So Far Away

Album: Brothers In Arms (1985)
Charted: 20 19
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Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler lamenting an itinerant lifestyle that keeps him away from a loved one. Although he was on the road a lot (the album was recorded in Montserrat), the song is not autobiographical. "'So Far Away" is something I would want to apply to anybody," he told the BBC. "Quite apart from anything else, we are now a world of travellers and air travellers. Families are split up in different parts, all over the place, and it has relevance."

    He added: "It was about conducting a relationship over a telephone, which is a joke. It can't really be done over a long period of time, because you both get exhausted with it. That was the basic idea."
  • The is the first track on Brothers in Arms and the first UK single released from the album. In America, it was released after "Money For Nothing" and "Walk Of Life," becoming their last Hot 100 hit.
  • 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, kiddies. 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.

Comments: 1

  • Eric from Beaverton, OrThis was always one of my favorite Dire Straits songs - but only in the last few years has this song started to make me think of long-distance relationships.
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