Born in Glasgow, Scotland, David Knopfler grew up in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the North of England. By fourteen, David was performing his own songs in folk clubs and having learned guitar, piano and drums in his childhood, it's not surprising to find he's mastered many of the instruments he uses on his recordings.
David founded Dire Straits with his brother Mark, and appeared on Dire Straits' first two albums (1978's Dire Straits and 1979's Communiqué), touring the stadium circuit extensively. He recorded their third album, Making Movies, with the band before leaving to follow his own path of independent, singer-songwriter, and was left uncredited on the album. For more than two decades he's faithfully pursued his musical vision, writing and producing his own music on several critically acclaimed solo CDs.
After leaving Dire Straits, Knopfler released his first solo album in 1983, titled Release. Mark Knopfler and John Illsley both guested on the album. Harry Bogdanovs, a lifelong friend of Knopfler with whom he still tours, is credited with playing synthesizer. The album was supported by the single "Soul Kissing" on the ill-fated label Peach River Records. The single was a minor commercial success after Knopfler retrieved the rights from the bankrupt record label. His second album Behind The Lines, was released in 1985, and his third solo album, Cut The Wire, followed in 1986. In 1988, the U.S. label Cypress Records released his fourth album, Lips Against the Steel.
Knopfler also scored soundtracks for the films "Shergar" (1984) and "Laser Mission" (1990), as well as the German productions "Treffer" (1984),"Jakob hinter der blauen Tür" (1989) and "Der grosse Bellheim".
Knopfler’s 1991 album Lifelines, released by Phonogram, was recorded in Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios. The album was followed in 1993 by The Giver, released by MESA/Bluemoon in the U.S., and Ariola in Europe. Its sparse, acoustic arrangements received positive reviews, as did 1995's Small Mercies, which Knopfler co-produced with Harry Bogdanovs, featuring Chris White on saxophone. In 2001 Knopfler worked with Bogdanovs again to co-produce the album Wishbones, which has a guest appearance by Chris Rea.
Knopfler’s ninth solo album, Ship of Dreams, which also included Chris Rea, was released in 2004. In May 2005, he published a book of poetry titled "Blood Stones and Rhythmic Beasts", which was released by the UK's BlackWing books. The U.S./Canadian jazz label Justin Time Records released Ship of Dreams in October 2005 with an alternate rendition of "Tears Fall" featuring Megan Slankard (replacing Julia Neigel on the original European release). Knopfler's tenth solo album Songs for the Siren was released in 2006, and in March 2009 his collection Anthology: 1983-2008 was released.
David Knopfler has always made uncompromising life choices. His relaxed but disciplined approach to both work and life (showing no regard for hanging out, or to the platinum discs piled up in his cellar) is indicative of Knopfler's entire philosophy. He lives quietly in the English countryside, slowly notching up an impressive list of writing credits. A lifelong member of organisations like Greenpeace, Amnesty and Adopt a Minefield, David is more prone to sending a cheque than using charities to further his own publicity. His heroes are diverse but if pressed to name them, he'll usually offer Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell, Lowell George and Bob Dylan among others.
A new CD is planned for 2009 together with a tour.