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DIRE STRAITS & MARK KNOPFLER - PRIVATE INVESTIGATIONS…THE BEST OF - UNIVERSAL
Record Rating: ****

Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler - Private Investigations...The Best Of - Universal Dire Straits were less a band and more a spiritual following to their audience of millions. For the decades they were together, their everyman rock and front man Mark Knopfler gauged the mood of the times accurately.

The front man’s solo work and within Dire Straits have long been looked at as separate entities by fans, a view that’s changed for the better with this new best of compilation. Chronicling the singer-guitarist’s entire career, the good news is that the studio albums from Dire Straits’ career are well represented on the fourteen track play list, although there is also an emphasis on Knopfler’s later material.

Fan favourites Sultans Of Swing, Romeo And Juliet, Money For Nothing and Walk Of Life are among the usual suspects, with the album then dwelling into Knopfler’s post-band work, with folksy Why Aye Man and the jaunty What It Is. A glimpse of Knopler’s current musical state comes in the form of the single new track on the album, All The Roadrunning, a collaboration with country superstar Emmylou Harris. While this new collection will satisfy those looking for an introduction or a collection of Knopfler’s work overall, it will disappoint others more familiar with the band as a whole. This is pretty much the type of CD you expect to be marketed on late night TV, with just the recognizable chart songs with mediocre tracks thrown in.

Perhaps the most disappointing omission from this collection is the bands hit single So Far Away; leaving that out is unforgivable. If you’re a new listener looking to get into Dire Straits, there is a much better and more comprehensive compilation called Sultans of Swing: The Very Best Of. It's the better choice, simply because it covers more ground of Knopfler’s talent and legacy.

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