Local Hero (soundtrack)

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Local Hero
Knopfler-Local hero.jpg
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedMarch 1983 (1983-03)
RecordedThe Power Station, NY,
Eden Studios, London,
GenreCeltic music, instrumental rock, jazz, folk
Warner Bros. (USA)
ProducerMark Knopfler
Mark Knopfler chronology
Local Hero

Local Hero is the debut 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. It contains music composed for the 1983 film Local Hero, produced by David Puttnam and both written and directed by Bill Forsyth.[1]

In 1984, the album received a BAFTA award nomination for Best Score for a Film.[2] The final track of the album, "Going Home", is played before every home game of Newcastle United F.C., Knopfler's local team.[3] Knopfler re-recorded the song as a charity single for the 2014 Great North Run in his home city.[4]


Following a string of three multi-platinum albums with Dire StraitsDire Straits (1978), Communiqué (1979), and Making Movies (1980)—Knopfler, the group's lead singer, guitarist, songwriter, and producer, began to look for new musical challenges and opportunities. In early 1982, his manager wrote to several film directors indicating that Knopfler was interested in writing film music. Producer David Puttnam responded, and after reviewing the Local Hero project, Knopfler accepted the job.[5][6] Following the completion of Dire Straits' fourth album, Love Over Gold, recorded from 8 March to 11 June 1982, Knopfler began work on the film's music. He invited Gerry Rafferty to be the lead vocalist on the song, "The Way It Always Starts". In 2000, Rafferty invited Knopfler to provide rhythm guitar and lead fills on what would be his final studio album, Another World.


The Local Hero album was recorded in 1982 at The Power Station in New York, and Eden Studios in London.[7] The Ceilidh scenes were recorded at Hilton Women's Royal Institute Hall near Banff, Scotland on 19 June 1982.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars [9]

In his retrospective 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."[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's contemporary review called Knopfler's film music debut an "insinuating LP of charming, cosmopolitan soundtrack music—a record that can make movies in your mind."[9]

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

"Going Home" 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 Burton Albion F.C. and Tranmere Rovers F.C.

Also in ice hockey, the Fife Flyers play "Going Home" at the end of every home match.[citation needed]

"Going Home" was also played at the end of Dire Straits concerts, after all of the encores and with the lights up, so the audience knew it was time to go home.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All music and lyrics were written by Mark Knopfler, except where indicated.[8]

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
13."The Rocks and the Thunder"0:40
14."Going Home: Theme of the Local Hero"5:01
Total length:43:48


  • 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[8]


Chart (1983) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[10] 12


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. ^ Anthony Bateman (2008). "Sporting Sounds: Relationships Between Sport and Music". p. 186. Routledge
  4. ^ "Mark Knopfler re-records Local Hero ahead of Great North Run to raise money for research into childhood cancer". Northern Echo. Retrieved 21 June 2017
  5. ^ Young, Andrew (17 July 1982). "On the right track". The Glasgow Herald. p. 7. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  6. ^ Hunter, Alan; Astaire, Mark (1983). Local Hero: The Making of the Film. Edinburgh: Polygon Books. p. 39. ISBN 978-0904919677.
  7. ^ Making of Local Hero Soundtrack (Television). Scotland: AMIT TV. 1983.
  8. ^ a b c Local Hero (booklet). Mark Knopfler. Burbank, California: Warner Bros. Records. 1983. pp. 2–4. 23827-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. ^ a b "Local Hero Album Review". Rolling Stone (396). 25 May 1983.
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 283. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.

External links[edit]