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Mark Knopfler a Deux

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Say Mark Knopfler to most people and they will say Dire Straits, others will mention The Notting Hillbillies. But there have been a number of excellent collaborations between Mark and other musicians, beginning in 1983 with Knopfler’s soundtrack to Local Hero on which the late, great, Gerry Rafferty sang on ‘The Way It Always Starts’.

We’ve put together a 10-track mini-playlist of some of the highlights of Mark’s collaborative work. There are a couple of tracks with Nashville legend, and one of Mark’s guitar playing heroes, Chet Atkins. Another country star to work with Mark was the angel-voiced Emmylou Harris who recorded 2006’s All The Roadrunning over a seven-year period; ‘Red Staggerwing’ was originally planned to be included Mark’s solo album, Sailing to Philadelphia in 2000. The title track of that album was recorded with James Taylor and another collaboration from it was ‘The Last Laugh’ with Van Morrison.

The three recent duets we’ve included are a brilliant version of Jimmy Webb’s The Highwayman from Webb’s album of duets, Just Across The River (2010). The recently released Eric Clapton album The Breeze that is an appreciation of J.J. Cale features Mark on two tracks, ‘Someday’ and ‘Train To Nowhere’.

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53 Comments

53 Comments

  1. Jill Jeddrie

    August 16, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I think your mini-list is a bit too mini because you have had to leave out some amazing songs; especially ‘I Think I Love You Too Much’ with Jeff Healey and my favourite with Emmy-Lou, ‘Rollin’ On’. It might be a good idea to also compile a more comprehensive list for all the people who are just now discovering that Mark is so much more than Dire Straits.

    • uDiscover

      August 16, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      We took your advice and added them, thanks 🙂

      • Arjan

        September 17, 2014 at 7:53 pm

        Please don’t forget about Jimmy Webb & Mark Knopfler’s song called ‘The Highwayman’, it’s a great twitch on what he usually does 😉

      • Greg Eyerman

        January 9, 2015 at 4:54 pm

        Another is Atlantis from Twang a tribute to Hank Marvin .

      • Reelmagic

        September 18, 2016 at 9:14 am

        Anything with Eric, Dylan, Emmylou and Ruth…the list could grow to twice its size…Shangri la with Emmylou must be there…

  2. Susan

    August 16, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    What a great musician. Saw Mark several years ago live in Portsmouth, VA and had to ask my husband why he is rarely mentioned as ne of the greatest guitar players? Love his work from Dire Straits to all the solo/ duets of the recent years. The Dire Straits Studio Albims released last year are awesome! Love you, Mark.

  3. Ruthster

    August 16, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Excellent compilation of one of my most favorites!!

  4. michael

    August 16, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Mark has so many great duets , like Jimmy Nail , Big River , Mark and Emmy Lou Harris many songs together, EVERY DAY I WATCH ALL THE ROADRUNNING DVD..Emmy Lou does her song Boulder To Birmingham with Mark and his band and it sounds better than it ever did. i am a huge Mark Knopfler fan and it would be so cool to talk to him or meet him one day. Thanks for all the music Mark , it has made a world of difference..

    • uDiscover

      August 16, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      We added Jimmy Nail’s Big River, thanks for suggesting it

  5. Clair Hockley

    August 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Hi. Mark also worked with Bob Dylan on Dylan’s Slow Train Coming album.

    • rock-maniac

      September 17, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      And Infidels too!

  6. Patty Collins

    August 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Perhaps you should have mentioned “Silvertown Blues” from “Sailing to Philadelphia” which includes Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook (formerly of Squeeze). One of my favorite songs from that album.

    • uDiscover

      August 16, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      Patty, great call, we added it to the list 🙂

  7. lee

    August 16, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    The last laugh with Van Morrison is another good one.

  8. Lovely Lisa

    August 16, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Blue Tarp Blues, Creole Angel, Congo Square, Gravy Train (with Sonny Landreth), Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight (with Aaron Neville), Not One Bad Thought (with Tony Joe White), Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends (with Kris Kristofferson), Lost On The River, Alone & Forsaken (with Emmylou), All Over Again (with BB King), White Lighnin’, I Always Get Lucky With You (with George Jones), Nobody’s Here Anymore (with John Fogerty), The Way I Should (with Iris DeMent). Some of these are just guitar solos but to me, they’re as distinctive as Mark’s voice.

  9. claude leblanc

    August 16, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Vous un musicien hors pair et avec David gilmour, eric clapton je ne sais pas comment vous classer vous êtes peut-être le premier

  10. Greg Eyerman

    August 16, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Another one is Mark Knopfler and Sonny landreth

  11. PatTheCat

    August 16, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Once again being punished for living in Canada – can’t hear your tracks. I guess I can track them down through YouTube. Just a little inconvenient.

  12. Ytc

    August 16, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Plz don’t forget Mark Knopfler and Willy de Ville (Miracle). That was outstanding!

  13. Mike B

    August 16, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    “Pockets” by Ruth Moody with MK is stunning.

    • Tom H

      August 17, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      Saw Mark and Ruth together at Royal Albert Hall May 29, 2013…what an awesome show…like Mark says, you cannot take Ruth off the Victrola…
      I only hope I get to do it again soon…Mark turns 65 in November and we should pray he makes no moves to retire …his music is as good as it gets…his contribution to the Breeze tribute to JJ Cale is some of the best on the CD…

  14. Mike B

    August 16, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    “Pockets” by Ruth Moody with MK is stunning. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

  15. Peter fletcher

    August 16, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    How about the late great, jerry rafferty?

  16. dwight

    August 17, 2014 at 2:00 am

    I was always partial to This is Us. Also a Sailing to Philadelphia with James Taylor.

  17. Steve.E

    August 17, 2014 at 2:50 am

    Don’t forget the theme from the local hero in concert with Hank Marvin of the Shadows,

  18. Narbara Seger

    August 17, 2014 at 3:40 am

    This is a wonderful site. Thank you for brightening my days.

  19. Madhusoodana Rao

    August 17, 2014 at 4:36 am

    Why cant we hear it in India ?

    • Dennis

      August 18, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      It’s blocked for Canadians too.

  20. Case

    August 17, 2014 at 4:39 am

    One of the greatest songs with Mark’s unmistakable guitar is Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s Love OverAnd Over from their classic album by the same name. The McGarrigles (RIP Kate) are Canada’s finest and that song, with Marks guitar play, is a collaboration of rock/folk legends.

  21. roger

    August 17, 2014 at 5:46 am

    army leeuwarden airbase 1982 brothers in arms
    walk of live

  22. Bryan

    August 17, 2014 at 6:07 am

    A few of my faves….
    Sarah – Jon Allen / Knopfler
    Streets of Heaven – John Illsley/Knopfler
    Who Will the Next Fool Be – Zucchero/Knopfler

  23. Adam Sidenberg

    August 17, 2014 at 6:17 am

    Knopfler’s guitar in Precious Angel off Slow Train is one of the best things in any Dylan song.
    I dug up a diamond is really fantastic from Roadrunning with Emmy Lou. The live version is particularly good for the duelling guitar solos at the end.
    The last song I’d add is the Everly Brothers singing “Why Worry” with Mark & Chet & Friends. Don’t know if it’s on an album proper, but here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkFcQRiFL68
    Love the article & the list!

  24. Petter Larsen

    August 17, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Another great song was Phil Lynnot’s King’s Call, where Mark Knopfler played a great guitar solo. And don’t forget Bob Dylan’s Don’t fall apart on me tonight.

  25. Knibbe

    August 17, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I would like to see Beachcombing with Emmylou Harris to be added to this mini-list. Thanks!

  26. John Lansdown

    August 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    For me, Mark will always be synonymous with Dire Straits. I think he is one of our greatest musicians and long may he continue. I was lucky enough to see the ‘live in ’85’ tour on the day it was recorded at Wembley, just a few days before the Live Aid concert – a fantastic, brilliant show.
    Love all your work Mark.

  27. Robert Welch

    August 17, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    One of my all time favorites was I feel like going home with Tom Jones. Not sure if it’s on any album. It was on a Tom Jones special I believe.

  28. k3rnelj

    August 17, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    This list is certainly missing one song, which is “If This is Goodbye” from “All The Roadrunning”, which was a very well-received song, both by the audience and by the critics (who usually take it quite hard on Knopfler, out of some weird kind of enviness, I suppose). It is a song that grabs Your heart and doesn’t let go even a long time after the last sounds.

  29. John Sheppard

    August 18, 2014 at 7:55 am

    For me MK is and was always Dire Straits and as great as they were back in the day his fantastic, incredible mystical. music since has far surpassed the DS days. Never mind the fact that he is quite probably the finest guitarist of all time but stop and consider his song writing, composing and arranging genius with his band of wonderful professional musicians.
    The finest song writer of all time in my book.

  30. Gustavo Espindola

    September 2, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Que lastima que se esta perdiendo algo tan hermoso como una linda melodia, como en los años 1980 hasta el 1995, ahora es todo muy distorcionado , ojala regresen las epoca de los los años 1975 hasta 1995.. saludos .. abrazos !!!

  31. Denise Anklesaria

    September 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Hi,
    Im from India, ive listened to Mark Knopflers music since 1978, bought each n every album, know all the lyrics by heart, attended the one & only concert in Mumbai and consider myself Marks greatest fan (yes laugh)and now I cant listen to the latest!
    Not fair
    Denise

    • Umashankar

      November 1, 2014 at 6:29 am

      His solo work is as good as the Dire straits days.

      from India.
      Umashankar

      • uDiscover

        November 1, 2014 at 2:50 pm

        Thank you!

  32. Dianne

    September 17, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Wait !!! What about “Love and Happiness” with Emmylou Harris????

  33. stuart74

    September 17, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    For me one of the best duets Mark has done is “The Last Laugh” with Van Morrison.
    I’m not a massive Van Morrison fan but I don’t think Mark could have picked a better voice for this song.

  34. Andrew

    September 17, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Has anybody mentioned King’s Call by Phil Lynott yet?

  35. carole

    September 17, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Absolutely LOVE the track with Emmylou Harris – All the Roadrunning

  36. Reade

    September 17, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    “King’s Call” w/ Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott

  37. Olivier

    September 17, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Not to mention “Lily of the West” with The Chieftains. Stunning interpretation of a great irish traditional.

  38. nt

    September 17, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Phil Lynott’s “Ode to Liberty (The Protest Song)”

  39. carpitol

    September 18, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Tina Turner Private Dancer! Wrote it and played guitar.

  40. guilaume

    September 20, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Don’t forget to include “It’s money that matters”, from Randy Newman, where Mark is shining with his guitar riffs!

  41. Jackbauer

    September 23, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Kings Call, Phil Lynotts tribute to Elvis Presley and Love over and over- Kate and Anna McGarrigle- two classic Knopfler duets

  42. Sebastian

    August 10, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Blue moon of Kentucky and Rock and roll Ruby along with Scottie Moore

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