Private Investigations: The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler

Private Investigations: The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler

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by Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler
     
 

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While not radically divergent, Mark Knopfler’s work as a solo artist and within Dire Straits have long been looked at through separate windows, a view that’s changed for the better on this two-CD compilation chronicling the singer-guitarist’s entire career. The first disc is largely given over to Dire Straits’ greatest hits, with appearances by the usual suspects --

Overview

While not radically divergent, Mark Knopfler’s work as a solo artist and within Dire Straits have long been looked at through separate windows, a view that’s changed for the better on this two-CD compilation chronicling the singer-guitarist’s entire career. The first disc is largely given over to Dire Straits’ greatest hits, with appearances by the usual suspects -- “Sultans of Swing,” “Money for Nothing,” and the like -- as well as somewhat lesser-aired tunes, the latter category highlighted by a full 14 minutes of “Telegraph Road.” Disc 2 delves a bit more deeply into Knopfler’s post-band work, bringing together album tracks like “Calling Elvis” and the jaunty “Boom like That” and a smattering of the guitarist’s evocative soundtrack material. His themes for Local Hero (the appropriately windswept “Going Home”) and “Cal” (the purposefully heartstring-tugging “The Long Road”) attest to his preeminence among rock soundtrack composers. In addition to the backward glances, Private Investigations offers one glimpse of what’s yet to come, in the form of “All the Roadrunning,” a keening track culled from an upcoming collaboration with Emmylou Harris that makes the future look bright indeed.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
This 22-cut double-disc set finally gets at it. Issuing a single disc of Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler would be a silly thing at best and a hopelessly frustrating one at worst. When the band burst on the scene with "Sultans of Swing," there was a lot happening in rock music, but most of it was under the radar and remains forgotten except in the historic annals of music fanatics. Knopfler and his band were full of rock & roll romance and proved it through their first four recordings time and again. They couldn't help but become superstars and mainstays of MTV. But there is another story told on this best-of, which begins with "Telegraph Road." The story-songs Knopfler wrote were always the best anyway, and this set is full of them, from "Sultans" to "Romeo & Juliet," "Skateaway," "So Far Away," "Walk of Life," and (of course) "Brothers in Arms," which made for the most dramatic marriage of the little screen and rock music when it was featured in the closing sequence of an episode of Miami Vice. But there are many other stops along the way, like "Private Investigations," "Sailing to Philadelphia," "Going Home" (from Local Hero), and "The Long Road" (from Cal). But "On Every Street," "Calling Elvis," and "What It Is" are here, too, making for a wonderfully rounded if argumentative best-of collection that goes the distance and explains sonically what all the fuss was about in the first place. There's the guitar sound that's as much Tony Joe White as it is J.J. Cale and Billy Gibbons, and the elegance of James Burton and Chet Atkins. There is soul, pathos, drama, and a bittersweet memory that Van Morrison first evoked on Astral Weeks and Saint Dominic's Preview. There is a new cut here as well, a duet with Emmylou Harris called "All the Roadrunning," taken from an upcoming collaborative album, and it's nice -- beautiful, in fact -- and keeps the line of continuity and excellence in perspective. This is not only a fine collection for fans because of its wonderful sequencing, but the best introduction to the man and the band that one could ask for.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/15/2005
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624989127
catalogNumber:
49891
Rank:
10794

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Private Investigations: The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
Dire Straits was always Mark Knopfler’s concept, so a combined overview is a good idea. The producers concentrated on longer band and solo songs that showcase Knopfler’s composing and guitar skills and omit some of his satirical efforts like Industrial Disease and Heavy Fuel. I wish there were a couple more songs from the Straits’ first two albums when they were a bare bones quartet. However, unlike Sultans of Swing, the Dire Straits single CD best of, this double disc set does contain Telegraph Road, probably their best moment. Fans of live music should note this set is all studio recordings. 4 ½ stars.
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