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Golden Heart

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Golden Heart

Golden Heart
Studio album by Mark Knopfler
Released 26 March 1996 (1996-03-26)
Recorded Emerald Sound Studios,
Javelina Recording Studios,
AIR Studios,
Windmill Lane Studios,
Genre Roots rock, folk rock, country
Length 70:18
Label Vertigo
Warner Bros. (USA)
Producer Mark Knopfler, Chuck Ainlay
Mark Knopfler chronology
Golden Heart
Wag the Dog

Golden Heart is the début solo album by British singer-songwriter and guitarist Mark Knopfler, released on 26 March 1996 by Vertigo Records internationally and Warner Bros. Records in the United States. Following a successful career leading the British rock band Dire Straits and composing a string of critically acclaimed film soundtrack albums, Knopfler produced his first solo album, drawing upon the various musical endeavors in which he has engaged since emerging as a major recording artist in 1978.[1] The album reached the top ten position on album charts in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.[2][3] The album peaked at 105 on the Billboard 200 in the United States.


  • Background 1
  • Touring 2
  • Critical reception 3
  • Track listing 4
  • Personnel 5
  • Charts and certifications 6
    • Albums 6.1
    • Singles 6.2
    • Certifications 6.3
  • Singles 7
    • Darling Pretty 7.1
    • Cannibals 7.2
    • Rüdiger 7.3
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Following the release of Dire Straits' final studio album, On Every Street, and a grueling fifteen-month world tour of Europe, North America, and Australia—a tour seen by 7.1 million people[4] that ended in October 1992—Knopfler quietly dissolved the popular British rock band that had become one of the world's most commercially successful bands, with worldwide album sales of over 120 million.[5] He would later recall, "I put the thing to bed because I wanted to get back to some kind of reality. It's self-protection, a survival thing. That kind of scale is dehumanising."[6] He spent two years recovering from the experience, which had taken a toll on his creative and personal life.[4] In 1994, he began work on what would become his first solo album.


Knopfler supported the release of Golden Heart with the Golden Heart Tour of Europe, which started on 24 April 1996 in Galway, Ireland, and included 84 concerts in 66 cities, ending in Antibes, France, on 4 August 1996.[7] The tour lineup included Mark Knopfler (guitar, vocals), Guy Fletcher (keyboards), Richard Bennett (guitar), Glenn Worf (bass), Chad Cromwell (drums), and Jim Cox (keyboards). This initial touring group later became known to Knopfler fans as the 96-ers.[8] A preview performance with an expanded lineup of players was given on 15 April 1996 at the BBC Building in London. This show was recorded and later released on video as A Night in London.[8]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic [1]

In his review for AllMusic, William Ruhlmann gave the album three out of five stars, finding that despite Knopfler's trademark guitar work and sardonic lyrics, there was "little on the album that was new or striking, and Knopfler seemed to fall back on familiar guitar techniques while intoning often obscure lyrics.[1] Ruhlmann concluded:

Knopfler hadn't used the opportunity of a solo album to challenge himself, and at the same time he had lost the group identity (however illusory) provided by the Dire Straits name. The result was listenable but secondhand.[1]

Track listing

All songs were written by Mark Knopfler.[1][9]

No. Title Length
1. "Darling Pretty"   4:31
2. "Imelda"   5:26
3. "Golden Heart"   5:01
4. "No Can Do"   4:54
5. "Vic and Ray"   4:36
6. "Don't You Get It"   5:16
7. "A Night in Summer Long Ago"   4:43
8. "Cannibals"   3:41
9. "I'm the Fool"   4:28
10. "Je Suis Désolé"   5:14
11. "Rüdiger"   6:03
12. "Nobody's Got the Gun"   5:25
13. "Done with Bonaparte"   5:06
14. "Are We in Trouble Now"   5:54
Total length:


  • Mark Knopfler – producer
  • Chuck Ainlay – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Brian Masterson – engineer
  • Graham Lewis – assistant engineer, mixing assistant
  • Denny Purcell – mastering
  • Jonathan Russell – mastering assistant
  • David Scheinmann – photography[9]

Charts and certifications


Chart (1996) Peak
Australia Albums Chart[3] 28
Austria Albums Chart[2][3] 8
Belgium Albums Chart (Vl)[3] 10
Belgium Albums Chart (Wa)[3] 8
Canadian Albums Chart 11
Dutch Albums Chart[3] 3
Finland Albums Chart[3] 7
France Albums Chart[3] 38
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[10] 5
Italy Albums Chart 3
Norway Albums Chart[2][3] 2
New Zealand Albums Chart[3] 16
Sweden Albums Chart[2][3] 4
Swiss Albums Chart[2][3] 3
UK Albums Chart[2] 9
US Billboard 200 105


Year Single Chart Positions
CAN CAN AC CAN Country UK[11]
1996 "Darling Pretty" 12 14 87 33
"Cannibals" 42
"Imelda" 59
"Don't You Get It" 62


Year Organisation Level Date
1996 BPI – UK Silver 1 April 1996
BPI – UK[2] Gold 1 May 1996
CRIA – Canada Gold 30 August 1996
IFPI – Switzerland[2] Gold 1996


Darling Pretty

"Darling Pretty"
Single by Mark Knopfler
Released 26 February 1996 (1996-02-26)

"Darling Pretty" is the first single from the album. It reached number 33 in the UK Singles Chart, and was featured in the 1996 film Twister. "Gravy Train", the second track on the maxi-single, was featured in the 2001 film America's Sweethearts.[12]

Track listing

All songs were written by Mark Knopfler.

No. Title Length
1. "Darling Pretty"   4:27
2. "Gravy Train"   6:19
3. "My Claim to Fame"   4:39
Total length:


Single by Mark Knopfler
Released 17 June 1996 (1996-06-17)

"Cannibals" is the second single from the album. It is very similar in sound and structure to the Dire Straits hit single "Walk of Life", also written by Knopfler. "Cannibals" is taken from the album. "Tall Order Baby" and "What Have I Got to Do" are outtakes from the album. The song was the concert opener for the Kill to Get Crimson Tour in 2008.[13]

Track listing

All songs were written by Mark Knopfler.

No. Title Length
1. "Cannibals"   3:38
2. "Tall Order Baby"   2:53
3. "What Have I Got To Do"   5:20
Total length:


Single by Mark Knopfler
Released 4 November 1996 (1996-11-04)

"Rüdiger" is the third and final single from the album. "Rüdiger" is taken from the album. "My Claim to Fame", "Tall Order Baby", and "What Have I Got to Do" are outtakes from the album.[14]

Track listing

All songs were written by Mark Knopfler.

No. Title Length
1. "Rüdiger"   5:59
2. "My Claim to Fame"   4:39
3. "Tall Order Baby"   2:53
4. "What Have I Got to Do"   5:20
Total length:


  1. ^ a b c d e Ruhlmann, William. "Darling Pretty". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Mark Knopfler (Chart Entries)". Tsort. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Mark Knopfler: Golden Heart". Australian Charts. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Shelton, Sonya. "Dire Straits Biography". Musician Guide. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Dire Straits given plaque honour". BBC News. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  6. ^ McCormick, Neil (5 September 2012). "Mark Knopfler: how did we avoid disaster?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "Golden Heart 1996 Tour Dates". Mark Knopfler News. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Golden Heart tour 1996". Mark Knopfler. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c Golden Heart (booklet). Mark Knopfler. Burbank, California: Warner Bros. Records. 1996. pp. 2–15. 946026-2. 
  10. ^ "Top 100 Longplay". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  11. ^ "Chart Log UK". Zobbel. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Darling Pretty". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Cannibals". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  14. ^ "Rüdiger". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 

External links

  • Golden Heart at Mark Knopfler official website
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