‘Going Home’: The song that reminds Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits’ remarkable journey

Meta Description: Explore Mark Knopfler’s insights on Dire Straits’ iconic hits, including ‘Sultans of Swing.’ Discover how these timeless tracks shaped the band’s legacy in rock and roll history.

Every band has that one song—the single track that defines their legacy. For Dire Straits, they have a handful of such iconic hits, but how does Mark Knopfler view this reputation? Would he agree with the masses on their most quintessential songs?

Dire Straits’ Iconic Hits: ‘Sultans of Swing’ and More

Mark Knopfler was a major driving force in rock ‘n’ roll during the late 1970s. Entering the scene post-Led Zeppelin but before the mid-1980s new wave boom, Dire Straits achieved the unthinkable: they commercialized sounds like country, popularized by Willie Nelson, and jazz, influenced by J.J. Cale.

Their debut single, the brilliant ‘Sultans of Swing,’ catapulted the band into the spotlight and remains a staple in modern-day playlists. Other hits, like ‘Walk Of Life’ and ‘Lady Writer,’ have a similar timeless appeal, drawing in listeners whether they are long-time fans or hearing the tracks for the first time.

The Inspiration Behind Dire Straits’ Iconic Hits

A unique aspect of Knopfler’s songwriting is that inspiration could strike anytime, resulting in tracks that resonate through the ages. ‘Walk Of Life,’ for example, was inspired by a conversation he overheard in a kitchen shop when a delivery man ranted about MTV artists, repeating the phrase: “That ain’t working!”

Mark Knopfler’s Perspective on Dire Straits’ Legacy

From Knopfler’s point of view, the story of Dire Straits involves more twists and introspection than just a series of well-played hits. The instrumental track ‘Going Home,’ often played at the end of their sets, holds a special place for Knopfler. It’s more than a crowd-pleaser; it’s a spine-tingling moment of togetherness that marks their journey.

“Playing ‘Going Home’ at the end of a set, to a crowd anywhere in the world, people go bananas,” Knopfler explained. “It’s a fun thing for a band to experience. I suppose you get used to that happening, the big audience reactions and massive noises. It’s a thrill. ‘Wow, this is Madison Square Garden and people are going nuts.’ Surely, that’s what you’re doing here. Otherwise, go home. It doesn’t mean anything to you. You’re in the wrong place.”

Reflecting on the Journey

Discussing how ‘Going Home’ makes him reflect on their journey, Knopfler added: “You become this little dragon slayer who’s got a nerve. Who do you think you are? You’re just a kid who doesn’t know anything, but without that, where would we be? I’m perfectly well aware that a lot of it is just blowing smoke. But you’re trying to figure out a way through. You stick around for long enough and after a while you get a bit more of an idea.”

He concluded: “I feel as though I’ve had a really blessed run with some great people. I wouldn’t ask for anything more than I’ve had.”

Mark Knopfler’s insights into Dire Straits’ iconic hits, including ‘Sultans of Swing,’ reveal the depth and complexity behind their music. These timeless tracks not only define the band’s legacy but also showcase Knopfler’s unique approach to songwriting, ensuring their place in rock and roll history.


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