Tunnel of Love (Dire Straits song)

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"Tunnel of Love"
Single by Dire Straits
from the album Making Movies
B-side"Tunnel of Love, Part 2"
Released2 October 1981
Recorded20 June - 25 August 1980
GenreProgressive rock, roots rock
LabelVertigo Records/Warner Bros. Records
Songwriter(s)Mark Knopfler
Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II (Intro)
Producer(s)Jimmy Iovine, Mark Knopfler
Dire Straits singles chronology
"Tunnel of Love"
"Private Investigations"

"Tunnel of Love" is a 1981 single by Dire Straits. It appears on the 1980 album Making Movies, and subsequently on the live albums Alchemy and Live at the BBC and the greatest hits albums Money for Nothing, Sultans of Swing: The Very Best of Dire Straits, and The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler: Private Investigations.

"Tunnel of Love" is one of only three Dire Straits songs not credited to Mark Knopfler alone (the other two are "Money for Nothing" and "What's The Matter Baby?"). The song itself is entirely by Knopfler, but the opening instrumental is an arrangement of the "Carousel Waltz" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel.


Dire Straits

Additional musicians

Chart performance[edit]

It reached the position of only #54 in the UK Singles Chart upon its single release in October 1980, despite being one of the band's most famous and popular songs.

Music videos[edit]

Two music videos exist for the song, one depicting Mark Knopfler, John Illsley and Pick Withers performing on a blank set, intercut with imagery and actors relevant to the lyrics, the other featuring a larger band arrangement and telling the story of a couple escaping a group of soldiers who chase them from a funfair.

Live performances[edit]

In 1980s concerts, Dire Straits played the central theme of The Animals' "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" during an extended instrumental introduction to the song, as Knopfler talked about that group's hometown of Newcastle. Knopfler's outro solo has received numerous plaudits over the years:

"Throughout "Tunnel of Love," Mark Knopfler dramatizes this close encounter by using his guitar as a Greek chorus. [...] Later, as Knopfler walks alone through the "carousel and the carnival arcades," waiting for another night and another girl, he wraps his voice like a ratty old raincoat around Bittan's gently tinkling piano and the long guitar solo that ends the track. Somehow, the evocative moan of the artist's guitar suggests a truth much deeper than the carnival-as-life metaphor has revealed."[2]

Mark Knopfler also sometimes played melody from chorus of "Stop! In the Name of Love" by The Supremes as an additional intro prior to the "Carousel Waltz" while performing this song live.

Cultural references[edit]

It was used in the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman. The song is sampled in John Legend's "I Love, You Love" on his 2008 Evolver album. The English folk duo Show of Hands recorded a cover version of this song on their 2011 album Covers 2.

The song is referred to in Douglas Adams's 1984 novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish:[3] "Mark Knopfler has an extraordinary ability to make a Schecter Custom Stratocaster hoot and sing like angels on a Saturday night, exhausted from being good all week and needing a stiff drink."


  1. ^ "Sid McGinnis". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  2. ^ Fricke, David (5 February 1981). "Dire Straits: Making Movies" (review). Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  3. ^ "The alt.fan.douglas-adams FAQ". Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2007.

External links[edit]