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Sailing to Philadelphia

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Bill Crandall
In the long history of British rockers mimicking the sounds of America's South Rolling Stones, the Animals, Eric Clapton, etc., no limeys whistled Dixie as convincingly as Dire Straits, who broke onto the American charts in 1978 singing the line "Way on down south." In that song, "Sultans of Swing," Straits' frontman Mark Knopfler may have been singing about London, but his bluesy honky-tonk inspiration clearly came from an ocean away. On only his second non-soundtrack solo album, Knopfler's muse is firmly planted on American soil -- as evidenced by tracks such as "Do America," "Sands of Nevada," "Prairie Wedding," and "Sailing to Philadelphia." On the title track, ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Bill Crandall
In the long history of British rockers mimicking the sounds of America's South Rolling Stones, the Animals, Eric Clapton, etc., no limeys whistled Dixie as convincingly as Dire Straits, who broke onto the American charts in 1978 singing the line "Way on down south." In that song, "Sultans of Swing," Straits' frontman Mark Knopfler may have been singing about London, but his bluesy honky-tonk inspiration clearly came from an ocean away. On only his second non-soundtrack solo album, Knopfler's muse is firmly planted on American soil -- as evidenced by tracks such as "Do America," "Sands of Nevada," "Prairie Wedding," and "Sailing to Philadelphia." On the title track, Knopfler plays Dixon to guest vocalist James Taylor's Mason, as the two turn the mundane history lesson of "drawing the line" into a poignant ballad. Speaking of guests, the mighty pipes of legendary Americaphile Van Morrison transform the laid-back "The Last Laugh" into an inspired spiritual, and Squeeze's Chris Difford and Glen Tilbrook add a little vocal punch to the already punchy "Silvertown Blues." But for Straits' fans, the standout track is likely to be the infectious, "Sultans"-like hoedown rocker "What It Is," on which Knopfler's guitar-pickin' sounds more like fiddle-bowin'. Way on down south indeed.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Mark Knopfler's second solo album might as well be called Dire Straits' eighth studio album, though Knopfler abandoned the group name back in 1996, dispensing with hefty sales in the process. There was never much doubt that the fame and lifestyle coincident with platinum sales made him uncomfortable, and discontinuing the Dire Straits billing was a means of walking away from all that. It also allowed him to indulge his love for various musical genres more, and that process continues on Sailing to Philadelphia. True, Knopfler's basic approach remains the same -- as a guitarist, he is still enamored of the minor-key finger-picking style of J.J. Cale, and as a singer/songwriter, he remains enthralled with Bob Dylan. But in one song after another on this album, you get the feeling that he started out playing some familiar song in a specific genre and eventually extrapolated upon it enough to call it an original. Knopfler has grafted his own lyrical concerns to these songs, often playing up the lives of humble people especially musicians, and putting down powerful people especially rock stars. There are also story-songs on wide-ranging subjects, but the theme of life on the road and the dichotomy between the rich and famous what Knopfler is and the poor and powerless those he identifies with predominate. Working with a two-guitars, two-keyboards, bass and drums band like Dire Straits, Knopfler brings in a variety of sympathetic guests, notably James Taylor, Van Morrison, and Squeeze leaders Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford. These guest stars provide pleasant contrast to Knopfler's modest vocal talents, but they never steal the spotlight from the leader. Well, okay, Morrison does. His ability to hold his own is some indication that, however self-effacing he may be, he remains a star. [In 2005 Sailing to Philadelphia was reissued with a bonus DVD that featured "behind the scenes" footage" as well as interviews with Knopfler and his band.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/26/2000
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • UPC: 093624775324
  • Catalog Number: 47753
  • Sales rank: 18,590

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 What It Is - Aubrey Haynie (4:57)
  2. 2 Sailing to Philadelphia (5:29)
  3. 3 Who's Your Baby Now (3:05)
  4. 4 Baloney Again - Duane Starling (5:09)
  5. 5 The Last Laugh - Harvey Thompson (3:22)
  6. 6 Do America (4:12)
  7. 7 El Macho - Chris Rodriguez (5:29)
  8. 8 Prairie Wedding - Gillian Welch (4:26)
  9. 9 Wanderlust (3:52)
  10. 10 Speedway at Nazareth - Gillian Welch (6:23)
  11. 11 Junkie Doll (4:34)
  12. 12 Silvertown Blues - Glenn Tilbrook (5:29)
  13. 13 Sands of Nevada (3:57)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mark Knopfler Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Richard Bennett Guitar, Strings
Jim Cox Piano, Hammond Organ
Chad Cromwell Drums
Danny Cummings Percussion
Chris Difford Vocals
Guy Fletcher Keyboards, Vocals
Paul Franklin Pedal Steel Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar
Mike Haynes Flugelhorn
Jim Hoke Harmonica, Autoharp
Jim Horn Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Wayne Jackson Trumpet
Van Morrison Vocals
Frank Ricotti Marimbas
Harvey Thompson Tenor Saxophone
Glenn Tilbrook Vocals
Chris Willis Vocals
Glenn Worf Bass
Aubrey Haynie Violin
Duane Starling Vocals
Gillian Welch Vocals
Technical Credits
James Taylor Composer
Mark Knopfler Composer, Producer
Denny Purcell Mastering
Chuck Ainlay Producer, Engineer
Andrew Williams Portrait Photography
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Comfort Music

    This album is well thought out and executed. It tells a tale, I enjoy it very much.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An excellent exhibition of Soft Rock

    I am a die-hard DS/MK fan and for some wierd reasons I did not get hold of this CD until after I came out of MK concert in LA. Knopfler has certainly shed a bit of his DS outlook to Music, as evident from the songs in this album. However, there are plenty of subtle guitar work, some running a few minutes at the end, that will keep the tunes ringing in your ear. As for myself, the song 'Prairie Wedding' stands out for the sheer majesty of MK's voice and his booming guitar. Moral - Listen carefully to enjoy a great compilation of soft Rock from a Master performer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A blast from the past!

    What a great overall album. Although I don't like every track, the song ''What it is'' more than makes up for it. I hope that Mark Knopfler continues to dish out more albums like this. Good overall album for Dire Straits or Mark Knopfler fans. Reminds me of the good ol' days and mispent youth listening to Dire Straits!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Disappointment for Straits Fans

    After hearing the first track ''What It Is'', I was psyched to hear a Knopfler solo that harkened back to the ringing guitar I fell in love with Dire Straits for. Alas, that's the only track on this release that bears the resemblance. The bulk of the tunes are plodding, moody, and pretensious. Knopfler tries too hard to be the avant-garde musician-poet, and has lost the energy and swing that made him a star. Cameos by James Taylor and Van Morrison on two tracks add some life, but I find myself skipping track after track afterwards. If you're looking for a lot of music reminiscent of ''Follow Me Home'' from Communique there's plenty here, otherwise-zzzzzzzz

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    New Music for Grownups

    It's tough to be an aging rock and roller. At 44, you realize that rock is for kids, and the only rock you like is the tunes from when you were also young and stupid. Well, fifty-ish Mark Knopfler, with help from fellow seniors James Taylor & Van Morrison, has crafted a fine assembly of songs that cover many flavors of American music - blues, rock, jazz - but all with a dreamy and historical perspective that link them seamlessly. The MTV crowd won't get it. Not for cranking up in the car, this CD needs to be contemplated in a serene setting. Don't get me wrong - it's not Mantovani for boomers - but its subtleties merit close attention. There's a lot more beyond rock's bass, drums, & three chords. I never was a huge Knopfler fan, either; I thought too much of his music was written for the appreciation of other guitarists. Of course, either Taylor or Van Morrison could sing the phone book and I'd listen. Too old to rock and roll, too young to die? Then enjoy a rare piece of intelligent new music. (If you need to feel young by listening to hip new stuff, get Pink Pearl from Jill Sobule - fresh, clever, catchy stuff.)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Magic in the Air

    There isn't a single track on this album that's going to make you want to hit the skip button. Knopfler hits top gear with the first track 'What it is', and stays there throughout. Van Morrison is as good as he ever was in 'The Last Laugh' and the jamming session at the end of 'Speedway at Nazareth' is what Knopfler should be all about; guitar and nothing but. All in all, as good a selection of songs as was ever assembled by the Dire Straits lead singer, and you would do well to buy a copy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent album, .... after hearing it a couple of times

    I´m also a big Knopfler-fan. This album did not struck me directly, but now, after hearing it several times in my car during a long highway-trip, I thought : Yes, he did it again. This is a great album, just like Golden Heart was.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Warning : craftsman at work

    Mark Knopfler is a great songwritter, storyteller and great guitarist all combined into one, making him a craftsman of his art. A low key approach makes this album a superb piece of work for lovers of good fundemental music of the rock and folk genre mixture. Refreshing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews