Dire Straits' career spanned a combined total of 15 years. The band originally split up in 1988, but reformed in 1991. Dire Straits disbanded for good in 1995 when Mark Knopfler launched his career full time as a solo artist. There were several changes in personnel over both periods, leaving Mark Knopfler and John Illsley as the only two original bandmates who had remained throughout the band's career.