Walk of Life (Dire Straits song)
|"Walk of Life"|
|Single by Dire Straits|
|from the album Brothers in Arms|
Two Young Lovers (live)
|Released||29 November 1985|
|Genre||Country rock, new wave|
|Label||Vertigo (United Kingdom), Warner Bros. Records (United States)|
|Dire Straits singles chronology|
"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.
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 'n' 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.
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.
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.
- 7" single
- "Walk of Life" – 4:07
- "One World" – 3:36
- 12" single
- "Walk of Life" – 4:07
- "Why Worry" (instrumental) – 3:56
- "One World" – 3:36
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||18|
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||11|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||32|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||7|
|Germany (Media Control AG)||15|
|Irish Singles Chart||1|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||20|
|Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)||17|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||3|
|South African Chart||2|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||24|
|UK (Official Charts Company)||2|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary||4|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||7|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks||6|
"The Sun Always Shines on T.V." by A‑ha
|Irish Singles Chart number-one single
25 January 1986 – 30 January 1986
"Borderline" by Madonna
- In 1986, The Shadows did an instrumental version on the album Moonlight Shadows.
- In 2007, alternative country artist Shooter Jennings recorded a cover version, included on his album The Wolf. The single was the lead-off single to the album, however, the song failed to enter the Hot Country Songs charts.
Uses in popular culture
- "Walk of Life" is heard in various 2012 TV commercials for Burger King.
- The song can be briefly heard in the 1986 film Lucas, starring Cory Haim and Kerri Green.
- This song is also used in another 1986 film, SpaceCamp.
- This Song is featured in the video game Rock Band 3 included on disc.
- This song is used the 1996 film Ed.
- "Walk of Life – Dire Straits Sheet Music". Piano Sheet Music Online. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- "Dire Straits – Walk of Life – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Ultratop.be – Dire Straits – Walk of Life" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "Walk of life in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "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.
- "Walk of life in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 1 June 2013. Only one result when searching "Walk of life"
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Dire Straits search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Dire Straits – Walk of Life" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
- "Charts.org.nz – Dire Straits – Walk of Life". Top 40 Singles.
- John Samson. "Walk of life in South African Chart". Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Dire Straits – Walk of Life – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "1986 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 25th January 1986". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Brothers in Arms awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 1 June 2013.