Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#722 in the Series) is Dire Straits, Love Over Gold
It’s hard to believe that Dire Straits only released six studio albums. They had such a reach and such an impact on music that it seems that they were one of those acts that would spit them our year after year. That was actually true for the early part of their career when they indeed released their first four albums in a short period of five years. That was from 1978 through 1982. They then took a couple years off before releasing their most popular album sales-wise that would be Brothers in Arms. After that album’s success they would really lay low, not realizing another until their final album, On Every Street in 1991.
But we brought you here today to talk about their fourth studio album that being Love Over Gold. I know more than a couple people that think this album was their best. Then again, I think that statement could be made for almost any of their albums.
I know the main reason that some love this album, that’s an easy one. It’s for one song. To them whichever album that song would have been on would have been their best album. That song is “Telegraph Road.” I have to agree with them, they really do have a point.
Was “Telegraph Road” Dire Straits Magnum Opus? That’s for you to decide. I had a chance to see Mark Knopfler on his solo tour in 2005. The concert was held at the spectacular Auditorium Theater in downtown Chicago. Our seats were dead center. Not only dead center from side to side, but also from front to back. This was fantastic since the main floor theater seating starts to curve upward as the rows extend to the back to the venue and we near the point were we were almost eye to eye with the band. The sight line could not have been better. The Auditorium is also about the most acoustically perfect house you’ll ever sit in. When theaters were designed in the late 1800’s (It was built in 1889!) they were made with the thought of extending the sound to the rear without amplification. So it doesn’t take much to get the sound to your ears. True pros like Mark and his sound crew knew how to work these venues. Less is more in a place like this, it only takes a little to make the sound big.
So here we are sitting dead center in this beautiful theater in perfect condition. As “Telegraph Road” began I remember saying to myself, “Self, it does NOT get any better than this. Concentrate on the music because you’re going to want to completely remember this one. I think back about the old days when you were proud of not remembering shows if you know what I mean! No, not this evening in this theater with this band playing THAT song. It was magnificent and I wanted to make sure that I remembered it. And I do.
Getting away from my storytelling and back to the album finally… There are only five tracks on Love Over Gold. “Private Investigations” was a live staple for Dire Straits and for Mark solo as well. I also have a feeling you know the jumpy “Industrial Disease.” That track might have received the most radio play since it was less than six minutes, but not by much!
All songs written by Mark Knopfler.
- “Industrial Disease” – 5:50
- “Love over Gold” – 6:15
- “It Never Rains” – 7:59
- Mark Knopfler – guitar, vocals
- Alan Clark – organ, piano, synthesizer
- John Illsley – bass
- Hal Lindes – rhythm guitar
- Pick Withers – drums
- Official Mark Knopfler Website
- See our piece on Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms
- See our piece on Dire Straits, Dire Straits
- See our piece on Mark Knopfler and EmmyLou Harris, Real Live Roadrunning
Give it a listen below
Here’s some great video versions…..