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Pop - Released January 1, 1983 | Virgin EMI

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Virgin EMI

Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Rock - Released November 16, 2018 | British Grove Records

When he’s not working on a film score or paying a musical visit to one of his numerous friends, Mark Knopfler focuses on producing high quality solo albums. Down The Road Wherever is no exception, it’s arguably up there with Golden Heart and Get Lucky at the top of the heap. For this ninth album, available in different editions (something which has become a habit for him), he demonstrates more than ever the sheer scope of styles he can play with outstanding subtlety and elegance. He’s like a magician refusing to show off with shiny new tricks, but rather favouring his older acts with a few delicate updates, of which he seems to have many up his sleeve! More relaxed and confident than ever, particularly in his perfect guitar performances, Knopfler is second to none when it comes to harmoniously juxtaposing jazzy (When You Leave, Every Heart In The Room), bluesy (Just A Boy Away From Home), funky (Back On The Dance Floor, Nobody Does That), folk (Nobody's Child, Matchstick Man) and trad (Drover's Road, One Song At A Time) atmospheres, at times incorporating inspired Latin touches – samba, bossa nova, or cha cha chá − (Floating Away, Slow Learner, Heavy Up, Rear View Mirror) or electro layers (Good On You Son)… Even though the album starts off like Dire Straits’ Love Over Gold with the perky Trapper Man, and then My Bacon Roll which would fit right into Brothers In Arms, he has obviously come a long way, setting himself apart from a band whose memory is slowly fading. © Jean-Pierre Sabouret/Qobuz
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Rock - Released January 1, 2005 | Virgin EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 2006 | Mercury (Universal France)

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Rock - Released January 1, 2004 | Virgin EMI

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Film Soundtracks - Released April 15, 2016 | Virgin EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Virgin EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 1996 | Virgin EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 2002 | Virgin EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 2009 | Virgin EMI

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Rock - Released March 9, 2015 | Virgin EMI

Scaled smaller than 2012's double-album Privateering, Tracker also feels suitably subtle, easing its way into being instead of announcing itself with a thunder. Such understatement is typical of Mark Knopfler, particularly in the third act of his career. When he left Dire Straits behind, he also left behind any semblance of playing for the cheap seats in an arena, but Tracker feels quieter than his new millennial norm. Some of this is due to the undercurrent of reflection tugging at the record's momentum. Knopfler isn't pining for the past but he is looking back, sometimes wistfully, sometimes with a resigned smile, and he appropriately draws upon sounds that he's long loved. Usually, this means some variation of pub rock -- the languid ballad "River Towns," the lazy shuffle "Skydiver," the two-chord groove of "Broken Bones" -- but this is merely the foundation from which Knopfler threads in a fair amount of olde British folk and other roots digressions. This delicate melancholy complements echoes of older Knopfler songs -- significant stretches of the record are reminiscent of the moodier aspects of Brothers in Arms, while "Beryl" has just a bit of the "Sultans of Swing" bounce -- and this skillful interweaving of Knopfler's personal past helps give Tracker a nicely gentle resonance. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released March 9, 2015 | Virgin EMI

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Country - Released September 28, 1990 | Columbia

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Rock - Released January 1, 2007 | Virgin EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 2005 | Virgin EMI

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Pop - Released January 1, 2000 | Virgin EMI

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.] ~ William Ruhlmann

Rock - Released March 9, 2015 | Virgin EMI

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1998 | Virgin EMI

Mark Knopfler wrote and performed the soundtrack to Barry Levinson's political satire Wag the Dog, and it is one of his best scores, alternately graceful and rootsy. Seven of the eight tracks are instrumental, with the last being reserved for the agreeably humorous single "Wag the Dog." ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Virgin EMI

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Since officially embarking on a solo career in 1995, former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler has been quietly and consistently amassing an unassuming horn of plenty, maintaining his prior outfit's penchant for fusing meticulously crafted English blues-rock with sardonic, radio-ready AOR pop, while introducing elements of traditional folk and country with the effortless gait of an artist who has spent his years as both a student and a professor. On Privateering, his seventh solo outing, Knopfler has crafted his most ambitious and pugnacious collection of songs to date, going all in on a two-disc set that pits all of the aforementioned influences against each other without ever succumbing to the convenience of their architectures. Upon first spin, Privateering feels a little like a garage sale, offering up long cold plates of once warm, late-night porch jams that feel like pre-studio session warm-ups, but the album's stately yet schizophrenic nature, which pits lo-fi, studious, yet ultimately forgettable exercises in rote American blues like "Hot or What" and "Gator Blood" with amiable, highway-ready rockers ("Corned Beef City") and incredibly affecting, spooky folk-pop ballads like "Redbud Tree," "Kingdom of Gold," and the magnificent "Dream of the Drowned Submariner," all three of which owe a couple of polite high fives to Dire Straits songs like "The Man's Too Strong" and "Brothers in Arms," reveals an artist in complete control of his arsenal. Could the album use some trimming? Sure, but Knopfler is that rare gunslinger who can make even the wildest shot look like it was completely intentional, and his steady voice, mercurial lyrics, and instantly recognizable guitar tone, that latter of which falls somewhere between the rich, lucid beauty of David Gilmour and the Pan-like spell-casting of Richard Thompson, provide just the right amount of ballast to keep a ship as big as Privateering buoyant. ~ James Christopher Monger

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Mark Knopfler in the magazine
  • Magic Mark
    Magic Mark When he’s not working on a film score or paying a musical visit to one of his numerous friends, Mark Knopfler focuses on producing high quality solo albums.