Dire Straits Producer Reflects On Mark Knopfler’s Uniqueness In ‘Sultans Of Swing’

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Producer Muff Winwood drew attention to Dire Straits guitarist and vocalist Mark Knopfler‘s unique talent as a musician by giving some details about it during his recent interview with Music Radar. Winwood said this can be seen in the band’s iconic song, ‘Sultans of Swing.’

Dire Straits released their self-titled debut studio album on June 9, 1978, and it received positive reviews from rock music lovers and critics worldwide. The band’s entrance to the rock stage with such a well-crafted and successful album reflected Knopfler’s greatness in songwriting and composing along with the other band members. However, one of the tracks from the song drew more attention from the others.

The record’s ‘Sultans of Swing’ reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number eight on the UK Singles Chart by becoming very popular. Winwood, the album’s producer, had a chance to observe and realize Knopfler’s extraordinary guitar playing during its creation and recording process. He opened up about it, saying that the guitarists had the sounds they decided to use in the songs.

Winwood added that they had lots of gear to create a song, but it’s not the most important thing for the perfect sound. According to the producer, Knopfler could touch everyone’s heart with his uniqueness as a musician, especially in ‘Sultans of Swing.’ Therefore, it can be stated from Winwood’s words that it’s the guitarist’s special techniques and unmatchable talent, not the equipment.

Winwood shared his ideas, saying:

Every guitarist has their sound. You start with that, call him into the control booth and say, ‘We can do this to improve it,’ then twiddle a knob and ask if that’s better. We got the guitar hire company to bring a pile of different amps and effects boxes in dump them in the studio and said, ‘Plug into that and see how that sounds.’

At the end of the day, what makes a piece of music get to your heart is the player’s touch. It’s human. If there weren’t any effects there, Mark would’ve made it sound brilliant. It’s not to do with gear; it’s all to do with the way the brain sends signals to his fingers. That’s what makes him so special.”

You can listen to the song below.