After the Beanstalk Your Life’s not the Same: Knopfler’s Privateering

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 89% (11 Votes)

Knopfler’s last three albums was released in 2012 as Privateering. Bad grammar aside, Knopfler’s last album was three in one—and not just because it was a triple CD release, either.  The first time I heard it I thought it sounded a great deal like a mixed fry-up of the weekend’s leftovers. There’s Celtic (as in Chieftans and Van Morrison Celtic), and blues, and that old Dire Straits sound all tossed together on three CDs. What he could have done, just saying, is put out three separate CDs and given us a coherent repertoire.

Squirells in My Rafters or Three Albums that Could Have Been

CD #1—Dire Straits

1.      “Red Bud Tree”

2.      "Corned Beef City"   [CD 1]

3.      "Go, Love"  

4.      "Seattle" 

5.      "Blood and Water"  

6.      "Cleaning My Gun" 

7.      "Corned Beef City"  [CD 3]

8.      "Sailing to Philadelphia" 

9.      "Hill Farmer's Blues" 

CD #2—Celtic

1.      “Haul Away”

2.      “Privateering”

3.      "Yon Two Crows" 

4.      "Kingdom of Gold"  

5.      "Radio City Serenade"  

6.      "Dream of the Drowned Submariner"  

7.      "Why Aye Man" 

CD #3—Blues

1.       “Don’t Forget Your Hat”

2.       "Miss You Blues"

3.       "Hot or What"  

4.       "Got to Have Something"  

5.       "I Used to Could"  

6.       "Gator Blood" 

7.       "Bluebird" 

8.       "Today Is Okay" 

9.       "After the Beanstalk" 

You may test them of course, but they sound like those three partitions to me; it’s not a coherent collection as it stands. So which album is best?

I’d rate the blues album a solid 4.5, 5 on many days, with songs like “Blue Bird” and “Gator Blood” being some of his best ever. The material that sounds like his Dire Straits days is brilliant as well and 4.5 stars easily. The Celtic material sounds like it may need The Chieftains or The Wolftones to come in and fill in the blanks. "Dream of the Drowned Submariner" is a brilliant tune though—again, one of his best ever.

And it may be that you prefer minced collops to separated islands of flavour.  For me, separating it out really did give me three Knopfler albums that I enjoy very much, though I reach for the blues one more than the Celtic one.











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