Some critics consider it Dire Straits’ attempt to turn in the area of progressive rock, “Love Over Gold” released on 20th September 1982, was the band’s fourth studio album. Written exclusively by Mark Knopfler, the album sold two million copies during the first six weeks after its release. Eventually sold over 4 million copies in Europe and reached gold status in the United States in 1986. It was also the last album featuring drummer Pick Withers.
The album featured the 14-minute-long epic “Telegraph Road”, while its main chart hit, “Private Investigations”, gave Dire Straits their first top 5 hit single in the United Kingdom, where it reached the number 2 position despite its almost seven-minute length.
“Telegraph Road” tells of the boom and bust of the American city of Detroit. Throughout the several spoken verses, Knopfler expresses the disillusionment and bitterness of a betrayed lover, in “Private Investigations” featuring the verses: “A bottle of whiskey and a new set of lies / Blinds on the windows and a pain behind the eyes…..Scarred for life, no compensation / Private investigations.”
“Industrial Disease” speaks about the decline of the British manufacturing industry in the early 1980s, focusing on strikes, depression and dysfunctionality. It was the main single from the album in U.S. and in Canada became a top 10 hit.
01. “Telegraph Road” â€“ 14:18
02. “Private Investigations” â€“ 6:45
03. “Industrial Disease” â€“ 5:50
04. “Love Over Gold” â€“ 6:15
05. “It Never Rains” â€“ 7:59
Total length: 40:59
“The Way It Always Starts”, another song written during the Love Over Gold sessions, ended up on Knopfler’s soundtrack to “Local Hero” with vocals sung by Gerry Rafferty.
“Badges, Posters, Stickers and T-Shirts” was cut from the album, released in the UK as a B-side, and subsequently released in the U.S. as the fourth track on the ExtendedancEPlay EP.
“Private Dancer”, a song originally planned for the album, was recorded by the band except for the vocals. Mark Knopfler decided that a female voice would be more appropriate and handed the song to Tina Turner for her comeback album of the same name, it reached number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the US R&B chart. Legal restrictions prevented the original recording from being used, so two years after it was recorded, the track was remade by Dire Straits for Tina Turner. The original drummer Pick Withers had been replaced by Terry Williams. Also, Knopfler did not feature on the track and was replaced by Jeff Beck.
During 1983 and 1984 Mark Knopfler was also involved in other projects outside of the band. He wrote the music scores for the films “Local Hero” and “Cal”, both were also released as solo albums. Also, during the same period, Knopfler produced Bob Dylan’s “Infidels” album.