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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/privateering-1347301510.jpeg Privateering

Mark Knopfler

Privateering

Mercury/Universal
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
September 11, 2012

"Redbud Tree," a highlight of Mark Knopfler's eighth solo album, could've been written 100 years ago. But given our ecocrisis, this tree-hugging folk gem, embossed with a shimmering fingerpicked Strat, feels cannily modern. Knopfler's sueded voice has changed little since his 1980s heyday, and his elegant electric-guitar work sounds better than ever. The 20 songs, most top-shelf, are a textbook of folk styles, from Irish ballads ("Kingdom of Gold") and country-flavored weepers ("Seattle") to slide-driven blues ("Don't Forget Your Hat") and Tin Pan Alley nostalgia ("Radio City Serenade"). On the title track, he shows offhis acoustic playing, a folk-rock vet returning to the source.

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    Song Stories

    “Money For Nothing”

    Dire Straits | 1984

    Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

    More Song Stories entries »
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