MUSIC

Alchemy Dire Straits Live Album Cover

Alchemy

Released: Vertigo/Warner Bros. (1983)

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Album Credits

Mark Knopfler: guitar & vocals
John Illsley: bass
Alan Clark: keyboards
Hal Lindes: guitar
Terry Williams: drums
Tommy Mandel: additional keyboards
Mel Collins: saxophone
Joop de Korte: percussion

Recorded by Mike McKenna, Rolling Stones Mobile, July 1983
Mixed at Air Studios, London, November 1983
Engineered by Nigel Walker, assisted by Jeremy Allom
Artwork by Brett Whitely, © adapted from Alchemy 1974
Design by C More Tone Studios

All songs written and produced by Mark Knopfler
Published by Rondor Music (London) Ltd/Straitjacket Songs
Published by Rondor Music (London) Ltd/Chariscourt Ltd
Intro written by Richard Rodgers, published by Chappell Music Ltd

Alchemy

  • 1. Once Upon A Time In The West (live)
    Some people get a cheap laugh breaking up the speed limit
    Scaring the pedestrians for a minute
    Crossing up progress driving on the grass
    Leaving just enough for room to pass

    Sunday driver never took a test
    Oh yeah, once upon a time in the west
    Yes, it’s no use saying that you don’t know nothing
    It’s still gonna get you if don’t do something

    Sitting on a fence that’s a dangerous course
    Oh, you could even catch a bullet from the peace-keeping force
    Even the hero gets a bullet in the chest
    Oh yeah, once upon a time in the west

    Mother Mary your children are slaughtered
    Some of you mothers ought to lock up your daughters
    Who’s protecting the innocenti
    Heap big trouble in the land of plenty

    Tell me how we’re gonna do what’s best
    You guess once upon a time in the west
    Once upon a time in the west…
  • 2. Expresso Love (live)
    She gets the sun in the daytime
    Perfume in the dusk
    And she comes out in the night time
    With the honeysuckle musk

    Because she smells just like a rose
    And she tastes just like a peach
    She got me walking where the wildlife goes
    I’d do anything to reach her

    And she was made in heaven
    Heaven’s in the world
    Is this just expresso love
    You know I’m crazy for the girl

    She call me just to talk
    She’s my lover, she’s a friend of mine
    She says hey mister you wanna take a walk
    In the wild west end sometime

    And I get trouble with my breathing
    She says boys don’t know anything
    But I know what I want I want everything
    Well I feel so good cos I feel so good

    And I feel so good cos it feels so right
    I was made to go with my girl
    Like a saxophone was made to go with the night

    And she can raise one eyebrow
    Put her hand on my hip
    And I close one eye now
    Sweat on her lip

    And I surrender to the fever
    She love me so tender
    I got to believe her
    Love? Expresso love’s alright
    I don’t want no sugar in it

    Thank you very much
    All wired up on it all fired up on it
    Expresso touch
    Hey maestro expresso
    It’s just another one just like the other one
    Hey maestro expresso
    Is this another one just like the other one
  • 3. Romeo and Juliet (live)
    A lovestruck Romeo sings a streetsusss serenade
    Laying everybody low with a lovesong that he made
    Finds a convenient streetlight steps out of the shade
    Says something like you and me babe how about it?

    Juliet says hey it’s Romeo you nearly gimme a heart attack
    He’s underneath the window she’s singing hey la my boyfriend’s back
    You shouldn’t come around here singing up at people like that
    Anyway what you gonna do about it

    Juliet the dice were loaded from the start
    And I bet and you exploded in my heart
    And I forget I forget the movie song
    When you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong Juliet?

    Come up on different streets they both were streets of shame
    Both dirty both mean yes and the dream was just the same
    And I dreamed your dream for you and now your dream is real
    How can you look at me as if I was just another one of your deals?

    When you can fall for chains of silver you can fall for chains of gold
    You can fall for pretty strangers and the promises they hold
    You promised me everything you promised me thick and thin
    Now you just says oh Romeo yeah you know I used to have a scene with him

    Juliet when we made love you used to cry
    You said I love you like the stars above I’ll love you till I die
    There’s a place for us you know the movie song
    When you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong Juliet?

    I can’t do the talk like they talk on TV
    And I can’t do a love song like the way it’s meant to be
    I can’t do everything but I’d do anything for you
    I can’t do anything except be in love with you

    And all I do is miss you and the way we used to be
    All I do is keep the beat and bad company
    All I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme
    Julie I’d do the stars with you any time

    Juliet when we made love you used to cry
    You said I love you like the stars above I’ll love you till I die
    There’s a place for us you know the movie song
    When you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong Juliet?

    A lovestruck Romeo sings a streetsuss serenade
    Laying everybody low with a lovesong that he made
    Finds a convenient streetlight steps out of the shade
    Says something like you and me babe how about it?
  • 4. Love Over Gold (live)
    You walk out on the high wire
    You’re a dancer on thin ice
    You pay no heed to the danger
    And less to advice
    Your footsteps are forbidden
    But with knowledge of your sin
    You throw your love to all the strangers
    And caution to the wind

    And you go dancing through doorways
    Just to see what you will find
    Leaving nothing to interfere
    With the crazy balance of your mind
    And when you finally reappear
    At the place where you came in
    You’ve thrown your love to all the strangers
    And caution to the wind

    It takes love over gold
    And mind over matter
    To do what you do that you must
    When the things that you hold
    Can fall and be shattered
    Or run through your fingers like dust
  • 5. Private Investigations (live)
    It’s a mystery to me – the game commences
    for the usual fee – plus expenses
    confidential information – it’s in a diary
    this is my investigation – it’s not a public inquiry

    I go checking out the reports – digging up the dirt
    you get to meet all sorts in this line of work
    treachery and treason – there’s always an excuse for it
    and when I find the reason I still can’t get used to it

    And 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 window and a pain behind the eyes

    Scarred for life – no compensation
    private investigations

    ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS
    Mike Mainieri: vibes & marimbas
  • 6. Sultans Of Swing (live)
    You get a shiver in the dark
    It’s been raining in the park but meantime
    South of the river you stop and you hold everything
    A band is blowing Dixie double four time
    You feel all right when you hear that music ring

    You step inside but you don’t see too many faces
    Coming in out of the rain to hear the jazz go down
    Too much competition, too many other places
    But not too many horns can make that sound
    Way on down south, way on down south London town

    You check out Guitar George he knows all the chords
    Mind he’s strictly rhythm
    He doesn’t want to make it cry or sing
    And an old guitar is all he can afford
    When he gets up under the lights to play his thing

    And Harry doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene
    He’s got a daytime job he’s doing alright
    He can play honky tonk just like anything
    Saving it up for Friday night
    With the Sultans, with the Sultans of Swing

    And a crowd of young boys they’re fooling around in the corner
    Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
    They don’t give a damn about any trumpet playing band
    It ain’t what they call rock and roll
    And the Sultans, the Sultans played Creole

    And then the man he steps right up to the microphone
    And says at last just as the time bell rings
    ‘Thank you, goodnight, now it’s time to go home’
    And he makes it fast with one more thing
    ‘We are the Sultans of Swing’
  • 7. Two Young Lovers (live)
    It was the last day of summer
    It was the first of a new romance
    He walked into her on the corner
    She said, I don’t dance

    He said, baby let me teach you
    She said, o.k., when?
    He said, how can I reach you baby
    I’d really like to see you again

    He picked her up on a Friday night
    He took her for a bite to eat
    His heart was beating and his hands were shaking
    She thought he was sweet

    And he stood on her shoes on the dance floor
    Well, they were doing it cheek to cheek
    And he walked her home and he kissed her
    He was walking on air all week

    Well, they couldn’t stand to be apart
    They couldn’t leave one another alone
    Her mama used to say, it’s getting late sweetheart
    It’s time that boy went home

    And upstairs papa kissed mama
    And she gave him a sweet caress
    He said, here’s to the two young lovers
    Let’s wish ’em every happiness

    It was the last day of summer
    They came walking home hand in hand
    They went and told her mama
    They showed her the wedding band

    Mama cried and poured the wine
    Papa just said God bless
    Now, here’s to the two young lovers
    Let’s wish ’em every happiness
  • 8. Tunnel of Love (live)
    Getting crazy on the waltzers but it’s the life that I choose
    Sing about the sixblade sing about the switchback and a torture tattoo
    And I been riding on a ghost train where the cars they scream and slam
    And I don’t know where I’ll be tonight but I’d always tell you where I am

    In a screaming ring of faces I seen her standing in the light
    She had a ticket for the races just like me she was a victim of the night
    I put a hand upon the lever said let it rock and let it roll
    I had the one arm bandit fever there was an arrow through my heart and my soul

    And the big wheel keep on turning neon burning up above
    And I’m just high on the world
    Come on and take a low ride with me girl
    On the tunnel of love

    It’s just the danger when you’re riding at your own risk
    She said you are the perfect stranger she said baby let’s keep it like this
    It’s just a cake walk twisting baby step right up and say
    Hey mister give me two give me two ‘cos any two can play

    And the big wheel keep on turning neon burning up above
    And I’m just high on the world
    Come on and take a low ride with me girl
    On the tunnel of love

    Well it’s been money for muscle another whirligig
    Money for muscle and another girl I dig
    Another hustle just to make it big
    And rockaway rockaway

    And girl it looks so pretty to me just like it always did
    Like the Spanish city to me when we were kids
    Oh girl it looks so pretty to me just like it always did
    Like the Spanish city to me when we were kids

    She took off a silver locket she said remember me by this
    She put her hand in my pocket I got a keepsake and a kiss
    And in the roar of the dust and diesel I stood and watched her walk away
    I could have caught up with her easy enough but something must have made me stay

    And the big wheel keep on turning neon burning up above
    And I’m just high on the world
    Come on and take a low ride with me girl
    On the tunnel of love

    And now I’m searching through these carousels and the carnival arcades
    Searching everywhere from steeplechase to palisades
    In any shooting gallery where promises are made
    To rockaway rockaway from Cullercoats and Whitley bay out to rockaway

    And girl it looks so pretty to me like it always did
    Like the Spanish city to me when we were kids
    Girl it looks so pretty to me like it always did
    Like the Spanish city to me when we were kids
  • 9. Telegraph Road (live)
    A long time ago came a man on a track
    Walking thirty miles with a sack on his back
    And he put down his load where he thought it was the best
    He made a home in the wilderness

    He built a cabin and a winter store
    And he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore
    The other travellers came riding down the track
    And they never went further and they never went back

    Then came the churches then came the schools
    Then came the lawyers then came the rules
    Then came the trains and the trucks with their loads
    And the dirty old track was the telegraph road

    Then came the mines – then came the ore
    Then there was the hard times then there was a war
    Telegraph sang a song about the world outside
    Telegraph road got so deep and so wide like a rolling river. . .

    And my radio is saying tonight it’s gonna freeze
    People driving home from the factories
    There’s six lanes of traffic
    Three lanes moving slow. . .

    I used to like to go to work but they shut it down
    I’ve got a right to go to work but there’s no work here to be found
    Yes and they say we’re gonna have to pay what’s owed
    We’re gonna have to reap from some seed that’s been sowed

    And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles
    They can always fly away from this rain and this cold
    You can here them singing out their telegraph code
    All the way down the telegraph road

    You know I’d sooner forget but I remember those nights
    When life was just a bet on a race between the lights
    You had your head on my shoulder you had your hand in my hair
    Now you act a little colder like you don’t seem to care

    But believe in me baby and I’ll take you away
    From out of this darkness and into the day
    From these rivers of headlights these rivers of rain
    From the anger that lives on the streets with these names

    ‘cos I’ve run every red light on memory lane
    I’ve seen desperation explode into flames
    And I don’t want to see it again. . .

    From all of these signs saying sorry but we’re closed
    All the way down the telegraph road
  • 10. Solid Rock (live)
    Well take a look at that I made a castle in the sand
    Saying this is where it’s at you know
    Couldn’t understand now
    If I realised that the chances were slim
    How come I’m so surprised when the tide rolled in

    I wanna live on solid rock
    I’m gonna live on solid rock
    I wanna give I don’t wanna be blocked
    I’m gonna live on solid rock

    Well I’m sick of potential I’m sick of vanity now
    I’m sticking to essential reality now
    I don’t know what’s worse
    Try to make a silk purse
    Living an illusion living in confusion

    I wanna live on solid rock
    I’m gonna live on solid rock
    I wanna give I don’t wanna be blocked
    I’m gonna live on solid rock

    Well a house of cards
    Was never built for shock
    You could blow it down in any kind of weather
    Now two solid rocks two solid blocks
    You know they’re gonna stick
    Yeah they’re gonna stick together

    Because the heart that you break
    That’s the one that you rely on
    The bed that you make
    That’s the one you gotta lie on
    When you point your finger ‘cos your plan fell through
    You got three more fingers pointing back at you

    I wanna live on solid rock
    I’m gonna live on solid rock
    I wanna give I don’t wanna be blocked
    I’m gonna live on solid rock I’m solid rock now
  • 11. Going Home (Theme From Local Hero – live)
    Instrumental