On 16th September 2002, Mercury Records release a brand new single by one of the UK’s most successful singer songwriters of all time, Mark Knopfler.

The single, entitled ‘Why Aye Man’, is the first track to be released from Mark’s forthcoming third solo album, and follows the global success of his last studio album ‘Sailing To Philadelphia’, which was released in 2000 and has since sold over 3.5 million copies.

Why Aye Man’ was inspired by the original series of TV favourite ‘Auf Wiedersehen Pet’, and was picked up by the BBC as the theme tune for their second series, which aired on BBC1 in April of this year. Written with the political and social backdrop of the original series in mind, of British workers travelling abroad to get work during the ‘80s, the track proved so popular with the 8 – 10 million viewers who tuned in every week for the show, that it now sees a commercial release.

The single features the vocals of Mark’s friends, and stars of the TV series, Jimmy Nail and Tim Healy. It was recorded in Nashville in April, and was produced by Mark’s longtime cohort Chuck Ainlay, who has collaborated with Mark since Dire Straits’ ‘On Every Street’ in 1991.

Why Aye Man’ precedes the release of the album ‘The Ragpicker’s Dream’, which was recorded in Nashville, and is released on 30th September. The album was produced by Chuck Ainlay and Mark Knopfler.

The Ragpicker’s Dream’ will initially be released on limited edition as a double pack, featuring the studio album, plus a bonus CD of live recordings by Mark, including digitally enhanced video footage of Mark performing the single ‘Why Aye Man’ at his recent concert in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire on June 24th, audio of two additional live tracks from the same show, plus his performance of the tracks ‘Brothers In Arms’ and ‘Sailing To Philadelphia’ at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada, as part of his world tour in May 2001.

Mark recently performed four live dates, which included the concert in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. Two more dates at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, in aid of Save The Baby on 23rd July and Leuka 2000 on 25th July, plus an additional show at Beaulieu Palace House & Gardens, in aid of the Countryside Education Trust on 28th July completed the run. For the dates, Mark reformed various band members from Dire Straits and the Notting Hillbillies, for a greatest hits set, which was to prove a sell out for each night.

‘Why Aye Man’ is released on 16th September 2002.

‘The Ragpicker’s Dream’ is released on 30th September 2002.


Added: 02/09/11