Personnel: Dire Straits; Emmylou Harris, Mark Knopfler.
Since the 1970s Mark Knopfler has been carving out a niche for himself as a distinctive and much-admired songwriter and guitarist, first with his band Dire Straits and later as a solo artist. This 2-disc set collects many of the highlights from both phases of Knopfler's career.
With a deft, fingerpicking style that references bluegrass, jazz, blues, and rock, Knopfler's guitar playing sounds like no one else's. And his literate, evocative pop songs and understated, Dylan-esque vocal delivery are by no means run of the mill either. Nestled between his best-known tunes ("Sultans of Swing;" "Money for Nothing"), are gems like the grooving "Skateaway," the jazzy, minor-key "Your Latest Trick," and the instrumental "Going Home." While PRIVATE INVESTIGATIONS is not comprehensive in terms of either the Dire Straits catalogue or its leader's solo output, it is an excellent sampler of Knopfler's talents.