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Mark Knopfler discography

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When Dire Straits broke up for the second (and last) time in 1995, Mark Knopfler (lead guitarist, lead vocalist, lead songwriter) didn't so much start a new career as he merely continued other ones he had already started.

 

Mark Knopfler in 1979
Mark Knopfler in 1979 - photo by Mark Putland/Getty Images
Five of the eight movie scores he has composed were done while the band was still in business. He had also produced four albums for other artists (including Bob Dylan, Willy DeVille and Randy Newman) and had appeared on more than 50 albums by other artists during the band's lifetime. A solo career was just one of the things that Knopfler pursued when the Dire Straits years (1977-1995) came to an end.

Knopfler's skill with a guitar is such that Rolling Stone ranked him #27 on their list of the Top 100 Guitarists of All Time. All totalled, Dire Straits and Knopfler as a solo artist have a worldwide album sales total of more than 120-million. Here's a look at Knopfler's solo contributions to that success.

1996 - 'Golden Heart'

Mark Knopfler - Golden Heart
WEA/Reprise
After Dire Straits ended for the second and final time, Knopfler took a couple of years off to recover from the pace and pressures of life in the rock star lane. When he thought about writing and performing again, he took his time. Work on Golden Heart started two years before its release. The album peaked at #9 in the UK, #105 in the US.

Watch a live performance of "Golden Heart" in Sweden in 1996

Original CD Track List
1. "Darling Pretty"
2. "Imelda"
3. "Golden Heart"
4. "No Can Do"
5. "Vic and Ray"
6. "Don't You Get It"
7. "A Night in Summer Long Ago"
8. "Cannibals"
9. "I'm the Fool"
10. "Je Suis Désolé"
11. "Rüdiger"
12. "Nobody's Got the Gun"
13. "Done with Bonaparte"
14. "Are We in Trouble Now"

2000 - 'Sailing to Philadelphia'

Mark Knopfler - Sailing to Philadelphia
WEA/Reprise
After a world tour that lasted more than a year, Knopfler took another break. His second solo album, Sailing to Philadelphia was released four years after his first. Already a veteran of performing on other artists' albums, he reversed position and hosted two guest vocalists -- Van Morrison and James Taylor -- on this album. It reached #4 on the UK album chart, and #60 on the Billboard 200.

Listen to Mark Knopfler and James Taylor perform "Sailing to Philadelphia"

Original CD Track List
1. "What It Is"
2. "Sailing to Philadelphia" (featuring James Taylor)
3. "Who's Your Baby Now"
4. "Baloney Again"
5. "The Last Laugh" (featuring Van Morrison)
6. "Do America"
7. "El Macho"
8. "Prairie Wedding"
9. "Wanderlust"
10. "Speedway at Nazareth"
11. "Junkie Doll"
12. "Silvertown Blues"
13. "Sands of Nevada"

2002 - 'The Ragpicker's Dream'

Mark Knopfler - The Ragpicker's Dream
WEA/Reprise
The combination of Knopfler's love of roots music and his considerable storytelling skills was evident in The Ragpicker's Dream. The closest you could come to a concept album without actually calling it that, each song followed the theme of life through the eyes of the working poor. With this album, Knopfler's solo work began to gain some traction with the American audience, breaking into the Top 40, at #38. It peaked at #7 in the UK.

Watch a live performance of "Why Aye Man" at Royal Albert Hall, London

Original CD Track List
1. "Why Aye Man"
2. "Devil Baby"
3. "Hill Farmer's Blues"
4. "A Place Where We Used to Live"
5. "Quality Shoe"
6. "Fare Thee Well Northumberland"
7. "Marbletown"
8. "You Don't Know You're Born"
9. "Coyote"
10. "The Ragpicker's Dream"
11. "Daddy's Gone to Knoxville"
12. "Old Pigweed"

2004 - 'Shangri-La'

Mark Knopfler - Shangri-La
WEA/Reprise
Knopfler's next break was a forced one -- seven months in recovery and rehabilitation from a motorcycle wreck that left him with a broken shoulder, collar bone, and ribs. Only one of the songs on Shangri-La, the tongue-in-cheek "Don't Crash the Ambulance" was inspired by the accident. The rest were tributes to people like Elvis Presley, boxer Sonny Liston, and the popular singer (and fellow native of Scotland) Lonnie Donegan. The album's UK chart peak was at #11, in the US it hit #66.

Watch a live performance of "Boom, Like That" in 2005

Original CD Track List
1. "5.15 A.M."
2. "Boom, Like That"
3. "Sucker Row"
4. "The Trawlerman's Song"
5. "Back to Tupelo"
6. "Our Shangri-La"
7. "Everybody Pays"
8. "Song for Sonny Liston"
9. "Whoop De Doo"
10. "Postcards from Paraguay"
11. "All That Matters"
12. "Stand Up Guy"
13. "Donegan's Gone"
14. "Don't Crash the Ambulance"

2007 - 'Kill to Get Crimson'

Mark Knopfler - Kill to Get Crimson
Warner Bros/WEA
Although his guitar mastery is often the first thing we think of when Knopfler's name is mentioned, let's not forget his mastery of the art of storytelling by songwriting. Kill to get Crimson showcased both skills. The album came after Knopfler had spent a year recording and touring with another roots-influenced singer-songwriter, Emmylou Harris. The album charted higher than any of his previous albums in the US, peaking at #26. It reached #9 in the UK.

Watch a performance of "The Fizzy and the Still" in Switzerland in 2007

Original CD Track List
1. "True Love Will Never Fade"
2. "The Scaffolder's Wife"
3. "The Fizzy and the Still"
4. "Heart Full of Holes"
5. "We Can Get Wild"
6. "Secondary Waltz"
7. "Punish the Monkey"
8. "Let It All Go"
9. "Behind with the Rent"
10. "The Fish and the Bird"
11. "Madame Geneva's"
12. "In the Sky"

2009 - 'Get Lucky'

Mark Knopfler - Get Lucky
Warner Bros
Reviewing Get Lucky for the online magazine PopMatters, critic Michael Kabran said that the album was, "filled with sweeping strings, subtle melodies, bluesy guitar bits, and Knopfler’s usual smart lyrics." Being a native of Scotland, it was natural that his music would have a strong Celtic influence, and that was especially evident on this album. It would be tempting to think that this could help explain why his albums have been more successful in the UK, but this album was is Knopfler's highest charting in the US so far, peaking at #17. It reached #9 in the UK.

Watch a live performance of "Get Lucky"

Original CD Track List
1. "Border Reiver"
2. "Hard Shoulder"
3. "You Can't Beat the House"
4. "Before Gas and TV"
5. "Monteleone"
6. "Cleaning My Gun"
7. "The Car Was the One"
8. "Remembrance Day"
9. "Get Lucky"
10. "So Far from the Clyde"
11. "Piper to the End"

2013 - 'Privateering'

Mark Knopfler - Privateering
Universal
Knopfler's first-ever double album, Privateering was released everywhere in the world except the US in September 2012. A contract dispute with Mercury Records delayed the US released until September 2013. Critics have been nearly unanimous in their assessment that the album represents his best work yet as a solo artist, lyrically and musically. With Privateering, Knopfler returns to more frequent use of electric guitar, a departure from his predominant use of acoustic on recent releases.

Listen to the title song, "Privateering"

Original CD Track List
Disc 1
1. "Redbud Tree"
2. "Haul Away"
3. "Don't Forget Your Hat"
4. "Privateering"
5. "Miss You Blues"
6. "Corned Beef City"
7. "Go, Love"
8. "Hot or What"
9. "Yon Two Crows"
10. "Seattle"

Disc 2
1. "Kingdom of Gold"
2. "Got to Have Something"
3. "Radio City Serenade"
4. "I Used to Could"
5. "Gator Blood"
6. "Bluebird"
7. "Dream of the Drowned Submariner"
8. "Blood and Water"
9. "Today Is Okay"
10. "After the Beanstalk"

Movie soundtracks by Knopfler

Wag the Dog soundtrack
Universal International
1983 - Local Hero
1984 - Cal
1984 - Comfort and Joy
1987 - The Princess Bride
1989 - Last Exit to Brooklyn
1998 - Wag the Dog
1999 - Metroland
2002 - A Shot at Glory

In collaboration with ...

The Notting Hillbillies, 1990 - Missing...Presumed Having a Good Time
Chet Atkins, 1990 - Neck and Neck
Emmylou Harris, 2006 - All the Roadrunning
Emmylou Harris, 2006 - Real Live Roadrunning

Produced by Knopfler for ...

Bob Dyland - Infidels
Columbia Records
Bob Dylan, 1983 - Infidels
Aztec Camera, 1984 - Knife
Willy DeVille, 1987 - Miracle
Randy Newman, 1988 - Land of Dreams
Bap Kennedy, 2012 - The Sailor's Revenge

Featuring Knopfler

As testimony to how he is viewed by other artists, between 1973 and 2013 Knopfler performed more than 100 times on albums by artists including (but by no means limited to) Steely Dan, Thin Lizzy, Van Morrison, Sting, Tina Turner, Buddy Guy, Rod Stewart, John Fogerty, Jimmy Buffett, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, America, Bill Wyman, and dozens more that we don't have space for here.
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