Neck and Neck

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Neck and Neck
Neck and Neck.jpg
Studio album by Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler
Released October 9, 1990 (1990-10-09)
Recorded CA Workshop, Nashville,
Sound Emporium, Nashville,
Hillbilly Heaven, London,
Genre Country
Length 38:26
Label Columbia
Producer Mark 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.

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
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars [2]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Poor Boy Blues" Paul Kennerley 4:01
2. "Sweet Dreams" Don Gibson 3:24
3. "There'll Be Some Changes Made" William Blackstone, Benton Overstreet[Note 1] 6:28
4. "Just One Time" Don Gibson 4:11
5. "So Soft, Your Goodbye" Randy Goodrum 3:16
6. "Yakety Axe" Boots Randolph, James Rich, Merle Travis 3:24
7. "Tears" Stéphane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt 3:54
8. "Tahitian Skies" Ray Flacke 3:18
9. "I'll See You in My Dreams" Isham Jones, Gus Kahn 2:59
10. "The Next Time I'm in Town" Mark Knopfler 3:21
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[3]



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. ^ Neck and Neck (booklet). Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler. New York: Columbia Records. 1990. pp. 1–3. CK 45307. 

External links[edit]