Did I need to buy this? No.
Is it ridiculous to think this has covered the best of Dire Straits AND Mark Knopfler on one measly CD? Yes.
Is it likely just a label money-grab? Probable.
Does this still contain much goodness and feel satisfying upon listen? Of course.
Is it essential? Not really. But it was cheap and I see Dire Straits/Mark Knopfler and I just buy it.
Tracks (to show you what they thought was all of the best). These are listed in play order, showing how the disc is divided into two sections:
Dire Straits: Sultans Of Swing / Love Over Gold / Romeo And Juliet / Tunnel Of Love / Private Investigations / Money For Nothing / Brothers In Arms / Walk Of Life / On Every Street
Mark Knopfler: Going Home: Theme Of The Local Hero / Why Aye Man / Boom, Like That / What It Is / All The Road Running (w. Emmylou Harris)
This 2015 effort from Mark Knopfler is a gorgeous affair. Laid back, introspective, and superbly done all around. There’s a real celtic feel to a lot of the tracks, but not in a slavish way. Album opener Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes (linked below) is just brilliant. It swings, reels, and is jazzy too. One of the best songs I’ve heard, by anybody, in ages!
There are ballads (Basil, Silver Eagle), funky workouts (Broken Bones), and even a Dire Straits-ish track (Beryl), but they all serve the whole without one being stronger than any other. There’s even a gorgeous ballad duet with Ruth Moody (Wailin’ Jennys) called Wherever I Go (linked below) at the end of the album.
Overall, there’s a pure simplicity to it all, and the songwriting is simpy excellent. Lyrically it’s heartfelt, reflecting back as one does at his stage in life, but only in the best ways. The guitar work you expect is here, but it’s only one of many excellent instrumental components of these songs. Listen with the good headphones on and catch all the extra little bits being added by everyone in the band!