Golden Heart

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Golden Heart
MK Golden Heart.jpg
Studio album by
Released26 March 1996 (1996-03-26)
RecordedEmerald Sound Studios,
Javelina Recording Studios,
AIR Studios,
Windmill Lane Studios,
GenreRoots rock, folk rock, country
Warner Bros. (USA)
ProducerMark Knopfler, Chuck Ainlay
Mark Knopfler chronology
Golden Heart
Wag the Dog

Golden Heart is the debut solo studio album by British singer-songwriter and guitarist Mark Knopfler, released on 26 March 1996 by Vertigo Records internationally and Warner Bros. Records in the United States. Following a successful career leading British rock band Dire Straits and composing a string of critically acclaimed film soundtrack albums, Knopfler produced his first solo album, drawing upon the various musical endeavors in which he has engaged since emerging as a major recording artist in 1978.[1] The album reached the top-10 position on album charts in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.[2][3] The album peaked at 105 on the Billboard 200 in the United States.


Following the release of Dire Straits' final studio album, On Every Street, and a grueling 15-month world tour of Europe, North America and Australia—a tour seen by 7.1 million people[4] that ended in October 1992—Knopfler quietly dissolved the popular British rock band that had become one of the world's most commercially successful bands, with worldwide album sales of over 120 million.[5] He would later recall, "I put the thing to bed because I wanted to get back to some kind of reality. It's self-protection, a survival thing. That kind of scale is dehumanising."[6] He spent two years recovering from the experience, which had taken a toll on his creative and personal life.[4] In 1994, he began work on what would become his first solo album.


Knopfler supported the release of Golden Heart with the Golden Heart Tour of Europe, which started on 24 April 1996 in Galway, Ireland, and included 84 concerts in 66 cities, ending in Antibes, France, on 4 August 1996.[7] The tour lineup included Mark Knopfler (guitar, vocals), Guy Fletcher (keyboards), Richard Bennett (guitar), Glenn Worf (bass), Chad Cromwell (drums) and Jim Cox (keyboards). This initial touring group later became known to Knopfler fans as the 96-ers.[8] A preview performance with an expanded lineup of players was given on 15 April 1996 at the BBC Building in London. This show was recorded and later released on video as A Night in London.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars [1]

In his review for AllMusic, William Ruhlmann gave the album three out of five stars, finding that despite Knopfler's trademark guitar work and sardonic lyrics, there was "little on the album that was new or striking, and Knopfler seemed to fall back on familiar guitar techniques while intoning often obscure lyrics.[1] Ruhlmann chose to ignore the political (Imelda) and philosophical (Cannibals) references and also set aside any possible reference to the musical effect of Knopfler's eclectic and newly introduced acoustic bass (Vic and Ray), string (Rüdiger) or traditional Irish accompaniments (A Night in Summer) and concluded:

Knopfler hadn't used the opportunity of a solo album to challenge himself, and at the same time he had lost the group identity (however illusory) provided by the Dire Straits name. The result was listenable but secondhand.[1]

Track listing[edit]

All songs were written by Mark Knopfler.[1][9]

1."Darling Pretty"4:31
3."Golden Heart"5:01
4."No Can Do"4:54
5."Vic and Ray"4:36
6."Don't You Get It?"5:16
7."A Night in Summer Long Ago"4:43
9."I'm the Fool"4:28
10."Je Suis Désolé"5:14
12."Nobody's Got the Gun"5:25
13."Done with Bonaparte"5:06
14."Are We in Trouble Now"5:54
Total length:70:18


  • Mark Knopfler – producer
  • Chuck Ainlay – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Brian Masterson – engineer
  • Graham Lewis – assistant engineer, mixing assistant
  • Denny Purcell – mastering
  • Jonathan Russell – mastering assistant
  • David Scheinmann – photography[9]

Charts and certifications[edit]


Chart (1996) Peak
Australia Albums Chart[3] 28
Austria Albums Chart[2][3] 8
Belgium Albums Chart (Vl)[3] 10
Belgium Albums Chart (Wa)[3] 8
Canadian Albums Chart 11
Dutch Albums Chart[3] 3
Finland Albums Chart[3] 7
France Albums Chart[3] 38
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[10] 5
Italy Albums Chart 3
Norway Albums Chart[2][3] 2
New Zealand Albums Chart[3] 16
Sweden Albums Chart[2][3] 4
Swiss Albums Chart[2][3] 3
UK Albums Chart[2] 9
US Billboard 200 105

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1996) Position
German Albums Chart[11] 36


Year Single Chart Positions
CAN CAN AC CAN Country UK[12]
1996 "Darling Pretty" 12 14 87 33
"Cannibals" 42
"Imelda" 59
"Don't You Get It" 62


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[13] Gold 50,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[14] Gold 50,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[15] Gold 25,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[16] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[17] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


Darling Pretty[edit]

Darling Pretty

"Darling Pretty" is the first single from the album. It reached number 33 in the UK Singles Chart, and was featured in the 1996 film Twister. "Gravy Train", the second track on the maxi-single, was featured in the 2001 film America's Sweethearts.[19]

Track listing

All songs were written by Mark Knopfler.

1."Darling Pretty"4:27
2."Gravy Train"6:19
3."My Claim to Fame"4:39
Total length:15:25



"Cannibals" is the second single from the album. It is very similar in sound and structure to the Dire Straits hit single "Walk of Life", also written by Knopfler. "Cannibals" is taken from the album. "Tall Order Baby" and "What Have I Got to Do" are outtakes from the album. The song was the concert opener for the Kill to Get Crimson Tour in 2008.[20]

Track listing

All songs were written by Mark Knopfler.

2."Tall Order Baby"2:53
3."What Have I Got To Do"5:20
Total length:11:51


Rudiger single cover

"Rüdiger" is the third and final single from the album. "Rüdiger" is taken from the album. Rudiger was used on the soundtrack for the film The Bandits. "My Claim to Fame", "Tall Order Baby", and "What Have I Got to Do" are outtakes from the album.[21]

Track listing

All songs were written by Mark Knopfler.

2."My Claim to Fame"4:39
3."Tall Order Baby"2:53
4."What Have I Got to Do"5:20
Total length:18:51


  1. ^ a b c d e Ruhlmann, William. "Darling Pretty". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Mark Knopfler (Chart Entries)". Tsort. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Mark Knopfler: Golden Heart". Australian Charts. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b Shelton, Sonya. "Dire Straits Biography". Musician Guide. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Dire Straits given plaque honour". BBC News. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  6. ^ McCormick, Neil (5 September 2012). "Mark Knopfler: how did we avoid disaster?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Golden Heart 1996 Tour Dates". Mark Knopfler News. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Golden Heart tour 1996". Mark Knopfler. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  9. ^ a b c Golden Heart (booklet). Mark Knopfler. Burbank, California: Warner Bros. Records. 1996. pp. 2–15. 946026-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  10. ^ " – Top 100 Longplay". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  11. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  12. ^ "Chart Log UK". Zobbel. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  13. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Mark Knopfler – Golden Hearte". Music Canada. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Mark Knopfler – Golden Hearte" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 13 July 2019. Enter Golden Hearte in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  15. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  16. ^ Salaverrie, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (PDF) (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. p. 942. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  17. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Mark Knopfler; 'Golden Hearte')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  18. ^ "British album certifications – Mark Knopfler – Golden Hearte". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 13 July 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Golden Hearte in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  19. ^ "Darling Pretty". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  20. ^ "Cannibals". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  21. ^ "Rüdiger". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 December 2012.

External links[edit]