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Golden Heart

4.6 out of 5 stars 138 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 26, 1996
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 26, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000002N25
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,422 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Released back in 1996, Mark Knopfler's first official solo effort, "Golden Heart," defies classification. Since the songs range across such a wide spectrum-Celtic, Cajun, rock, and country (styles which Knopfler so obviously cherishes)-you can't really call this a "rock album."
It's just MUSIC, pure and simple. And as the title suggests, more love songs than you'd normally find on a Dire Straits record. The opening track, "Darling Pretty," is rife with Knopfler's usual guitar artistry. But his message of being able to draw strength from love and thus overcome life's adversities is remarkably touching: "Love will find a way, my Darling Pretty/Find a heaven for you and I." (An aside here: my wife and I actually chose this one as our wedding song four years ago. It may not be the easiest thing to dance to, but it fit our situation perfectly.)
The title track is equally moving, and so gentle, it actually brought a lump to my throat the first time I heard it. And if you've got an ounce of Irish in you, "A Night in Summer Long Ago" might also get you misty. I once worked with a fellow Irishman, who admitted that this one actually had him sobbing, since it reminded him of the songs he grew up with.
But before you start thinking Knopfler's gone completely soft, check out "Imelda," which could be his hardest rocking and most satisfying tune since "Money for Nothing." The song climaxes in a solo that sounds like a guitar duel between Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, and it had me smiling.
"Don't You Get It" is another fine example of his approach to straightforward rock-and-roll, but songs like "Cannibals" and "Je Suis Desole" represent something new for Knopfler fans: a Cajun influence! What's even more surprising is that he is able to pull it off so convincingly.
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Format: Audio CD
Mark Knopfler laid Dire Straits to rest some time after their last, 1992-93 tour which had produced the "On the Night" live album. By that time, he had written several film scores; including one, 1984's "Cal," which was set in Northern Ireland and prominently featured a large dose of Celtic music, after his first film score (1983's "Local Hero") had already been for a movie set in Scotland. He had temporarily gone Missing (Presumed Having a Good Time) with the Notting Hillbillies. He had taken a plunge into the Nashville scene and recorded "Neck & Neck" with country star Chet Atkins (and thus effortlessly added two more Grammies to the one for their 1985 collaboration on "Cosmic Square Dance," and to Dire Straits' 1985-86 awards for "Money for Nothing" and for the "Brothers in Arms" video). His voice had darkened by yet another couple of notches. Last but not least, he had remarried.

The artist who emerged from all this for the production of 1996's "Golden Heart" was, of course, still the guitar whiz who had founded Dire Straits 19 years earlier; as amply demonstrated throughout the album, from the first track ("Darling Pretty"), dedicated to wife Kitty Aldridge, to the closing "Are We in Trouble Now." But in the attempt to, as he said, "just move forward" and "be better," Knopfler also went ways that he would probably not have been able to go with Dire Straits. "Darling Pretty" and even more so, "A Night in Summer Long Ago," explore the musical influences Mark Knopfler first experienced as a kid in Glasgow, featuring a number of renowned Celtic musicians; most notably perhaps Chieftains Derek Bell (harp in "Darling Pretty") and Sean Keane (violin in "A Night in Summer Long Ago").
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1 Comment 66 of 71 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I have been a Mark Knopfler fan since the first notes of Sultans of Swing came across the radio in 1978. I've seen him in concert several times and have purchased every piece of music he's ever touched, including all the Dylan pieces and The Notting Hillbillies. I even have the hard-to-get video of him doing songs of this album.
Golden Heart is clearly one of his finest! It's a classic! It's all there: the guitar, the voice, the tight back-up, the songs. Everything you like about Mark Knopfler is on this CD.
The first time I heard it I was in tears...before Darling Pretty was even two verses along. And since that time, I have made a point to listen to this collection almost daily. (I even allude to this CD in the amazon.com interview for my books.)
Here is my opinion: BUY THIS CD! If you are a Knopfler fan, this collection has it all!
Comment 36 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
.... 1) One of the few discs I would want if I were stranded on a desert island ... 2) a must-have disc if you own top-shelf audio gear... 3) This disc is worth the price of admisson just for the title track, in my opinion one of the most understated, heartrending, beautiful love songs ever written.
A great mix of styles and a great performance by a true songwriting and guitar-playing genius.
1 Comment 14 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By S. R. on November 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
MKs first solo effort is uncompromising, but as comfortable as a good pair of slippers. Not drawing as much of his Nashville influence as on his latter solo projects, Golden Heart sound more Dire Straitish than one might think, after all he WAS Dire Straits. "Darling Pretty" and "Golden Heart" are as gorgous as anything MK has ever written and "Don't You Get It" is as laid-back-in -the-pocket-groove as only MK can write. Overall a slower paced album than most Dire Straits records, with the exception of the cute "Cannibals" with a two-step beat and honkin accordian zydeco sound, Golden Heart will give Dire Strait lovers their fix, moreso than the next two MK releases, but that's another review.
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