Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits turns 70

“Two men say they’re Jesus”

Mark KnopflerMy Mark Knopfler discography is scattered throughout my collections. The first albums were by Dire Straits, the LPs Dire Straits (1978) and Love Over Gold (1982). One of that first batch of CDs I purchased included Brothers in Arms. I was hardly alone. “The album is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first compact disc (CD) to sell a million copies, and it has been credited with popularising the CD format.”

After the first Dire Straits breakup, Knopfler formed The Notting Hillbillies in 1989, a country/folk band. It put out but one album, Missing…Presumed Having a Good Time (1990), which I’m quite fond of. Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989) is a movie soundtrack, all instrumental. All the Roadrunning (2006) features duets with country music singer Emmylou Harris.

Though I’ve never heard On Every Street (1991), the final album by Dire Straits, I’m quite fond of a cover of The Bug. It was written by Mark Knopfler and recorded by Mary Chapin Carpenter in 1992; her version got to #16 on the country charts.

The group Dire Straits was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

Some Mark Knopfler songs:

Money for Nothing – Dire Straits, #1 for three weeks in 1985.
Feel Like Going Home– The Notting Hillbillies
Why Worry– Dire Straits
Railroad Worksong– Notting Hillbillies. A song I knew from my childhood.

Beachcombing– Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris
Private Investigations . Moody and atmospheric.
So Far Away– Dire Straits, #19 in 1986. Brothers in Arms’ first U.K. single, before it became an international smash. In the US, it was released as the third single, after the album had already gone to #1.
Twisting by the Pool– Dire Straits, #105 in 1983. In between Love Over Gold and Brothers in Arms, the band released a four-song EP of old-school rock and swing cuts.

Will You Miss Me– Notting Hillbillies
This Is Us– Mark Knopfler And Emmylou Harris
Blues Stay away from me– Notting Hillbillies
Walk of Life– Dire Straits, #7 in 1986.

Romeo and Juliet– Dire Straits. A lovely piece with references to other songs. The single didn’t chart in the US.
Your own sweet way– The Notting Hillbillies
Sultans of Swing– Dire Straits, #4 in 1979. Their debut single was described as “a masterwork of precisely pointed guitar, a ringing rhythm section and late-night cool.”
Industrial Disease– Dire Straits, #75 in 1983. A reflection of the decline of British industry, and the anxiety and ailments it caused. “Two men say they’re Jesus; one of them must be wrong.”

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