2/13 : DIRE STRAITS SULTANS OF SWING. In 1978, Dire Straits began recording their first album at Basing Street Studios, London. The whole project cost Â£12,500 ($21,250) to produce. The album which featured the group's breakthrough single 'Sultans of Swing' went on to enjoy a 132 week run on the UK chart. The inspiration for 'Sultans of Swing' came from Mark Knopfler witnessing a mediocre jazz band playing in the corner of a practically deserted pub.