First, there is the video. We all know it. All computer generated-y with an extra dose of Sting vocals. It's one of the most, if not THE most iconic music videos of all time. But how many people actually went and listened to the rest of the album. I remember this was exactly the second CD I ever bought. The first was Rick Springfield's "Tao". I know...sad...but I had this awful habit in the 80's of buying the album directly AFTER the one the hit was one...so I also have Journey's "Raised On Radio", Def Leppard's "Hysteria" (OK...I did right on that one) , some god awful Toto album...might as well throw some Asia in there too and...wait for it....CHICAGO 18!!! But "Brothers In Arms" was the second, and it's followed me throughout my life. I could fill up Rocktober with all the stories I have around this album, but I'll just relay the most fitting, at least by my reckoning. It was sometime between Christmas and New Years and I had been playing with my MATTEL SYNSONIC DRUMS for a few days and still hadn't quite figured them out. "Money For Nothing" had been huge but the new single was "Walk of LIfe" and I was determined to learn it...in fact it was the first "rock" song I would ever learn...crazy. Anyways, cut to later that day...my friend Scott is over and HE wants to learn this shit too..except he can actually play the damn drums.....so I relent and move back to the keyboards. For the next 2 hours, white grape juice in hands, we fucking murdered that song...the things we did to it can't really be described, and probably never should be. Suffice to say I owe all apologies to my entire family, and especially our hamster who was trapped in the kitchen next door and heard every awful awful note. Pooky, you were made of steel my friend. STEEL. As horrible as all of it was, it didn't sound horrible to us..in fact, it was glorious. Scott was nailing every drum beat exactly where it should be and the pipe organ on my keyboard sounded as big as a church as I pounded out the chords...duh duh...duh duh DUH duh duh duh duh.
HOLY CRAP!! WE WERE ROCK STARS!!!
That's exactly how it felt.... and still feels as i'm sitting here remembering it today. It was, as far as I can tell, the first time I ever thought that I really want to make music. Sure, ALL of the other songs on this album are great. "So Far Away"? CLASSIC. "You're Latest Trick"? I can tell you that the guy who stole my first girlfriend in college listened to it over and over and over when she ultimately dumped him. "Why Worry"? Just yesterday my lady laughed at me for enjoying the smooth stylings of a song that just keeps getting better every year I get older.
Point is...this whole song cycle is fantastic, even in the shadow of such a huge hit as "Money For Nothing". It all just works, even if it is oh so very 80's...but "Walk of Life"? "Walk of Life" made, and still makes me want to be a rock star.
Hopefully some song, maybe even that one, will someday make you want to be a rock star too.