Walk of Life (Dire Straits song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Walk of Life"
Single by Dire Straits
from the album Brothers in Arms
B-side One World
Two Young Lovers (live)
Released 29 November 1985
Recorded December 1984
Genre Country rock, new wave
Length 4:12
Label Vertigo (United Kingdom), Warner Bros. Records (United States)
Writer(s) Mark Knopfler
Producer(s) Mark Knopfler
Neil Dorfsman
Dire Straits singles chronology
"Brothers in Arms"
(1985)
"Walk of Life"
(1985)
"Your Latest Trick"
(1986)

"Walk of Life" is a song by the British rock band Dire Straits. It appeared on their best-selling album Brothers in Arms. It subsequently appeared on their live album On the Night. It was released as a single in November 1985 but had first been available as the B-side of "So Far Away" released in advance of Brothers in Arms. The track peaked at number seven in the US charts and was their biggest commercial hit in the UK, peaking at number two. The track also appeared on two compilation albums: 1998's Sultans of Swing: The Very Best of Dire Straits, and 2005's The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler: Private Investigations.

History[edit]

The song was nearly excluded from the album when the co-producer Neil Dorfsman voted against its inclusion, but the rest of the band out-voted him.

A simple rock and roll rhythm is used, with chord changes limited to I, IV and V chords. The long introduction has become iconic in some circles, with an instantly recognisable melody played on a synthesiser organ patch, giving it a slight cajun twist. The singer mentioned in the lyrics is said to perform "down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay," a reference to busking in the subway. The songs he plays are oldies, including "I Got a Woman", "Be-Bop-A-Lula", "What'd I Say", "My Sweet Lovin' Woman", and "Mack the Knife". He also plays talking blues.

B-sides[edit]

Having itself been used as a flip side for the European version of the "So Far Away" single, "Walk of Life" had many different B-sides across different formats of release in different territories. The two songs most commonly used were a live version of "Two Young Lovers", which had previously appeared on the 1983 EP ExtendedancEPlay and "One World", the eighth track from Brothers in Arms. A double Vinyl released in the UK in 1985 featured the band's 1978 breakthrough Top 10 single "Sultans of Swing", as well as live versions of "Two Young Lovers" and the rare song "Eastbound Train", one of the first tracks that Dire Straits recorded as a band in demo format but never appeared on an album or as a single.

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song shown in the UK features a busker or street musician wearing the same shirt as Mark Knopfler intercut with the band performing on a stage, while the US video features various sports bloopers intercut with footage of the band performing the song on a stage.

Track listings[edit]

7" single
  1. "Walk of Life" – 4:07
  2. "One World" – 3:36
12" single
  1. "Walk of Life" – 4:07
  2. "Why Worry" (instrumental) – 3:56
  3. "One World" – 3:36

Chart performance[edit]

Preceded by
"The Sun Always Shines on T.V." by a-ha
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
23 January 1986 – 29 January 1986 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Borderline" by Madonna

Cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dire Straits – Walk of Life – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  2. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Ultratop.be – Dire Straits – Walk of Life" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  4. ^ (Dutch) "Walk Of Life – DIRE STRAITS". Top 30. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  5. ^ CHART NUMBER 1493 – Saturday, August 03, 1985 at the Wayback Machine (archived 7 November 2006). CHUM. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  6. ^ "RPM Top Singles." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Dire Straits - Walk of Life search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Dire Straits – Walk of Life" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Dire Straits – Walk of Life". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  12. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (D)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "Dire Straits – Walk of Life – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  15. ^ a b c "Brothers in Arms – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  16. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending FEBRUARY 1, 1986 at the Wayback Machine (archived 2 October 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  17. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 43, No. 16, December 28 1985". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  18. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1986". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  20. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1986". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  21. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1986 at the Wayback Machine (archived 2 October 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 18 June 2014.

External links[edit]