Saturday, September 26, 2009
"Walk of Life" by Dire Straits (1985)
I may well get crucified for this one: I know this is a well-loved song. The thing is that I can’t stand it. As a general rule, I hate all baseball music, and I’m not even sure if this is a baseball song. I don’t think it is, in fact: Mark Knopfler is British, and the song’s lyrics seem to say something about songs or music or something. Perhaps the ‘walk of life’ is a dance. Don’t know. Don’t care.
It’s the organ, you see. That’s what makes it ‘baseball music’. The rinky-dinky rink organ that just calls out ‘me and the boys having a good time with beer and barbecue’. Kind of like “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen, equally cringe-worthy. The whole thing reeks of a kind of fake enthusiasm and ‘gusto’ that is about as catchy as a lead pipe. I recently spoke about “Lay Down Sally” by Eric Clapton, and this song has pretty much the same qualities. I love happiness and breeziness and meaningless good-time party vibes in music. But if there’s some sincerity to it. This sounds like what a robot programmed to come up with ‘fun music’ might produce.
And as far as headbands go, none was more evil than Mark Knopfler’s. The ‘CD test’ album this came from, “Brothers in Arms” had a gorgeous title-track but also “Money for Nothing”, whose repugnant lyrics (ah, but it’s tongue-in-cheek, not really homophobic and demeaning at all) might make it even a worse song than this one if it weren’t for the fourteen-second solo guitar part that comes in about half a minute into the song and is the best fourteen-second solo guitar part on any guitar-wank technophilic CD to be released in the mid-eighties. So that’s why “Money for Nothing” isn’t here and this is.
Oh, plus the fact that I want to squeeze my head in a vice to stop the pain every time I hear this song.
Oh, plus the headband. This song deserves inclusion for the headband alone, if nothing else.