5. Private investigations (Dire Straits)

The highlight in the great repertoire of the Dire Straits (image credit) is the fantastic 1982 album Love over gold. The track Private investigations was released as a single, and became one of the most unlikely hit singles of all time. Close to seven minutes of gloomy chords, with guitars and marimba dominating, and an almost mumbled text. The whole thing perfectly evokes an old black and white detective movie, with Humphrey Bogart in the leading role, disillusioned and disgusted by the lives and the lies of the people he is paid to watch: "What have you got at the end of the day? What have you got to take away? A bottle of whiskey, and a new set of lies, blinds on the windows and a pain behind the eyes."

Other songs by this act that would have qualified: Brothers in arms, Telegraph road, Tunnel of love, Sultans of swing.


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