Local Hero (album)

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Local Hero
Soundtrack album by Mark Knopfler
Released March 1983 (1983-03)
Recorded The Power Station, NY,
Eden Studios, London,
Genre Celtic music, pop, jazz, folk
Length 43:48
Label Vertigo
Warner Bros. (USA)
Producer Mark Knopfler
Mark Knopfler chronology
Local Hero

Local Hero is the début soundtrack album by British singer-songwriter and guitarist Mark Knopfler, released in March 1983 by Vertigo Records internationally, and by Warner Bros. Records in the United States. The album contains music composed for the 1983 film Local Hero, produced by David Puttnam and written and directed by Bill Forsyth.[1] In 1984, the album received a BAFTA award nomination for Best Score for a Film.[2]


Following a string of three multi-platinum albums with Dire StraitsDire Straits (1978), Communiqué (1979), and Making Movies (1980)—the group's lead singer, guitarist, songwriter, and producer, Mark Knopfler, began to look for new musical challenges and opportunities. In early 1982, Knopfler's manager wrote to several film directors indicating that the Dire Straits front man was interested in writing film music. Producer David Puttnam responded and after reviewing the Local Hero project, Knopfler accepted the job.[3] Following the completion of Dire Straits' fourth album, Love Over Gold (1982), recorded from 8 March to 11 June 1982—an album also destined for multi-platinum status—Knopfler began work on his first film music project. Knopfler invited Gerry Rafferty to be the lead vocalist on the song, "The Way It Always Starts". In 2000, Rafferty invited Knopfler to provided rhythm guitar and lead fills on his final studio album, Another World.


Local Hero was recorded in 1982 at The Power Station in New York, and Eden Studios in London.[4] The Ceilidh scenes were recorded at Hilton Women's Royal Institute Hall near Banff, Scotland on 19 June 1982 by Mark Knopfler, and engineered by Louis Kramer on a Nagra 4.2L recorder.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars [6]

In his review for AllMusic, William Ruhlmann gave the album four and a half out of five stars, noting that Knopfler's "intricate, introspective finger-picked guitar stylings make a perfect musical complement to the wistful tone of Bill Forsyth's comedy film, Local Hero."[1] Ruhlmann continued, "The low-key music picks up traces of Scottish music, but most of it just sounds like Dire Straits doing instrumentals, especially the recurring theme, one of Knopfler's more memorable melodies."[1]

Rolling Stone magazine called Knopfler's film music début "an insinuating LP of charming, cosmopolitan soundtrack music—a record that can make movies in your mind."[6]

For his Local Hero soundtrack, Knopfler received a BAFTA award nomination for Best Score for a Film.[2]

As of 2012, the song "Going Home (Theme of the Local Hero)" is played at Newcastle United F.C. and Aberdeen F.C. home games as the football players run out onto the pitch, as well as at the end of games at other clubs such as Tranmere Rovers F.C. However, the song has been used at Newcastle games for many years.

Also in ice hockey, the Fife Flyers play "Going Home (Theme of the Local Hero)" at the beginning of every home match. The song was also played at the end of Dire Straits concerts, after all of the encores, with the lights up, so fans knew it was time to go home.

The song was also used at Leichhardt Oval in 1990 to farewell Balmain Tigers captain and club legend, Wayne Pearce

Track listing[edit]

All music and lyrics were written by Mark Knopfler, except where indicated.[5]

No. Title Length
1. "The Rocks and the Water"   3:30
2. "Wild Theme"   3:38
3. "Freeway Flyer"   1:47
4. "Boomtown (variation Louis' Favourite)"   4:06
5. "The Way It Always Starts" (Featuring Gerry Rafferty) 4:00
6. "The Rocks and the Thunder"   0:45
7. "The Ceilidh and the Northern Lights"   3:57
8. "The Mist Covered Mountains" (Traditional, arrangement by Mark Knopfler) 5:13
9. "The Ceilidh: Louis' Favourite, Billy's Tune"   3:57
10. "Whistle Theme"   0:51
11. "Smooching"   4:58
12. "Stargazer"   1:31
13. "The Rocks and the Thunder"   0:40
14. "Going Home (Theme of the Local Hero)"   4:55
Total length:


  • Mark Knopfler – producer
  • Neil Dorfsman – engineer
  • Josh Abbey – assistant engineer
  • Tim Palmer – assistant engineer
  • Phil Vinall – assistant engineer
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering at Masterdisk
  • Denis Waugh – cover photo
  • Frank Griffin – back cover photo[5]


Organisation Level Date
BPI – UK Silver 17 May 1984


  1. ^ The Acetones are a group that perform in the Ceilidh scenes in the film Local Hero. The Acetones are Alan Clark (piano), Alan Darby (guitar), Roddy Murray (guitar), Jimmy Yuill (whistle), Mark Winchester (violin), Dale Winchester (accordion), Brian Rowan (bass), and Ed Bicknell (drums).
  1. ^ a b c d Ruhlmann, William. "Local Hero". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Awards Database 1983". BAFTA. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Hunter, Alan; Astaire, Mark (1983). Local Hero: The Making of the Film. Edinburgh: Polygon Books. p. 39. ISBN 978-0904919677. 
  4. ^ Making of Local Hero Soundtrack (Television). Scotland: AMIT TV. 1983. 
  5. ^ a b c Local Hero (booklet). Mark Knopfler. Burbank, California: Warner Bros. Records. 1983. pp. 2–4. 23827-2. 
  6. ^ a b "Local Hero Album Review". Rolling Stone (396). 25 May 1983. 

External links[edit]