Private Investigations

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"Private Investigations"
Private investigations.jpg
Single by Dire Straits
from the album Love over Gold
B-side"Badges, Posters, Stickers, T-Shirts"
Released27 August 1982
Recorded8 March – 11 June 1982
GenreProgressive rock
Length6:45 (Album version)
5:51 (Single edit)
Songwriter(s)Mark Knopfler
Producer(s)Mark Knopfler
Dire Straits singles chronology
"Tunnel of Love"
"Private Investigations"
"Industrial Disease"

"Private Investigations" is a song by the British rock band Dire Straits from their album Love over Gold. It reached number 2 in the United Kingdom (despite its length), and is one of their biggest chart successes in the UK. The track has 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 deep-pitched synthesizer orchestration, leading into a slow piano progression accompanying a classical guitar, followed by several spoken verses. The single edit removes the opening synthesisers, beginning with acoustic guitar.

After the verses, the song opens 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 score for the Bill Forsyth film Comfort and Joy in 1984, in which portions of the song are used for certain scenes.

It was also used in the video release of the 1984 film Against All Odds during the deleted scenes. A section of the footage cut from the final release dealt with the time spent on the run, in Mexico, by Rachel Ward’s & Jeff Bridges' characters.

The riff from the song was used in France on a Crédit Agricole advert in 1984, and on a BT advert in 1994.



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Silver 250,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "Happy Birthday Raymond Chandler: Five Songs For the Master of Mystery". 23 July 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  2. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 90. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  3. ^ "Dire Straits – Private Investigations" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  4. ^ "Dire Straits – Private Investigations" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  5. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava.
  6. ^ "InfoDisc : Les Tubes de chaque artiste commençant par D". Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  7. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Private Investigations". Irish Singles Chart.
  8. ^ "Israel Singles Charts 1987-1995". Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 40, 1982" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  10. ^ "Dire Straits – Private Investigations" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  11. ^ "Dire Straits – Private Investigations". Top 40 Singles.
  12. ^ "Archiwum LP3, notowanie 26, z dn. 16.10.1982". Retrieved 12 December 2020.
  13. ^ "Dire Straits – Private Investigations". Swiss Singles Chart.
  14. ^ "Dire Straits: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  15. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1982". Ultratop. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  16. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1982". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  17. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1982". Retrieved 25 March 2021.
  18. ^ "British single certifications – Dire Straits – Private Investigations". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 19 January 2021.