Love over Gold

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Love over Gold
Studio album by
Released20 September 1982 (1982-09-20)
Recorded8 March – 11 June 1982
StudioPower Station, New York City
ProducerMark Knopfler
Dire Straits chronology
Making Movies
Love over Gold
Singles from Love over Gold
  1. "Private Investigations"
    Released: 23 August 1982
  2. "Industrial Disease"
    Released: 1983

Love over Gold is the fourth studio album by British rock band Dire Straits, released on 20 September 1982 by Vertigo Records internationally and by Warner Bros. Records in the United States. The album featured two singles: "Private Investigations," which reached number 2 on the UK Singles Chart, and "Industrial Disease," which reached number 9 on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the United States. The album reached number 1 on album charts in Australia, Austria, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom, and number 19 in the United States. Love over Gold was later certified gold in the United States, platinum in France and Germany and double-platinum in Canada and the United Kingdom.


Following the end of the On Location Tour on 6 July 1981 in Luxembourg, Mark Knopfler began writing songs for Dire Straits' next album. Alan Clark (keyboards) and Hal Lindes (guitar), who joined the band for the On Location Tour, would also be involved with the new album.


Love over Gold was recorded at the Power Station in New York from 8 March to 11 June 1982. Knopfler produced the album, with Neil Dorfsman as his engineer—the first in a long line of collaborations between the two.

Knopfler used several guitars during the sessions, including four Schecter Stratocasters—two red, one blue, and one sunburst—a black Schecter Telecaster, an Ovation classical guitar on "Private Investigations" and "Love over Gold," a custom Erlewine Automatic on "Industrial Disease" and his 1937 National steel guitar on "Telegraph Road." Knopfler also used Ovation twelve- and six-string acoustic guitars during the recording.

Several songs were written and recorded during the Love over Gold sessions that were not released on the album. "Private Dancer" was originally planned for the album, with all but the vocal tracks being recorded. Knopfler decided that a female voice would be more appropriate and handed the song to Tina Turner for her comeback album, Private Dancer.[1] "The Way It Always Starts" ended up on Knopfler's soundtrack to the film Local Hero, with vocals sung by Gerry Rafferty. "Badges, Posters, Stickers and T-Shirts" was cut from the album and later released in the UK as a B-side to "Private Investigations." It was subsequently released in the United States as the fourth track on the ExtendedancEPlay EP.


Love over Gold was released on 20 September 1982 on vinyl LP and cassette. "Private Investigations" was released as the lead single from the album in Europe, It reached the number 2 position in the United Kingdom. "Industrial Disease" was released as a single in the United States, reaching the 75 position on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983.

The album was remastered and released with the rest of the Dire Straits catalog in 1996 by Vertigo Records internationally, and in 2000 by Warner Bros. records in the United States. The remastered CD features slightly altered cover art; the album title is rendered underneath the band name, both in larger type, rather than arranged across the top. The image of lightning is also somewhat zoomed in and made brighter, making for a more purple color. It's the only remastered Dire Straits CD with altered cover art (the U.S. remastered CD still retains the original vinyl LP art).

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
Robert ChristgauC+[3]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[4]

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave the album four out of five stars, noting that the addition of a new rhythm guitarist "expands its sounds and ambitions."[2] Erlewine added, "Since Mark Knopfler is a skilled, tasteful guitarist, he can sustain interest even throughout the languid stretches, but the long, atmospheric, instrumental passages aren't as effective as the group's tight blues-rock, leaving Love over Gold only a fitfully engaging listen."[2]

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone magazine, David Fricke gave the album four out of five stars, calling the album a "statement of purpose" and "an ambitious, sometimes difficult record that is exhilarating in its successes and, at the very least, fascinating in its indulgences."[4] Fricke continued:

Two drastically different moods dominate the new album. One is sharp and fiery (like the bolt of lightning on the cover); the other is soft and seductive. That dichotomy is particularly explicit in "Private Investigations," a long, unorthodox ballad in which Knopfler plays a private detective hardened by a life of combing through other people's dirty laundry. Over a discreet synthesizer ring, gurgling marimba and a delicately plucked acoustic guitar, he grumbles into his whisky glass like Bob Dylan in a trench coat: "You get to meet all sorts in this line of work; Treachery and treason, there's always an excuse for it," he recites in a raspy nicotine snarl. Then John Illsley sounds a quiet warning with a stalking bass line before the song erupts in dramatic bursts of guitar gunfire and tragic-sounding piano playing. This wracking schizophrenia between the heart and the heartless, the loving and the pain, has always informed Knopfler's songs and arrangements. Love Over Gold, however, finds Knopfler casting further than ever for ways to articulate the frustrations that color his romantic streak.[4]

Fricke praised the album's centerpiece, "Telegraph Road," which he characterized as a "challenge to the average pop fan's attention span" with its "historic sweep and intimate tension."[4] The theme of the building of America and the dashing of one man's dreams "enable Knopfler to deploy a variety of surprising instrumental voices, from the synthesized sunrise whistle at the beginning to the baroque piano motif in the middle."[4] Fricke concluded that "in a period when most pop music is conceived purely as product, Love over Gold dares to put art before airplay."[4]

In 1986, Love over Gold had sold 4.4 million copies in Europe, whereas the album had only reached gold status in the United States by that stage.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Mark Knopfler[6].

Side one
1."Telegraph Road"14:17
2."Private Investigations"6:47
Side two
3."Industrial Disease"5:50
4."Love over Gold"6:18
5."It Never Rains"8:00
Total length:41:15


Dire Straits

Additional musicians


  • Barry Bongiovi – assistant engineer
  • Peter Cunningham – photography[7]
  • Neil Dorfsman – engineer
  • Mark Knopfler – producer
  • Alan Lobel – photography
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Michae Rowe – sleeve design

Charts and certifications[edit]


Love over Gold spent 200 weeks in the UK Albums Chart.[8] In Australia, the album was the twelfth best-selling album in 1982[citation needed] and the sixth best-selling in 1983.[citation needed]

Chart (1982–83) Peak
Australia Albums Chart 1[citation needed]
Austria Albums Chart 1[citation needed]
Italy Albums Chart 1[citation needed]
New Zealand Albums Chart 1[citation needed]
Norway Albums Chart 1[citation needed]
Spanish Albums Chart[9] 6
Sweden Albums Chart 2[citation needed]
UK Albums Chart 1[citation needed]
US Billboard 200 19[citation needed]


Year Song Peak positions
US Hot 100 US Rock Australia Italy Sweden UK
1982 "Private Investigations" 19[citation needed] 28[citation needed] 4[citation needed] 2[citation needed]
"Industrial Disease" 9[citation needed]
1983 75[citation needed]


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[10] Platinum 100,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[11] Platinum 64,912[11]
Germany (BVMI)[12] Platinum 500,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[13] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[14] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[15] Gold 500,000^

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


  1. ^ Official Community of Mark Knopfler[permanent dead link] Accessed 3 June 2007
  2. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Love Over Gold". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (2011). "Dire Straits". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Fricke, David (11 November 1982). "Dire Straits: Love Over Gold". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Love Over Gold RIAA gold certification".
  6. ^ "Love Over Gold". Discogs. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  7. ^ Love Over Gold (booklet). Dire Straits. Burbank, California: Warner Bros. Records. 1982. pp. 2, 11. 947772-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ "Love Over Gold". Chart Stats. 22 June 1996. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
  9. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959-2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  10. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Dire Straits – Love Over Gold". Music Canada.
  11. ^ a b "Dire Straits" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  12. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Dire Straits; 'Love Over Gold')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  13. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Dire Straits – Love Over Gold" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter Love Over Gold in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  14. ^ "British album certifications – Dire Straits – Love Over Gold". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Love Over Gold in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  15. ^ "American album certifications – Dire Straits – Love Over Gold". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]