Sunday morning music


A blast from the past this morning.  Here’s a much younger Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits in a live performance of their breakout hit “Sultans of Swing“, filmed in Basel, Switzerland in 1992.  It’s noteworthy for a very long, extended guitar solo by Mark Knopfler, which showcases his genius on that instrument like no other Dire Straits track I’ve heard.  Note, too, how the group follows his musical lead as he “departs” from the by-then-traditional tune, improvising and flowing naturally with his variations.  It’s a virtuoso performance by all concerned.

They make it look so effortless, don’t they?



  1. Amazing performance, variations on a theme done so well. Not a piece of sheet music in sight, they just play and know where the tune is going by what they are doing. Brilliant performance.

  2. Yep, he went way of the the reservation with that one.
    There's a reason Eric Clapton added him to his tours

  3. Some years ago I was visiting my dad when he got out a VHS tape and said, "Take a look at this Chet Atkins performance. There's some English guy playing with him and he's pretty good too." It was Mark Knopfler of course.

  4. Makes me wet my pants every time I hear it. The only other time is when I hear "Tunnel of Love" in Officer and A Gentleman.

  5. Very nice. And refreshing to hear the sax more in this version. The Alchemy performance is more fun to watch, imho, in large part because the musicians all look like THEY are having fun, too. In the Basel one, Knopfler looks pretty bored.

    Did someone mention Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler? It's on YT!

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