Love over Gold

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Love over Gold
Studio album by
Released24 September 1982 (1982-09-24)
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: 27 August 1982
  2. "Industrial Disease"
    Released: November 1982

Love over Gold is the fourth studio album by British rock band Dire Straits, released on 24 September 1982[4] by Vertigo Records internationally and by Warner Bros. Records in the United States. The album featured two singles: "Private Investigations," which reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart, and "Industrial Disease," which reached No. 9 on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the United States. The title track was released as a single two years later in its live version, and reached #15 in France,[5] #29 in New Zealand, #43 in Netherlands[6] and #50 in the band's native United Kingdom.[7] The album reached number one on album charts in Australia, Austria, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom, as well as 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. Keyboard player Alan Clark and Californian guitarist Hal Lindes, who both joined the band at the end of 1980 for the On Location Tour, would also be involved with the new album. This was also the last album to feature drummer Pick Withers.

Knopfler was inspired to write “Telegraph Road”, the album's 14-minute centerpiece, after Dire Straits' tour bus drove for miles along Telegraph Road in Detroit:[8]

I was reading a book at the time called The Growth of the Soil and I just put the two's the same road, and it just went on and on and on forever, it's like what they call linear development, and I just started to think. I wondered how that road must have been when it started, what it must have first been...I was actually sitting in the front of the tour bus at the time.[9]


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.[10] "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" and in the United States as the B-side to "Industrial Disease." It was subsequently released in the United States as the third track on the ExtendedancEPlay EP.


Love over Gold was released on 20 September 1982 initially on vinyl LP and cassette, and later on compact disc. "Private Investigations" was released as the lead single from the album in Europe. It reached the number 2 position in the United Kingdom, despite its almost seven minute length, Dire Straits’ first single in the UK to reach the top 5. In the United States the shortest track "Industrial Disease" was released as a single, reaching the 75 position on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983.

The album was remastered and reissued with the rest of the Dire Straits catalogue 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 remains the only remastered Dire Straits CD with altered cover art (the U.S. remastered CD still retains the original vinyl LP art).

Love over Gold was the final album to feature original drummer Pick Withers, who was replaced by former Dave Edmunds / Rockpile drummer Terry Williams. Dire Straits then embarked on the eight-month-long Love over Gold Tour which finished with two sold-out concerts London's Hammersmith Odeon on 22 and 23 July 1983. In January 1983 a four-song EP titled ExtendedancEPlay was released while Love over Gold was still in the album charts. The double album Alchemy Live was a recording of excerpts from the final two concerts of the tour, and was reportedly released without studio overdubs.[11] The concert was also issued on VHS and Laserdisc, and was remastered and released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2010.

“Private Investigations” continued to be played throughout the Brothers in Arms and On Every Street tours, while “Telegraph Road” returned to the band's set list in 1992 during the last half of Dire Straits’ final tour, and Knopfler continued to play the track during his tours as a solo artist.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Robert ChristgauC+[12]
Rolling Stone[14]

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted that the addition of a new rhythm guitarist "expands its sounds and ambitions."[1] 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."[1]

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, 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."[14] 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.[14]

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."[14] 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."[14] Fricke concluded that "in a period when most pop music is conceived purely as product, Love over Gold dares to put art before airplay."[14]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Mark Knopfler[15]

Side one
1."Telegraph Road"14:18
2."Private Investigations"6:46
Side two
3."Industrial Disease"5:50
4."Love over Gold"6:17
5."It Never Rains"7:59
Total length:41:13


Dire Straits

Additional musicians


  • Mark Knopfler – producer
  • Neil Dorfsman – engineer
  • Barry Bongiovi – assistant engineer
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering at Masterdisk (New York City, New York, USA)
  • Peter Cunningham – photography[16]
  • Alan Lobel – photography
  • Michae Rowe – sleeve design
  • Damage Management – management


Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[36] 2× Platinum 100,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[37] Platinum 50,000*
Brazil 60,000[38]
Canada (Music Canada)[39] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[40] Platinum 64,912[40]
France (SNEP)[41] Platinum 400,000*
Germany (BVMI)[42] Platinum 500,000^
Italy (FIMI)[43]
sales since 2009
Gold 25,000
Netherlands (NVPI)[45] Platinum 364,501[44]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[46] Platinum 15,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[47] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[48] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[49] Gold 500,000^
Yugoslavia 21,979[50]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


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  2. ^ "Rock's 100 Most Underrated Albums". Ultimate Classic Rock. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
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  6. ^ "Dire Straits - Love Over Gold (Live) -".
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  8. ^ Wardlaw, Matt (12 May 2014). "Dire Straits Keyboardist Alan Clark On His New Project, The Straits". Ultimate Classic Rock. Townsquare Media. Retrieved 9 December 2020. We were driving up that road and it's a big, long, straight road and I recall it had one slight kink in it, but other than that it was perfectly straight and it went on for miles and miles and miles into the city of Detroit. The whole song was based around that journey and how somebody else might be making that journey in the early days when the road wasn't there and how the road came about. So it just fired Mark's imagination, sitting in the front of the tour bus.
  9. ^ "Dire Straits FAQ Listing". Super Seventies RockSite. 1.1. 6 April 1994. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  10. ^ Official Community of Mark Knopfler[permanent dead link] Accessed 3 June 2007
  11. ^ David Drucker (1991) Billboard's Complete Book of Audio Billboard Books Retrieved: 29 December 2010.
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  16. ^ Love Over Gold (booklet). Dire Straits. Burbank, California: Warner Bros. Records. 1982. pp. 2, 11. 947772-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  17. ^ "Love Over Gold". Official Charts Company. 22 June 1996. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
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  20. ^ " – Dire Straits – Love over Gold". Hung Medien.
  21. ^ " – Dire Straits – Love over Gold" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
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  28. ^ "Jahreshitparade Alben 1982". Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  29. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1982". Retrieved 9 April 2021.
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  34. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1983 — The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Recorded Music New Zealand. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
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  38. ^ Tarik de Souza (12 September 1991). "Volta os campeões de audiência". Jornal do Brasil (in Portuguese). p. 38. Retrieved 23 October 2023 – via National Library of Brazil. Alam da platina tripla pelos 750 mil copias de Brothers in Arms, a banda de Mark Knopfler garimpou entre nos duas platina dimples de 250 mil cada (Alchemy, o primeiro que estourou, em 84, e coletânea Money for Nothing, de 8) e um disco de ouro (no LP de estreia Dire Straits, de 79)
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  40. ^ a b "Dire Straits" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  41. ^ "Les Certifications depuis 1973: Albums". Retrieved 2 March 2019. (select "Dire Straits" from drop-down list)
  42. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Dire Straits; 'Love Over Gold')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  43. ^ "Italian album certifications – Dire Straits – Love Over Gold" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 26 October 2020. Select "2020" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Love Over Gold" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Album e Compilation" under "Sezione".
  44. ^ Hoos, Willem (16 December 1989). "Group Has Sold More Than 2 Mil Disks - Dutch Delight In Dire Straits - Dutch Delight in Dire Straits" (PDF). Billboard. p. 67. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  45. ^ "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. Select 1982 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle jaargangen".
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  50. ^ Hudelist, Darko (1 October 1984). "Rang-lista licencnih izdanja". Yugopapir. Retrieved 4 November 2019.

External links[edit]