Neck and Neck

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Neck and Neck
Neck and Neck.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 9, 1990 (1990-10-09)
RecordedCA Workshop, Nashville,
Sound Emporium, Nashville,
Hillbilly Heaven, London,
GenreCountry, country rock, western swing
ProducerMark Knopfler
Chet Atkins Collaborations chronology
Standard Brands
Neck and Neck
Sneakin' Around
Mark Knopfler chronology
Missing... Presumed Having a Good Time
Neck and Neck

Neck and Neck is a collaborative album by American guitarist Chet Atkins and British singer-songwriter and guitarist Mark Knopfler, released on October 9, 1990 by Columbia Records. "Poor Boy Blues" was released as a single.

At the 33rd Annual Grammy Awards in 1991, the track "Poor Boy Blues" won Best Country Vocal Collaboration, while the track "So Soft Your Goodbye" won Best Country Instrumental Performance.[2]

Atkins originally recorded "Yakety Axe", a parody of Boots' Randolph's "Yakety Sax", on his 1965 album More of That Guitar Country. This new recording features lyrics and a new arrangement that were composed by Merle Travis. Atkins also previously recorded "I'll See You in My Dreams" on an album with Merle Travis.

The track "There'll Be Some Changes Made" was later included as track 10 of the 15-track 1996 Rolls-Royce Sound System Demonstration Disc and accompanying cassette.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

In his review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave the album four out of five stars, calling it "the most focused and arguably the most rewarding record Atkins has released."[2] Erlewine singled out Knopfler's influence on the legendary guitarist:

Working with Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler had a rejuvenating influence on Chet Atkins. Knopfler has Atkins moving toward his country roots, but both guitarists still play with a tasteful, jazzy sensibility—however, Atkins has abandoned the overt jazz fusion pretensions that sank most of his '80s records.[2]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars [2]

Track listing[edit]

1."Poor Boy Blues"Paul Kennerley4:01
2."Sweet Dreams"Don Gibson3:24
3."There'll Be Some Changes Made"William Blackstone, Benton Overstreet[Note 1]6:28
4."Just One Time"Don Gibson4:11
5."So Soft, Your Goodbye"Randy Goodrum3:16
6."Yakety Axe"Boots Randolph, James Rich, Merle Travis3:24
7."Tears"Stéphane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt3:54
8."Tahitian Skies"Ray Flacke3:18
9."I'll See You in My Dreams"Isham Jones, Gus Kahn2:59
10."The Next Time I'm in Town"Mark Knopfler3:21
Total length:38:26


  • Mark Knopfler – producer
  • Mike Poston – engineer
  • Guy Fletcher – engineer
  • Vanelle – assistance engineer
  • Ron Eve – assistance engineer
  • Bill Schnee – mixing engineer
  • Doug Sax – mastering at The Mastering Lab in Los Angeles
  • Alan Yoshida – mastering at The Mastering Lab in Los Angeles
  • Deborah Feingold – photography[4]



Chart (1990) Peak
Canadian Albums Chart 71
Norway Albums Chart 5
Sweden Albums Chart 8
Swiss Albums Chart 3
UK Albums Chart 41
US Billboard 200 Chart[2] 127
US Billboard Top Country Chart[2] 27


Year Single Peak positions
CAN Country
1990 "Poor Boy Blues" 92


  1. ^ Parody lyrics were written by Margaret Archer, Chet Atkins, and Mark Knopfler.
  1. ^ "Neck and Neck". Discogs. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Neck and Neck". AllMusic. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  3. ^ Doug DeMuro (2017-05-09), Here's What a $300,000 Rolls-Royce Was Like... in 1996, retrieved 2017-07-13
  4. ^ Neck and Neck (booklet). Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler. New York: Columbia Records. 1990. pp. 1–3. CK 45307.CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]