Today I thought I would share this song by the British band Dire Straits, “Private Investigations”. The song was released as a single in the summer of 1982, and got to number 2 in the Dinsunited Kingdom singles charts.
The song is from Dire Straits’ 4th album, “Love Over Gold”, and was written by lead guitarist and lead singer Mark Knopfler. I first came across Mark Knopfler’s name when Bob Dylan used him on lead guitar for his 1979 album “Slow Train Coming”, which he recorded just after Dire Straits had released their first single “Sultans of Swing”, a song which illustrates wonderfully Knopfler’s superb guitar playing. Dylan picked up on this, even though the song had not been a hit in the US, and I think it is fair to say that Knopfler is now recognised as one of the great rock guitarists.
As you can see from the lyrics below, there are not many, although the song itself stretched to nearly 6 minutes in the single version, and nearly 7 minutes in the album version. The song features Knopfler playing classic guitar, and is more instrumental in nature than most of their single releases. The song has a moodiness and melancholy feel which does not lend itself naturally to being a hit single, but by 1982 Dire Straits were one of the biggest bands in the Disunited Kingdom.
It’s a mystery to me, the game commences
For the usual fee, plus expenses
Confidential information, it’s a diary
This is my investigation, it’s not a public inquiry
I go checking out the reports, digging up the dirt
You get to meet all sorts in this line of work
Treachery and treason, there’s always an excuse for it
And when I find the reason I still can’t get used to it
And what have you got at the end of the day?
What have you got to take away?
A bottle of whiskey and a new set of lies
Blinds on the window and a pain behind the eyes
Scarred for life, no compensation
Here is the official version from YouTube. Enjoy!
Which is your favourite Dire Straits song?