The CME House Band swings into Full Band Friday with a cover of the song that made Dire Straits a household name, “Sultans of Swing,” from the band’s self-titled 1978 debut, played on a pair of CME Exclusive Road Worn Fenders.
More about the the Song:
"Sultans of Swing" was composed by Mark Knopfler on a National Steel guitar in open tuning. He thought the song was "dull" until he bought his first Stratocaster in 1977: "It just came alive as soon as I played it on that '61 Strat ... the new chord changes just presented themselves and fell into place."
The lyrics were inspired by a performance of a jazz band playing in the corner of an almost empty pub in Deptford, South London. At the end of their performance, the lead singer announced their name, the Sultans of Swing; Knopfler found the contrast between the group's dowdy appearance and surroundings and their grandiose name amusing.
Folk singer and Columbia recording artist Bill Wilson (1947–1993) claimed to have co-written the song.Wilson did not get a songwriting credit on the release, but claimed to have received some monetary compensation for his input.
The song is set in common time, with a tempo of 149 beats per minute. It is in the key of D minor with Knopfler's vocal range spanning G2 to D4. It uses a chord progression of Dm–C–B♭–A for the verses, and F–C–B♭ for the choruses. The riff uses triads, particularly second inversions. The song employs the Andalusian cadence or diatonic phrygian tetrachord. All the chords are compatible with a D natural minor scale, except for the A major triad, which suggests a D harmonic minor scale. Knopfler used similar triads on "Lady Writer".