A Shot at Glory (Soundtrack)  by Mark Knopfler



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A Shot at Glory (Soundtrack)  by Mark Knopfler

"He Shoots, He Scores"
Review by Steve Townsley


A Shot at Glory (Soundtrack)  by Mark Knopfler

A Shot at Glory

A Shot at Glory (Soundtrack)  by Mark Knopfler

Category  |   Score

Originality 6
Music Selection 7
Composition 7
CD Length 7
Track Order 7
Performance 7
Final Score 7/10



Mark Knopfler
Mark Knopfler


Quick Quotes




All songs written by Mark Knopfler,
Except track 11 written by Francis McPeake
All songs produced by Mark Knopfler & Guy Fletcher
Performed by: Guy Fletcher - Keyboards; Billy Jackson - Harp, Bodhran & Whistle,
Iain Lowthian – Piano Accordian; Steve Sidwell – Flugelhorn; Danny Cummings – Percussion; Iain MacInnes – Bagpipes; Chris White – Tenor & Soprano Saxaphone; Catriona Macdonald – Fiddle.
Released by Warner Records - April 30, 2002

Perhaps more famous in popular circles as the lead guitarist for pop-band Dire Straits (“Money For Nothing”, “Brothers in Arms”), Mark Knopfler has, from time to time, dabbled in the realm of film scores with moderate success. Most notable, and most successful as a film, The Princess Bride (1987) was a charming, romantic score with a light Renaissance feel. “A Shot At Glory” adopts a Celtic flavor, which, is at times fairly predictable, and yet lovely for those who have a fond ear for such passages.

Knopfler’s score does not stay in the Rob Roy/Braveheart vein of traditional Celtic sound, however, and often picks up a very contemporary beat—an edgy, modern rock feel with guitar and percussion—while maintaining the fiddles and pipes of Irish music, perhaps more recently heard in the music of musicians like Ashley MacIssac, or Ronan Hardiman’s music for the “Lord of the Dance” show.

The instrumental passages are, of course, what truly shine on this album. The opening theme, “Sons of Scotland” --virtually, a lyricless version of the Irish song “Your Own Ones”—is a rather pleasant pastoral passage. The passage is reiterated in track nine as an even-slower version of the opening tune. The tempo is picked up in track 2, “Hard Cases”, which opens very comfortably with a plaintive bagpipe, but soon accelerates into a bluesy guitar riff, somewhat similar, stylistically, to Trevor Rabin’s “blue-collar” guitar passages from Armageddon. Track 5, “The New Laird” opens as one of the moodier passages of the score, though halfway into the track increases tempo once again. Towards the ending of the album, track 10, “It’s Over” is a very mournful descent led by guitar, which gently segues into folk pipes before a guitar plucks out the “Sons of Scotland” theme to close off the track.

The question that most score-fans will undoubtedly ponder is whether the addition of songs on a mostly score the album ultimately compliment or hinder the purchase of the album on the whole. Knopfler’s inclusion of a few songs (in which he provides the vocals) are not entirely unwelcome, and he is certainly an experienced and capable performer. An immediate detraction is that the vocals are scattered within the instrumental tracks, breaking up a pleasing string of non-vocal passages. “He’s The Man” (Track 3) maintains the contemporary sophistication introduced in the second track, and “All That I Have in the World” has a steady-tempoed and melancholy air, like an Irish drinking song. Track 6, however, is a jazzy, lounge number, and is perhaps, the most out-of-place within the whole of the CD. It is relatively short, but best to skip this one for a more mood-consistent listen.

Overall, for those who are looking for something resembling a developing theme, or if you have merely tired of the repetitiveness of fiddle-and-pipe jigs and reels in previous efforts (such as The Devil’s Own) then perhaps your attentions are better served elsewhere. The beauty of the music is the lure of the Irish sound that will suddenly shift from the deepest of emotion-wallowing depths to a spirit-lifting reel. The CD is, again, a very pleasing investment for those who are fond of that Irish flavor in music, and a decent display of Mark Knopfler’s ability as a composer.


Track Listing and Ratings


Title Time


1 Sons of Scotland 2:19  ****
2 AHard Cases 3:28  ****
3 He’s The Man* 4:41  **
4 Training 3:26  *****
5 The New Laird 2:22  *****
6 Say Too Much* 2:40  *
7 Four in a Row 4:42  *****
8 All that I Have in the World* 3:21  **
9 Sons of Scotland
(Quiet Theme)
3:03  *****
10 It's Over 4:41  *****
11 Wild Mountain Thyme 3:37  ****
* - tracks with lyrics

A Shot at Glory (Soundtrack)  by Mark Knopfler

*The Experience-O-Meter displays the track to track listening experience of this soundtrack based on the 5-Star rating given to each track.  It provides a visual depiction of the ebbs and flows of the CD's presentation of the soundtrack.


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