July 7 – Dire Straits, Frankie Relaxes, Fraunhofer MP3

1978
British rock band Dire Straits release their self-titled debut album in the UK (US release in October).

The brilliant single Sultans of Swing will climb to US#4 (Feb. 1979), UK#8. All six of the band’s albums become international chart-toppers.

With Grammy-winning singles like Money for Nothing, 1985 fifth studio album Brothers in Arms (released May 13) becomes one of the world’s best-selling albums. The single features a cameo by Sting singing “I want my MTV“ — and the Network is happy to repeat the animated video over and over.

Mark Knopfler announces a break-up in 1988, but a little thing like that doesn’t stop them releasing another international #1, sixth and last studio album On Every Street on Sep. 10, 1991. By which time MTV’s hey-day is pretty much over too … it’s soon handed-over to Beavis and Butt-head.

 ( Knopfler site

1984

English dance-pop band Frankie Goes to Hollywood‘s debut single Relax becomes the (at the time) all-time biggest selling single in the UK =after= it is banned by the BBC!

But shoot it in the right direction
Make making it your intention-ooh yeah
Live those dreams
Scheme those schemes
Got to hit me, Hit me
Hit me with those laser beams

It’s from their debut album Welcome to the Pleasuredome (Oct. 29; UK,NZ#1, NL#2, US#33), which earns the band 3 more chart-topping singles in the UK. Lead singer Holly Johnson had been a bassist for Big in Japan.

In 1985 they become a videogame. A 1986 second and final album (UK#5, DE#5, AU,CH#7) doesn’t excite enough interest to hold things together. Johnson tries a solo career, then becomes a painter in the 90s.

 ( Frankie site  ( Johnson site

1994

The Fraunhofer Society releases the first software encoder (algorithms were created in 1991).

By compressing audio by a factor of ten or so, MP3 eases the computer storage requirements of audio files for music listening. Because the software is patented (propietary), its popularity drives the development of alternative formats such as Ogg and LAME.

MP3 is ‘Audio Layer III’ of the standard developed by ISO‘s Moving Picture Experts Group from the Musicam proposal.

 ( Xiph site ( LAME site