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Best Of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler: Private Investigations (2CD)

4.6 out of 5 stars 200 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Best Of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler: Private Investigations (2CD)
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Editorial Reviews

For the first time, a compilation brings together the best of one of rock's most admired bands, Dire Straits, and the best of its leader, guitarist-singer-songwriter Mark Knopfler. Private Investigations: Best of Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler, a double CD, spans their entire careers. Warner. 2005.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 15, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000BI0WOA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,367 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
There have been a number of Dire Straits "best of" compilations, including the decent "Sultans of Swing" 1998 compilation, but this is the first time that the entire career of Mark Knopfler, both in Dire Straits and as a solo artist, is reviewed. I must admit upfront that I am not a great fan of his solo work.

"Private Investigations: The Very Best of Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler" (2 CDs; 139 min.) brings 14 Dire Straits songs, 7 Knopfler solo songs, and 1 new Knopfler-Emmylou Harris duet "All the Roadrunning". The big thing is that the Dire Straits songs are presented in original album-length format. Yes, the full 14+ min. of "Telegraph Road, the full 8+ min. of "Tunnel of Love", etc.Also, no live versions of certain songs are found here (unlike on the "Sultans of Swing" compilation). Really only 2 (semi)classics are missing: "Twisting by the Pool" and "Heavy Fuel" (the latter in any event only a second rate carbon copy of "Money for Nothing"). The 7 Knopfler songs are outstanding. If you don't have the "Local Hero" and "Cal" mostly instrumental soundtracks, do yourself a favor and buy them. You'll find one song of each on here. "Sailing to Philadelphia", "What It Is" and "Boom, Like That" are equal to his Dire Stratis-standards. The duet with Emmylou Harris is nice, but not essential.

If you distill the very best of Mark Knopfler's 25+ year career down to 140 minutes, it really is amazing how good it all sounds. As it should be, the emphasis is on the Dire Straits hits, but when you pick and choose in his solo output, there are some beautiful tracks there as well. This compilation was released without much fanfare, but I highly recommend it!
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Format: Audio CD
The recent "Private Investigations" ups the ante for Dire Starits Best of Collections two reasons. First and foremost, on this 2-disc collection, the Dire Straits songs are included in their full length versions (edited versions were on the "Sulatns Of Swing" set for "Money For Nothing" among others), and the live cuts - especially "Love Over Gold" - are replaced with their studio versions. Since Dire Straits were always a product of studio perfections and the belief that great things last longer than 4 minutes, losing almost half of "Money For Nothing" just isn't acceptable. On "Private Investigations," MfN, as well as all 15 minutes of "Telegraph Road" etc, are back as they should be.

Secondly, the "Private Investigations" set has its second disc devoted to the best of Mark Knopfler's solo career. Since that was madly uneven, it beats his spotty solo albums. Here, "Local Hero" is the only changed over to its album version. Great songs like "Boom Like That" or "Sailing To Philadelphia" are as good as his best Dire Straits work, and a track from his duets album with Emmylou Harris is included. All are really worth hearing.

While I have long been a fan of Dire Straits ("Love Over Gold" and "Brothers In Arms" were the two CD's I often used to show off - gawd I'm Getting Old - my brand new CD player and its spanking new technology), "Private Investigations" leaves off "Heavy Fuel" and the goofy "Twisting By The Pool." (That was the first time Knopfler showed off his sense of humor prior to the also missing "Industrial Disease.") On the other hand "Sultans Of Swing - The Very Best Of" under represented the band. "Private Investiagtions" also completely ignores the "Communique" album, and "Lady Writer" is essential Dire Straits in my opinion.
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Format: Audio CD
Mark Knopfler, in my opinion, ranks right up there with Eric Clapton as a King of the Stratocaster; a true guitar hero and master if there ever was one. And, like Clapton, his appeal is not only in his stellar playing, but also in his bluesy, soulful singing voice.

This 2-CD set is a fine overview of Knopfler's career, solo and with the legendary Dire Straits. Here you will find some of the finest rock, pop, blues, rockabilly, pub, and new wave tunes of the past 25 years.

Knopfler's songs have always had a strong cinematic quality, so it's no surprised that some of his most effective and stirring work has come on film soundtracks, such as LOCAL HERO and CAL (not to mention the much-beloved PRINCESS BRIDE and A SHOT AT GLORY and others not represented here). Even better are sweeping epics like "Telegraph Road," "Tunnel of Love," and "Brothers in Arms."

If all you know of Dire Straits is represented only by their neat 80s videos (glowing headbands, anyone?) like "Money for Nothing," or "So Far Away," you may be missing their finest work, though those songs are certainly fine in their own right. And, yes, of course this collection would not be complete without the kicky "Sultans of Swing." But dig a little deeper, and you find treasures such as the exquisitely-written "Romeo and Juliet," the rich noir of "Private Investigations," and the underrated "Love Over Gold."

Too bad more of Knopfler's solo work isn't represented here, but you'll enjoy the longing of "Sailing to Philadelphia" and the cool "Boom Like That." Then there's the new cut, "All the Roadrunning," a gorgeous duet with Emmylou Harris.

Sure, a lot of essential tracks are missing here.
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