I opened it straight away and there was a gap in the top of S/T where it was not glued right (as in the video) and the Communique back cover was not stuck on squarely and was frankly pissed. I gave up looking through them after that. I took it back for a refund. A shame as I thought I’d see if I could bag a decent one. What a cheap way to treat classic music.

Paul Gray

I picked the box up in HMV for £20. Pretty good even for £3 more. The packaging is pretty ropey but for the money it does the job. My only thought is will HMV eventually be flogging it for a fiver like they did the Police Box for those prepared to wait? Hey ho, it’s only money!

norrie maclean

Delivered on time indeed if anything ahead of time. Robustly packed, grateful and will continue to support when I can!


I would have bought this box if had HDCDs instead of regular CDs.

Steven Campbell

Further update:- Just picked up the Dire Straits one in my local Sainsbury’s for £15! I know not all Sainsbury’s now have an entertainment section as this part seems to have disappeared from the branch beside my mum’s but I got it and The Stone Roses’ debut album which I already have but wanted the clear vinyl of and got it there for £22 which for the National Album Day version is very good and it comes with a download which will be handy for the car! :-)


Mine arrived today, l think. But was sneaked off by my Mrs, as l asked for it for my birthday. So cant comment on it.


Still need to pick this one up at the post office, but the mailman just brought that Ultravox “Vienna (Deluxe Edition)”. Boy, am I happy to baby! I’s beautifully done, with a nice sense of esthetics. Maybe you can add an unboxing video for that one, Paul?

Steven Campbell

Interesting review of this box set Paul though I feel I must disagree with you on Calling Elvis on the On Every Street album of Dire Straits as it was the reason I bought the album when it first came out. The On Every Street album was my very first CD as I didn’t have a CD player until the early 90s, my first CD single was U2’s The Fly but I have to say I get your meaning over the packaging despite being cheap and my having the later remasters of most of the albums, (the 1st self titled one is my favourite) I’m going to wait I think until it comes down like The Police one did in price before I take the plunge though as you observed also it may well be cheaper than Amazon in Sainsbury’s as was the case with The Police one, not that £17 is expensive but if I can get it cheaper again I may well take the plunge. Incidentally if anyone on here wants to buy it at £17 online and aren’t buying anything else so as to avoid postal charges for as you know on Amazon UK you have to spend £20 to avoid postal charges, but anyway Zoom.co.uk are selling it for £17 with free postage for anyone interested.


The packaging is disappointingly cheap looking.
The box looks flimsy and subject to tearing with overuse, and as Paul had shown on the video the sleeves are already coming unglued.
The generic Mercury labels look just plain and cheap and don’t reflect the original Vertigo vinyl labels. Overall its just a shoddy affair.
I have the vinyl box which I love. The packaging is far better quality, its a sturdy box that nicely compliments the “Making Movies” artwork and every vinyl comes with the correct Vertigo labels; “spaceship” for the first two, “orange label” for the next two and the custom labels for Brothers in Arms and On Every Street.
I’d prefer this CD box if it was a replication of that quality and care undertaken on the vinyl box and they charged a bit more for it.
If your going to release a complete box set of studio albums, regardless of vinyl or CD, then don’t take short cuts. Make it worthwhile for the fan who wants to own all the studio albums again and to have them beautifully presented and as true to original as possible.
If its a value box aimed at the casual listener then why not just reissue/repackage a greatest hits for that market. ELO have been doing this well for years – that’s not a criticism!
I’m not sure this CD box will do it for the Dire Straits fan!

Eric Generic

Good grief, the quality control on this set is abysmal! Badly glued sleeves, busted spines, bare bones packaging of the albums, not great label designs. Maybe the poster of Mark in a vest with Communique will entice some, but I’ll pass….

I was seriously thinking about getting this set, despite having a mixture of original CDs and remasters…simply to have them boxed together in nice sleeves. But after seeing this video, no chance!

Thanks for saving me £17, Paul!


We must not forget that this is a BUDGET issue. OK, there are budget issues less budget than others. I can mention LOU REED – THE RCA/ARISTA YEARS as an example, with those posters and book completing the package! Or, better, the Blur sublime BLUR21 boxset, released in 2012. But these, my friends, do not come cheap!


I have three DS albums so far, for the three missing I will pay 20€. That’s alright for me being just a causal fan. I didn’t buy The Police box for already having the CDs on my shelf.

The Squire Presents

A wasted opportunity. Where are the bonus tracks. No B-Sides, single mix of Sultans of Swing etc. Not exactly much of an incentive for the fan.


It’s not a SDE aimed at fans who already have the albums, it’s aimed mostly at the casual listener who thinks (rightly) that 6CDs for £17 would be a bargain. I’m such a customer, I had Brothers In Arms back in the day and knew some of their other stuff, mainly the hits.


I’m a huge Dire Straits fan, in fact they were the first band I ever saw live as a 7 year old, and Alchemy is probably the most influential album in terms of my love of music in general and being a musician. However already own everything on CD (and admittedly some of the albums are patchy at best) so don’t need the boxset, but it’s a must for a casual fan who doesn’t have the albums. If the LP set could drop to £70/80 I’d probably be interested.

Gary Hunter

Very odd that they have chosed to use old remastered versions instead of the more up to date remastered series, that said, judging by the ways the murder remastering on a lot of releases it might be better it is the older remastered versions!


The 1996 remasters old they may be but in sound they are superb still to this day…Thanks for the video unboxing Paul but after seeing this it’s made me decide even more not to purchase it with those flimsy cardboard sleeves the CDs all squeezed into them with the poster booklets sorry not for me, besides I have the much finer individual remaster albums from 1996 that if anyone doesn’t have go find them on eBay or Discogs they are well worth it.
As I’ve said before on the previous post about this release it’s a missed opportunity not to include some 12” single bonus tracks like “Kingdom Come”, “Millionaire Blues”, “Twisting By The Pool”, “If I Had You”, “Two Young Lovers”, “Badges, Posters, Stickers, T-Shirts” even if it was a 6 track EP disc it would tidy up all the odd tracks which many have never been released on cd before.


I was happy with the 1996 remastering for DS studio albums (released in 2000 here in the USA). They still sound good today. The 2005 SACD version of Brothers in Arms is far too loud & compressed. So they could have done worse by not changing the sound any more.

That said:

Dire Straits (debut) – Excellent all around.
Communique – Very good, very underrated.
Making Movies – The best songs from the album are better in the Alchemy live versions.
Love Over Gold – Side 1 excellent. Side 2 I could do without.
Brothers in Arms – A mix of excellent to mediocre. Production sounds dated. I only listen to half the album these days.
On Every Street – Boring and unsatisfying.

So given all that, even at a low price for all six CDs, I will pass. I would definitely prefer any DS box to have Alchemy included.

Jarmo Keranen

Dire Straits is excellent. Half of the Communique is boring. I have always hated live versions of Making Movies because Jimmy Iovine’s production of studio album is perfect and Roy Bittan on keyboards is such a magic. Side 1 of Love Over Gold is excellent. Brothers In Arms is over produced and too slick. On Every Street sounds much more like Mark Knopler’s solo album with a few good tracks. Already own the 1996 remastered cd-versions so no need to this!


Dire Straits (debut) – Good, but slightly overrated – I don’t care for two of the songs
Communique – Almost as good as the debut, but a completely different vibe. Like a less overproduced Brothers in Arms.
Making Movies – My least favourite. At times the songs sound too similar to each other. It’s also too short, and has an awful finale (Tunnel of Love is excellent though)
Love Over Gold – Fantabulous. Literally one of the very few albums where I’d give every song a 5/5
Brothers in Arms – Too heavy on the single hits, too antiseptic recording, too many long, drawn-out, downbeat tracks filling the second half.
On Every Street – Really great balance between upbeat and downcast songs, a warmer and more immediate production, Knopfler’s vocals have more presence. If it weren’t for one track, it’d be tied as my favourite with Love Over Gold


My local Sainsburys (Brentwood, Essex) has stopped selling CDs and films (blu ray, DVD) replacing them with bling tat most at home in TOWIE. The assistants directed me to Argos as the new ‘entertainment shop’. Go online: 27 CDs available! And just before the Nectar double up points week in November when media could be had at half-price (last year the Police box for about £6.00). I know many like me saw Sainsburys as the last place on the High Street for a pocket money impulse buy. Have all Sainsburys gone this way? Whither TESCO too?


To RichardL:

Oh god you’ve got me worried now. My local Sainsbury’s is the only place in town selling CD’s and DVD’s and I have picked up some rather nice things there over the last few years. So much better to be able to just chuck it into the basket than have to pay excess postage and play the waiting game. Was hoping to pick up the new ABC comp tomorrow. Fingers crossed they will still be stocking this stuff….


Sainsburys update:

Sainsburys in Hitchin still has it’s entertainment section in full effect so that’s great. Even better I managed to pick up the ABC comp there for just a fiver! Cheaper than on line and no postage either so I am one very happy bunny!

Tim South

Richard , in my local sainsbury’s last Saturday the cd shelving was practically empty on every row. I assumed that this was due to availability issues but now am not so sure. Let’s see how things look tomorrow and go from there…

Wayne k

The inserts are replicating the inner sleeve from the original vinyl versions.


Maybe not high quality packaging but definitely high quality music and excellent value. Interesting to note that these 6 cd’s cost hardly more than the latest Macca vinyl single.


Great video Paul, I was planning to get this but am not so sure now. Some of those sleeves looked like they hadn’t been properly glued on the top edge and were already coming apart, which really put me off. I also wasn’t too keen on the folded up inner sleeves replicas, but at least they have replicated them I guess.

Also, I don’t get why the discs don’t either copy the original vinyl labels, or just keep to a uniform design throughout. I know it’s cheap, but as you rightly point out, they did a much better job with The Police box for the same price (or less – I picked mine up for a tenner).

Think I’ll wait and see if there are complaints about the quality of those sleeves…

gary oliver

.. meanwhile the Costello Armed Forces box set is £ 250 coloured vinyl or £ 200 black !! … not for me

J Douglas

Ironic that the box mimics the stylized lettering of Alchemy but that album is not included.

Mike R

Well crap. I had this pre-ordered since seeing the initial SDE post in August. I could have sworn that Amazon or somewhere I had seen 2020 remaster. If they don’t want to bother remastering then ok, but makes dumb sense to use a 1996 (quarter of a century ago) remaster when they have the 2013 remasters used for vinyl. Maybe dumb question but can they not use the same remaster for CD that they use for vinyl? Anywho, I checked after seeing the video and mine has shipped. I guess not technically a lie by Rhino to say these are ‘remastered’ which they are. But most people are going to assume this is the 2013 version. It is 2020 though. Thanks PS for the update and clarification.


Remasters for vinyl and CD vastly differ. For example vinyl masters have mono or “summed channel” low frequencies, usually below 60 Hz but some engineers would mono the signal as high up as 150 Hz! If they did not, the needle would hop out of the groove – so vinyl mixes are always different from CD mixes. Also, 1996 Dire Straits digital remasters are very good indeed. I can’t see much space for improvement, but I realise that people are always looking for something new, even if it’s worse than the thing that’s been done in the past.


So can someone confirm – these are not new remasters? What mastering are they then?

John MC cann

Haven’t I read somewhere recently that old remasters are actually sought after,and that a lot of newer remasters are not as good?
Please correct me if I’m wrong,i.e someone searching a charity shop for old CDs,,


Yes, especially audiophile fans often prefer older CD issues because they are less “messed with”, i.e. not as compressed to try and make them sound “current”. But it depends; sometimes the most recent reissue is actually the best sounding. I have no issues with those 1996 remasters of Dire Straits albums. But I already have them all (plus the live albums). I’d really like to get all the EP and B-Side tracks in one place.

adam shaw

Is the reason for Brothers having a different label being they had overstocks in the warehouse so they chucked in the box ?
I’ve just cancelled my order after seeing this , I thought they’d have a new remaster .


I’ve cancelled my order as well, for the same reasons.

John Gwinnell

The sign o’ the times cd super deluxe edition went down to 121 pound on Amazon uk early this morning. Grabbed a bargain!


Oh dear, I wish I hadn’t seen this video now. I had ordered the box set from Amazon which won’t get to me until Tuesday now. Not very consistent label wise. Black labels up to Brothers In Arms. On Every Street had a blue label originally.

Michael Evans

This would have been a perfect time to release a CD version of the “Twisting By The Pool” EP which, to my knowledge, has never been released on CD. It would definitely make this box set a must buy.


There’s a CD-Video version of the EP, i’ve seen it on Discogs. The video for TWISTING BY THE POOL is on it but that won’t work on DVD players.

Phil Mumford

Yeah it was released on CD as a CDVideo single. The video track was Twisting and the audio, which was playable on any CD player, was Twisting, Two Young Lovers and If I Had You.


Those cd-video singles were Laserdisc video tracks .


Nice video Paul. The largest difference between The Police and Dire Straits box sets is that Dire Straits songs are generally (with the odd exception) consistently high quality throughout. Police albums were patchier based around brilliant singles. Shame the music hasn’t been remastered, but still a bargain to get six albums for £17. Certainly better value than the £17 empty cardboard box, which surely becomes the measure against which all pricing is compared.

Neil Parr

The Police boxset for the price was godlike, I’m listening to it now and the UB4O essential is arriving today. Good news for me, not so much for my noise making neighbours. I’ve also blagged the Status Quo and Big Country sets too, not a fan of the former but I imagine it’ll give them some right audio grief. Rocking all over the world…


That blue “finger hole” presentation on the right is a really odd design choice when the box just lifts open. I was fully expecting you’d slide off a white slip case and it’d be a blue box inside.


just a nod to the making movies album cover….


May we call this the Unboxing Week ? Great job as usual !

Pablo Mundell

I wonder… when Mr. Mark will lunch a box of b-sides, demos, rare tracks, and more… I can´t believe it… nothing until now,..

Ben Williams

Same with Sting’s solo work. Surprising neither of them of used the CD-age or streaming services to release some nice rarities sets.

Steven Roberts

Yes, even if the artist isn’t interested in personally going back over their catalogue, you’d think they could hire someone who would be interested in doing the grunt work for them…

It’s not like there isn’t a market for such collections, is it?

Ken A.!

Not to derail from the Dire Straits talk, but Sting is the elusive white whale for me, in terms of deluxe/vault raiding. He’s never been one to look back (that rote, interview sound bite answer he’s delivered for years is tiresome. Let your guard down, Gordo!), but I’m really curious to hear a solid reasoning for why things like this don’t happen in his camp when all his peers are doing the opposite.

Well, mostly, but not Dire Straits (had to bring it back around!)


I’m not so sure. I have a growing admiration for artists that don’t play the game any more. It’s nice to browse ABBA, Prefab Sprout, Talk Talk, Dire Straits et al in a store or on a streaming service and see a crisp, undiluted and easy-to-understand back-catalogue. If you’re not Bruce, Bob, Prince or Van, your leftovers are best left in the drawer.


Or tears for fears, of course

Well, it’s really not too much to expect things that have already been commercially released to be kept alive in some way. I’m talking about the EPs and b-sides – those aren’t “leftovers”. But there are also songs that were left off albums like Making Movies, Love Over Gold and On Every Street – whether they exist in form of releasable versions is another story. The Knebworth version of “I Think I Love You too Much” is great, I’d love a studio recording of that.

Same goes for Talk Talk – listen to the demo tape of “Eden” that Tim Friese-Greene shared awhile ago. They also have great live recordings waiting to be (re)issued.