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