Dire Straits – Love Over Gold (1982)

FrontCover1.jpgLove over Gold is the fourth studio album by British rock band Dire Straits, released on 20 September 1982 by Vertigo Records internationally and by Warner Bros. Records in the United States. The album featured two singles: “Private Investigations,” which reached number 2 on the UK Singles Chart, and “Industrial Disease,” which reached number 9 on Billboard’s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the United States. The album reached number 1 on album charts in Australia, Austria, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom, and number 19 in the United States. Love over Gold was later certified gold in the United States, platinum in France and Germany and double-platinum in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Following the end of the On Location Tour on 6 July 1981 in Luxembourg, Mark Knopfler began writing songs for Dire Straits’ next album. Alan Clark (keyboards) and Hal Lindes (guitar), who joined the band for the On Location Tour, would also be involved with the new album.

TShirt.jpgLove over Gold was recorded at the Power Station in New York from 8 March to 11 June 1982. Knopfler produced the album, with Neil Dorfsman as his engineer—the first in a long line of collaborations between the two.

Knopfler used several guitars during the sessions, including four Schecter Stratocasters—two red, one blue, and one sunburst—a black Schecter Telecaster, an Ovation classical guitar on “Private Investigations” and “Love over Gold,” a custom Erlewine Automatic on “Industrial Disease” and his 1937 National steel guitar on “Telegraph Road.” Knopfler also used Ovation twelve- and six-string acoustic guitars during the recording.

Several songs were written and recorded during the Love over Gold sessions that were not released on the album. “Private Dancer” was originally planned for the album, with all but the vocal tracks being recorded. Knopfler decided that a female voice would be more appropriate and handed the song to Tina Turner for her comeback album, Private Dancer. “The Way It Always Starts” ended up on Knopfler’s soundtrack to the film Local Hero, with vocals sung by Gerry Rafferty. “Badges, Posters, Stickers and T-Shirts” was cut from the album and later released in the UK as a B-side to “Private Investigations.” It was subsequently released in the United States as the fourth track on the ExtendedancEPlay EP.

Love over Gold was released on 20 September 1982 on vinyl LP and cassette. “Private Investigations” was released as the lead single from the album in Europe, It reached the number 2 position in the United Kingdom. “Industrial Disease” was released as a single in the United States, reaching the 75 position on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983.

In 1986, Love over Gold had sold 4.4 million copies in Europe, whereas the album had only reached gold status in the United States by that stage. (wikipedia)

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Adding a new rhythm guitarist, Dire Straits expands its sounds and ambitions on the sprawling Love Over Gold. In a sense, the album is their prog rock effort, containing only five songs, including the 14-minute opener “Telegraph Road.” Since Mark Knopfler is a skilled, tasteful guitarist, he can sustain interest even throughout the languid stretches, but the long, atmospheric, instrumental passages aren’t as effective as the group’s tight blues-rock, leaving Love Over Gold only a fitfully engaging listen. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Love Over Gold is not just the title of Dire Straits’ fourth album, it is a statement of purpose. In almost suicidal defiance of commercial good sense, singer-songwriter-guitarist Mark Knopfler has chosen to follow his muse, fashioning a collection of radically expanded epics and evocative tone poems that demand the listener’s undivided attention. Certainly a quantum leap from the organic R&B impressionism of the band’s early LPs (Dire Straits and Communique) and the gripping short stories of Making Movies, its 1980 best seller, Love Over Gold is an ambitious, sometimes difficult record that is exhilarating in its successes and, at the very least, fascinating in its indulgences.

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Two drastically different moods dominate the new album. One is sharp and fiery (like the bolt of lightning on the cover); the other is soft and seductive. That dichotomy is particularly explicit in “Private Investigations,” a long, unorthodox ballad in which Knopfler plays a private detective hardened by a life of combing through other people’s dirty laundry. Over a discreet synthesizer ring, gurgling marimba and a delicately plucked acoustic guitar, he grumbles into his whiskey glass like Bob Dylan in a trench coat: “You get to meet all sorts in this line of work Treachery and treason There’s always an excuse for it,” he recites in a raspy nicotine snarl. Then John Illsley sounds a quiet warning with a stalking bass line before the song erupts in dramatic bursts of guitar gunfire and tragic-sounding piano playing.

This wracking schizophrenia between the heart and the heartless, the loving and the pain, has always informed Knopfler’s songs and arrangements. Love Over Gold, however, finds Knopfler casting further than ever for ways to articulate the frustrations that color his romantic streak. At nearly fifteen minutes, the album’s opener, “Telegraph Road,” is certainly a challenge to the average pop fan’s attention span. But the song’s historic sweep and intimate tension — the building of America and the dashing of one man’s dreams in the wake of its accelerating crumble — enable Knopfler to deploy a variety of surprising instrumental voices, from the synthesized sunrise whistle at the beginning to the baroque piano motif in the middle. The song closes with an extended solo guitar crescendo that’s heated up by Pick Withers’ galloping drums.

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“Love Over Gold” is a whispery ballad that plays the jazzy tingle of vibes against an almost classical piano air and the violinlike pluck of a synthesizer to heighten its images of a casual, even cavalier, sex life. On the other hand, “Industrial Disease” — at five minutes, the shortest of the LP’s five songs and its most conventional rocker — crackles with a cynicism underlined by its cheesy “Wooly Bully” organ and coughing guitar effect.

At times, Mark Knopfler, who also plays producer here, seems to try too hard. “It Never Rains” is a harsh chip off the “Like a Rolling Stone” block. And nearly all the songs end in guitar solos, as if he had too many ideas and was unsure how to reconcile them. But in a period when most pop music is conceived purely as product, Love Over Gold dares to put art before airplay. (David FRicke, Rolling Stone)

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Personnel:
Alan Clark (keyboards, synthesizers)
John Illsley (bass)
Mark Knopfler (guitar, vocals)
Hal Lindes (guitar)
Pick Withers (drums)
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Mike Mainieri (vibes, marimba (on 02. + 04.)
Ed Walsh (synthesizer programming)

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Tracklist:
01. Telegraph Road 14.18
02. Private Investigations 6.46
03. Industrial Disease 5.49
04. Love Over Gold 6.17
05. It Never Rains 8.00

All songs written by Mark Knopfler

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A long time ago came a man on a track
Walking thirty miles with a sack on his back
And he put down his load where he thought it was the best
He made a home in the wilderness

He built a cabin and a winter store
And he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore
And the other travelers came riding down the track
And they never went further and they never went back

Then came the churches then came the schools
Then came the lawyers then came the rules
Then came the trains and the trucks with their loads
And the dirty old track was the telegraph road

Then came the mines – then came the ore
Then there was the hard times then there was a war
Telegraph sang a song about the world outside
Telegraph road got so deep and so wide
Like a rolling river…

And my radio says tonight it’s gonna freeze
People driving home from the factories
There’s six lanes of traffic
Three lanes moving slow…

I used to like to go to work but they shut it down
I’ve got a right to go to work but there’s no work here to be found
Yes, and they say we’re gonna have to pay what’s owed
We’re gonna have to reap from some seed that’s been sowed

And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles
They can always fly away from this rain and this cold
You can hear them singing out their telegraph code
All the way down the telegraph road

You know I’d sooner forget but I remember those nights
When life was just a bet on a race between the lights
You had your hand on my shoulder you had your hand in my hair
Now you act a little colder like you don’t seem to care…

But believe in me baby and I’ll take you away
From out of this darkness and into the day
From these rivers of headlights these rivers of rain
From the anger that lives on these streets with these names
‘Cos I’ve run every red light on memory lane
I’ve seen desperation explode into flames
And I don’t wanna see it again…

From all of these signs saying sorry but we’re closed
All the way down the telegraph road

 

Roy Book Binder – The Good Book (2013)

FrontCover1.jpgRoy Book Binder was born October 5, (Queens, New York), in 1943 is a laconic living treasure of American Blues, Ragtime and Old Timey music. He is the epitome of the singing, song writing, storytelling Bluesman troubadour. Binder from the early sixties became a student and friend of the Rev. Gary Davis and it was from these early days he became equally at home with Blues and Ragtime. He is known to shift from open tunings to slide arrangements set to his original and sometimes quirky tongue in cheek compositions, with both traditional and self-styled licks, drawing on many musical influences. He combines his Blues with Hokum, Dixie Jazz licks, Yas Yas styling’s, recited lines, Old Timey acoustic Hill Country music with ease. It is this storey telling style that he is renowned for. Binder is much revered and has shared the stage with a luminary of some of the biggest Roots artists around the world. He also is a guitar teacher of note and most of his compositions relate back to his time as chauffeur and companion to Rev. Gary Davis. With his latest release Book Binder once again delivers just what he does best. “”The Good Book”” on Binder’s own label Peg Leg Records presents 10 quality self penned compositions all delivered in his laconic style.

All compositions have been composed by Book Binder and it shows in their wonderful smile inducing delivery. You cannot listen to this cd and not want to get up and jig or take up a jug and blow your heart out. The playing is an absolute highlight that just may encourage you to drag out that old guitar of yours. It may be a modern recording but it is one truly rooted in the twenties and thirties and as such highlights a rollicking style of music neglected in our high paced world. (roybookbinder.com)

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This is Roy Book Binder’s first all original song, studio album in many years! Featuring guitar, clarinet, stand-up bass, percussion and special guest Damon Fowler on lap steel…Is it midnight in Paris 1935? Or Texas in 1940? It swings and it’s hot! Roy Book Binder’s new CD is no doubt his best! It has been a long journey for the artist who first recorded for the Blue Goose label back in the late 1960’s after being discovered at a Gaslight Cafe hootenanny in Greenwich Village! Over the years, Book Binder has slowly developed from an interpreter of his heroes’ blues to a songwriter whose own compositions have been recorded by such luminaries as Jorma Kaukonen, Vidar Busk, and most recently by Ann Rabson & Bob Margolin. Not since Jerry Douglas produced his first Rounder CD Bookeroo in 1988 do we find Roy in the company of such a fine ensemble of musicians….. and he sure takes to it! This music tells the story of a man who has lived “the life” for over 40 years and has enjoyed every day of it!

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The Book and his cohorts are having fun and you’re bound to feel the same when you hear this new music…. Plenty of fingerpickin’ guitar, wailing clarinet, stand-up bass, drums and even some hot lap steel guitar by special guest, Damon Fowler. The title song “The Good Book” reminds listeners about the simple lessons we learned as youngsters. “Step Right Up” is a reminisce about Roy’s medicine shows friends and their days in the business. Hacksaw Harney, who stayed with Roy in NYC, inspired the instrumental piece “Hacksaw”. The song, “They Called Him Junior”, recalls the life of Robert Lockwood. With this new all original CD, Roy fulfills one of his dreams! Hope you enjoy! — Editorial Reviews, amazon.com

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Personnel:
Erik Bergene (harmonica)
Roy Book Binder (guitar, vocals)
Frank Bowman (clarinet)
Glenn Evans (percussion)
Damon Fowler (lap-steel guitar)
Alex Hall (percussion)
T-Bone Hamilton (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. The Good Book 3.19
02. It Coulda Been Worse 2.05
03. Step Right Up 2.17
04. Full Go Around 2.40
05. Poker Playin’ Papa 3.51
06. Crazy About You 2.11
07. What You Gonna Do 4.10
08. They Called Him Junior 3.26
09. Electric Cigarette Blues 2.34
10. Hacksaw 2.02

All songs written by Roy Book Binder

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