Private Investigations

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"Private Investigations"
Single by Dire Straits
from the album Love over Gold
B-side "Badges, Posters, Stickers, T-Shirts"
Released 23 August 1982
Recorded 8 March - 11 June 1982
Genre Progressive rock
Length 6:45 (Album version)
5:51 (Single edit)
Label Vertigo
Writer(s) Mark Knopfler
Producer(s) Mark Knopfler
Dire Straits singles chronology
"Tunnel of Love"
"Private Investigations"
"Industrial Disease"
Love over Gold track listing
"Telegraph Road"
"Private Investigations"
"Industrial Disease"

"Private Investigations" is a song by the British rock band Dire Straits from their album Love over Gold. Although it was not released as a single in the United States, it reached the number 2 position in the United Kingdom (despite its length), and is one of their biggest chart successes in the UK. Similarly, the album it came from, Love over Gold, only sold 500,000 copies in the United States, though it was well-received elsewhere. The track also appeared on the compilation albums Money for Nothing and Sultans of Swing: The Very Best of Dire Straits, and is the title track to the more recent 2005 compilation, Private Investigations: The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler.

The song begins with a sinister, deep-pitched synthesizer orchestration, leading into a slow piano progression accompanying a classical guitar, followed by several spoken verses.

After the verses, the song opens up into a slow, bass-driven beat, with strident electric guitar chords at the end, before the gradual diminuendo featuring extended interplay between Mark Knopfler's acoustic guitar and marimba played by Mike Mainieri.

On the Sultans of Swing: The Very Best of Dire Straits DVD, Mark Knopfler said this about the song: "It's just about the Private Investigations... "What have you got at the end of the day" - Nothing more than you started out with..." It is said the song was inspired by author Raymond Chandler.[1]

This song was also modified by Mark Knopfler into a film score for the Bill Forsyth movie Comfort and Joy in 1984, where you can hear the song broken up into portions and used for certain scenes.

The riff from the song was used on a BT advert in 1994.

Chart positions[edit]

Country Peak
Australia #19
New Zealand #16
The Netherlands #1
UK #2


  1. ^ "Happy Birthday Raymond Chandler: Five Songs For the Master of Mystery". 2013-07-23. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 

External links[edit]