‘Love Over Gold’: Dire Straits Storm The US With Lustrous Fourth Album

Soon after the record became the band’s first U.K. No.1, it made a prominent chart debut in the US.

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Dire Straits ‘Love Over Gold' artwork: Courtesy of UMG
Dire Straits ‘Love Over Gold' artwork: Courtesy of UMG

Dire Straits had been building their audience, both in the U.K. and around the world, for years by the time they achieved their first British No.1 album.

It came in the early autumn of 1982, with their fourth studio set Love Over Gold. Within two weeks, on October 16 that year, it had them back on the U.S. chart, and straight into the Top 40 at that. The LP’s No.38 debut was the second highest of the week, behind only Billy Joel’s No.29 debut with The Nylon Curtain.

Recorded at the Power Station in New York, the record saw Mark Knopfler’s songwriting skills reach new levels of sophistication. He was building ever more confidence to express himself in ways beyond the mere three-minute single, underlined immediately on the album’s opening track, the 14-minute “Telegraph Road.” Indeed, Love Over Gold contained only five tracks, the shortest of which, “Industrial Disease,” came in at just under six minutes. The latter song became a major rock radio hit in America, helping the album to No.19 there.

Dire Straits - Private Investigations (Official Music Video)

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When Love Over Gold came out, Dire Straits were already climbing the singles charts with “Private Investigations,” which went to be their joint highest-charting U.K. hit, reaching No.2, as did “Walk Of Life” four years later. The album emphasized just how big the band’s audience had become by going straight to No.1 in the U.K., on its way to double platinum status. It also topped the charts in Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Italy, and Norway.

Knopfler also wrote the song “Private Dancer” for the album but opted not to include it, sensing that a female voice would serve the song better. His decision to give it to Tina Turner would play a major part in her career revival in 1984.

‘Honest and skilful’

That year, Knopfler told The Times that he felt Dire Straits’ audience appreciated the genuine creative motivation behind the band’s work. “Somehow,” he mused, “it gets across to people that what is being done is honest and skilful. They realise that nobody is out there to make a quick-buck killing.”

Listen to the 80s Classic Hits playlist. 

Love Over Gold, like the entire Dire Straits catalog, continued to make frequent return visits to the U.K. bestsellers, and over the 14 years following its chart debut, it racked up a total of 200 weeks in the Top 100.

Buy or stream Love Over Gold.



  1. Jules Peters

    October 3, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Mark Knopfler, always been my dream to play along side you,da man!!

  2. laetitia

    October 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    I like <3 <3

  3. Phillip carless

    March 25, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Just to say well done and thank you to you and your musical family for the joy your work has brought to me over the years. I feel lucky to have listened to you and to be fair many other extremely talented musicians since being born in 1960. Keep playing as you are loved and admired from afar by many many people.

  4. JS

    March 25, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    I’d die for demo of “Private Dancer” played by Mark

  5. Betty

    March 26, 2016 at 1:02 am

    Gracias por ésta información, Saludos a Mark Knopfler es único

  6. lawrence gibson

    October 3, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    i’ve told my family i want his music played at my funeral.prarie wedding,romemo& juliet,speedway to nazerath,i’am the fool,our shangri la are we in trouble golden heart jesuis desole .just to mention a few his music lyric’s have been consent campanion for many years

  7. David Eley

    October 4, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Telegraph road was the first time I heard dire straits in the eighties and has remained my favourite ds song what a story and tempo marvel love knopflers music

  8. Maria Esther Ortiz Híjar

    October 16, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    “Better late than never” I’ve known Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits until recently, but I’m enchanted with his personality and his music.

  9. Kimberly

    October 18, 2016 at 9:20 am

    i graduated in 1977 so I was there for the birth of Dire Straits. I have always been in awe of Marks ability to make his guitar sing so effortlessly. His gift for writing songs is amazing. His voice is like no other-it’s heavenly. When the Lord decides to take me from this world, I want to be listening to the magic Mark has shared with the world. He has become more handsome, kind and sophisticated as he has aged. I’m even more amazed with his talent for writing and conducting musicians due to his doctorates in music. Mark did a beautiful work on my all time favorite movie Princess Bride. Mark will always be the man that I admire most in my lifetime. I have such great memories

  10. Javier

    October 23, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Esta canción marcó mi vida desde que la escuché la primera vez, no pasa ni una semana sin escucharla, y cada vez le saco mas matices, y de esto hace ya mas de 30 años

  11. Pingback: reDiscover Dire Straits' ‘Alchemy’ | uDiscover

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