Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Thoughful and melodic Folk and Rock from Mark Knopfler

Everyone is familiar with Dire Straits. The Sultans of Swing had a long and storied career. They released 6 albums over 15 years and scored many Top 40 hits and numerous Grammy, BRIT, and MTV Video Music Awards.

Since Mark Knopfler dissolved the band in 1995, he’s released 7 solo albums and a bunch of movie soundtracks (Trivial Pursuit: including The Princess Bride). He is an incredible and versatile songwriter, a flexible collaborator, and just an all-around amazing talent. If you have never checked out any of his solo work, you should.

A brilliant album that will engage both halves of your brain.

A brilliant album that will engage both halves of your brain.

Today, I’m specifically going to recommend his 1996 solo debut, Golden Heart. The album never cracked the Top 100 in the U.S., though it made the Top 10 in Norway, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Finalnd, Australia, Belgium, and the U.K. I love this album and have never gotten tired of it. The songs are deep, intelligent, and catchy and the whole thing sparkles with his virtuoso guitar playing.

6 songs from this release live on my iPod and I turn it up just about every time any of them come on.

  • Darling Pretty – This was the single. It’s beautifully produced and has an epic feel.
  • Imelda – You may remember the wife of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos. This song explores how her ridiculous shoe, gown, and jewelry collections contributed to the downfall of that regime. I have actually linked to a live performance of this song, but he does such a great job it sounds just like the studio version.
  • No Can Do – Sadly, I can only link you to a sample of this song. I love the oozy guitar and gentle vocals. As near as I can tell, it’s the first-person tale of a drifter and laborer who still has self respect and a limit to what he’s willing to do.
  • Don’t You Get It – Quintessential Knopfler sound: steady vamping percussion groove, lightly distorted guitar solos, fat harmony vocals. Great song.
  • Je Suis Desole – Another track with a Folk feel. The verses are in English, but the chorus is French. This is my second favorite song on the disc.
  • Done with Bonaparte – It has the feel of an Irish folk song, but it’s a story told from the point of view of a disillusioned French soldier who fought for Napoleon and followed him to disaster in Russia. Very cool and perhaps my favorite song on the disc. I told you the album was smart.

You might also like the title track, Golden Heart.

His next solo album, Sailing to Philadelphia, is also fantastic and I may write that one up someday too.



June 3, 2009 - Posted by | Classic Rock, Folk, Popular, Rock

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