Friday, September 7, 2018

"Walk of Life" by Dire Straits

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2520
Date:  11/02/1985
Debut:  61
Peak:  7
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  While Dire Straits had enough fans in the US to sell a few gold and platinum albums, their popularity wasn't necessarily widespread. That changed when "Money for Nothing," the first single from their fifth album Brothers in Arms, became a big #1 smash. That hit would help propel the album to #1 for a nine week stay. Also lending a hand was this second single that wound its way into the Pop Top 10. It would be the first time that the band was able to land two Top 10 hits from one album. The track would also get to #6 at Rock while becoming their first to reach the Top 10 at AC (#4).

ReduxReview:  I've never liked this ode to London tube buskers. I found both the honking keyboard lick and Mark Knopfler's "woo-hoos" utterly annoying. It was a goofy, dorky little ditty that I promptly ignored. However, I have to give credit to Knopfler for writing a song that is near perfect for a mass audience. The jangly, old-style rock 'n' roll rhythms, the song references, the memorable keyboard melody, and the "do the walk of life" hook were irresistible to a wide variety of folks, especially nostalgic AC listeners. He got it just right. However, that doesn't mean I have to like it (which I still don't...).

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  The first single released from the album in Europe was "So Far Away." It was a middling hit in most countries including the UK where it got to #20. The b-side to that single was "Walk of Life." After Brothers in Arms became a major success, "Walk of Life" was later released as the fourth single. It would end up hitting #2 in the UK making it their biggest hit along with 1982's "Private Investigations," which also reached #2. Apparently, the band's producer did not want the song to be included on the album, but he got outvoted by the band members and the track was included in the lineup.


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