Mark Knopfler, Discovering 'Shangri-La'

From 'Shangri-La'

Listen: 'Everybody Pays'

Listen: 'Boom, Like That'

Listen: 'Our Shangri-La'

A portrait of Mark Knopfler shows his close-cropped gray hair.

hide captionAfter achieving fame as the frontman for Dire Straits, Knopfler has pursued a solo career.

Singer and guitarist Mark Knopfler spent months recuperating from a motorcycle accident two years ago, before he could write songs again or return to the studio. Knopfler tells Liane Hansen about his recovery and his CD Shangri-La.

Mark Knopfler poses with his guitar against the door of a barn. i i

hide captionRay Kroc, Sonny Liston and Elvis were just a few of the folks on Mark Knopfler's mind as he composed his latest CD.

Mark Knopfler poses with his guitar against the door of a barn.

Ray Kroc, Sonny Liston and Elvis were just a few of the folks on Mark Knopfler's mind as he composed his latest CD.

Knopfler is of course known for his work as the frontman for the '80s group Dire Straits. This time out, he performs what he calls musical "portraits," including "Back to Tupelo," a lament about the end of Elvis Presley's career, and "Song for Sonny Liston," a tribute to the legendary boxer.

The album's first single, "Boom, Like That," is a wry chronicle of the renegade business tactics of McDonald's mogul Ray Kroc. Kroc started out selling milkshake mixers to the McDonald brothers, eventually buying them out and aggressively expanding the franchise. Before composing the song, Knopfler read books about Kroc's life and business philosophy. The singer found inspiration in some quotes that were attributed to Kroc. He says, "I remember coming across a quote in a book. It was something like, 'If the opposition is going to drown, put a hose in their mouth.'"

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Shangri-La

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  • Album: Shangri-La
  • Artist: Mark Knopfler
  • Label: Warner Brothers
  • Released: 2005
 

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