Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits
Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits Image Credit: GN Archives

Budget song ‘Sultans of Swing’ propels Dire Straits into the post-punk limelight


Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits
Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits Image Credit: GN Archives

‘Sultans of Swing’, Dire Straits’ debut single, was the first released on a major label. It was one of five songs recorded on a demo tape in July 1977 with a budget of just £120. The tape was first played on Radio London and the band quickly built up a huge fan following and became in overnight sensation

‘Sultans of Swing’ was one of nine songs on Dire Straits’ self-title first album that is considered an absolute classic.

The band emerged during the post-punk era of the late 70s in England and was the late Princess Diana’s favourite rock group.

Supertramp take America by storm


‘Breakfast in America’ catapulted British band Supertramp to instant stardom in the US when it went to No 1 on the charts, the only success that they would enjoy in America. The title track, which was written by bassist Roger Hodgson on a pump organ (a harmonium that is pumped with the feet) that he bought for just £25, tells the story of an Englishman exploring the country.

The album, which sold over 20 million copies worldwide, was a huge commercial success and spawned the hit songs ‘The Logical Song’, ‘Goodbye Stranger’ and ‘Take the Long Way Home’.

The band took their name from ‘The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp’ by Welsh poet and writer William Henry Davies.

The woman on the cover of ‘Breakfast in America’ was Kate Murtagh, an actress and singer-comedian from Los Angeles, California.

Copyright issues prevent UK release of Paul Simon song


Paul Simon
Paul Simon Image Credit: Shutterstock

Paul Simon released the single ‘Kodachrome’, which is unintentionally named after the Kodak 35mm film Kodachrome.

Simon was working on a song with the title ‘Comin Home’ but changed it to ‘Kodachrome’ as it had a better ring to it, not knowing that it would get him into copyright issues.

It became a No 2 hit in the US. It was not released as a single in Britain, because the BBC and UK radio stations refused to play the song as it had a trademarked name.

In 2009, Kodak retired Kocdachrome after 74 tears to make way for digital photography.