Setting Me Up

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"Setting Me Up"
Song by Dire Straits from the album Dire Straits
Released 7 October 1978
Genre Roots rock, country rock
Length 3:18
Label Vertigo
Writer(s) Mark Knopfler
Producer(s) Muff Winwood
Dire Straits track listing
Water of Love
"Setting Me Up"
Six Blade Knife
"Setting Me Up"
Setting Me Up single label.jpg
Single by Highway 101
from the album Highway 101²
B-side "Long Way Down"
Released January 1989
Genre Country
Length 3:49
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Mark Knopfler
Producer(s) Paul Worley
Ed Seay
Highway 101 singles chronology
"All the Reasons Why"
"Setting Me Up"
"Honky Tonk Heart"

"Setting Me Up" is a song written by Mark Knopfler. It was originally recorded by British rock group Dire Straits on their self-titled debut album but not released as a single. Ken Tucker in Rolling Stone described the song as a "heavenly number" combining humor with bitterness, despite having a typical messed-up romance theme.[1] Tucker noted that the song's impact is enhanced by the growling tone in Knopfler's singing voice and by the song's country music-style guitar solo.[1] Carly Darling in Billboard Magazine praised the song's rockabilly guitar but criticizes the lyrics.[2]

The song appeared on Eric Clapton's 1980 double live album Just One Night, with Albert Lee singing lead vocals.[3] Albert Lee also covered the song on his album Hiding, with backing harmonies sung by Don Everly.[4]

"Setting Me Up" is one of five songs that Knopfler's publisher made country demos of without the songwriter's approval, leading to a number of country covers of this and other songs.[5] American country music group Highway 101 covered the song for their 1988 album Highway 101² and released it as the album's third single in January 1989. The song reached #7 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in April 1989.[6]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[7] 4
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 7

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[9] 74
US Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 97


  1. ^ a b Tucker, K. (January 25, 1979). "Dire Straits Review". Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  2. ^ Darling, C. (January 27, 1979). "Closeup". Billboard Magazine. 
  3. ^ Erlewine, S.T. "Just One Night". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  4. ^ Planer, L. "Hiding". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  5. ^ Brown, A. & Mansfield, B. (2008). Make Me a Star: Industry Insiders Reveal How to Make It in Music. Thomas Nelson, Inc. p. 161. ISBN 978-1-4016-0404-2. 
  6. ^ Highway 101 Hot Country Songs Chart History
  7. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 1039." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. May 15, 1989. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  8. ^ "Highway 101 – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Highway 101.
  9. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1989". RPM. December 23, 1989. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Best of 1989: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1989. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 

External links[edit]