Family & Companions
Best known as the founder and lead guitarist of the chart-busting English rock band Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler has also dedicated himself to an equally successful second career composing film scores. He was a late bloomer who worked as a journalist and a teacher before forming Dire Straits in 1977. Two years later, the band (which included his younger brother David) scored their first hit, "Sultan of Swing," and anonymity was a thing of the past. His restrained, thoughtful songs provided an alternative to punk that was not a retread of some tired style and had the added appeal of his mournful guitar and world-weary voice. The band's third album, "Making Money" (1990), was his most personal, featuring what has become his best-loved song, "Romeo and Juliet," about a failed love affair, but for the most part Knopfler kept the deepest part of himself out of his songwriting, creating fictional characters whose expressions became his biggest songs. After the demise of Dire Straits, he returned to a more personal style for his debut solo album, "Golden Heart" (1996).
Having received song credit in two 1980 movies ("Brothers and Sisters" and "Riding High"), Knopfler composed an enchanting first film score for fellow Scot Bill Forsyth's "Local Hero" (1983) and reteamed with the director on "Comfort and Joy" (1984). Also in 1984, he offered the lyrically haunting strains of "Cal." Since he chooses a movie project based on the script, he was very happy that "Last Exit to Brooklyn" (1989) lived up to the promise of the screenplay. Knopfler, who has performed his songs for many movies, was featured guitarist and music producer for Barry Levinson's "Wag the Dog" (1997), in addition to composing its score. His music exhibits the influence of the traditional Scottish and English music he heard as a boy, as well as its rock and country roots. Although he has collaborated with such artists as the Chieftans, Waylon Jennings and Vince Gill, make no mistake about it, Mark Knopfler has not forgot how to rock 'n' roll. Among his other film scores, he composed the music for Rob Reiner's "The Princess Bride" (1987) and arranged its theme song, "Storybook Love."
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Music (TV Mini-Series)
Worked as a reporter and rock music critic, <i>Yorkshire Evening Post</i>
Founded the rock group Dire Straits
Dire Straits had first hit, "Sultans of Swing"
Received first film credits in "Brothers and Sisters" (for the song "Where Do You think You're Going?") and "Riding High" (for the song "Solid Rock")
First original movie soundtrack, Bill Forsyth's "Local Hero"
Reteamed with Forsyth, composing score for "Comfort and Joy"
Composed the haunting score for "Cal"
Instrumental in the release of Dire Straits' "Brothers in Arms" album, which became the then best-selling album in British recording history; last Straits album for six years
Formed the band The Notting Hillbillies
Provided the score for Rob Reiner's "The Princess Bride"; also arranged theme song, "Storybook Love"
Dire Straits disbanded
Wrote score for "Last Exit to Brooklyn"
Dire Straits reformed for one last album, "On Every Street"; subsequent world tour lasted nearly two years and drove the band into the ground
Released first solo album, "Golden Heart"
Wrote score and played guitars as featured musician, in addition to producing the music for "Wag the Dog"
Played at the second "Chet Atkins Musician Days" in Nashville, Tennesee, backed by his "Golden Heart" tour band, plus guitarist Brent Mason