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Sailing to Philadelphia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sailing to Philadelphia
MK Sailing to Philadelphia.jpg
Studio album by
Released26 September 2000 (2000-09-26)
RecordedOcean Way Studios,
Tracking Room Studios,
Nashville, 1998–2000
GenreRoots rock, folk rock, blues
Length60:11 (International)
60:25 (USA)
Warner Bros. (USA)
ProducerMark Knopfler, Chuck Ainlay
Mark Knopfler chronology
Sailing to Philadelphia
A Shot at Glory

Sailing to Philadelphia is the second solo studio album by British singer-songwriter and guitarist Mark Knopfler, released on 26 September 2000 by Vertigo Records internationally, and by Warner Bros. Records in the United States.[1] The album contains featured vocal performances by James Taylor, Van Morrison, and Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze (band).

The title track is drawn from Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon, a novel about Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon,[2] the two English surveyors who established the border separating Pennsylvania and Delaware from Maryland and Virginia in the 1760s. This border later became known as the Mason–Dixon line and has been used since the 1820s to denote the border between the Southern United States and the Northern United States.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[3]

In his review for AllMusic, William Ruhlmann gave the album three out of five stars, writing that "in one song after another on this album, you get the feeling that he started out playing some familiar song in a specific genre and eventually extrapolated upon it enough to call it an original."[1] In his review for Rolling Stone magazine, David Wild gave the album three and a half out of five stars, writing that the album is "a welcome flashback" to Knopfler's earlier work with Dire Straits.[3] Wild continued:

Knopfler duets with James Taylor on the title track, which deftly explores the relationship between Mason and Dixon; Van Morrison trades lines on the soulful "The Last Laugh." With Sailing to Philadelphia, Knopfler has taken a break from the rootsy side projects and soundtrack work that have occupied him for the last seventeen years, and has evoked some of the grandeur of prime Dire Straits.[3]

By 2002, the album had sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide.[4][5] In some territories—Western Europe for example—the album was released as an HDCD and a 5.1 Surround Sound DVD-A.


In 2001, Knopfler supported the release of the album with his Sailing to Philadelphia Tour, which started on 27 March 2001 in Mexico City, Mexico, included 80 concerts in 68 cities, and ended on 31 July 2001 in Moscow, Russia. The tour consisted of three legs: Mexico and South America, North America, and Europe and Russia. The tour lineup included Mark Knopfler (guitar, vocals), Guy Fletcher (keyboards), Richard Bennett (guitar), Glenn Worf (bass), Chad Cromwell (drums), Geraint Watkins (piano, accordion), and Mike Henderson (guitar, mandolin, violin, harmonica).[6]

The Madrid concert on 2 July 2001 was filmed but never released. The Toronto concert at Massey Hall on 3 May 2001 was also recorded, but only four tracks were officially released: "Speedway At Nazareth" (the B-side of "Why Aye Man"), "Who's Your Baby Now" (the B-side of "Boom, Like That"), "Sailing to Philadelphia" and "Brothers in Arms" (both available on a limited edition version of the album The Ragpicker's Dream).[6]

Track listing

All songs were written by Mark Knopfler.

International version[Note 1]
1."What It Is"4:57
2."Sailing to Philadelphia" (featuring James Taylor)5:29
3."Who's Your Baby Now"3:05
4."Baloney Again"5:09
5."The Last Laugh" (featuring Van Morrison)3:22
6."Silvertown Blues"5:32
7."El Macho"5:29
8."Prairie Wedding"4:26
10."Speedway at Nazareth"6:23
11."Junkie Doll"4:34
12."Sands of Nevada"3:56
13."One More Matinee"3:57
Total length:60:11
United States version
1."What It Is"4:57
2."Sailing to Philadelphia" (featuring James Taylor)5:29
3."Who's Your Baby Now"3:05
4."Baloney Again"5:09
5."The Last Laugh" (featuring Van Morrison)3:22
6."Do America"4:11
7."El Macho"5:29
8."Prairie Wedding"4:26
10."Speedway at Nazareth"6:23
11."Junkie Doll"4:34
12."Silvertown Blues"5:32
13."Sands of Nevada"3:56
Total length:60:25


  • Mark Knopfler – producer
  • Chuck Ainlay – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Chubba Petocz – engineer
  • Jon Bailey – assistant engineer
  • Graham Lewis – assistant
  • Mark Ralston – assistant
  • Aaron Swihart – assistant
  • Denny Purcell – mastering
  • Jonathan Russell – mastering assistant
  • Andrew Williams – portrait photography
  • Eric Conn – editing
  • Sandy Choron – art direction
  • Harry Choron – design
  • Jose Molina – photography (front cover)
  • James Gritz – photography (back cover)
  • Andrew Williams – photography (portrait)
  • Ben Mikaelsen – photography (additional)[7]


Chart (2000) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[8] 16
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[9] 2
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[10] 4
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[11] 10
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[12] 3
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[13] 2
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[14] 3
French Albums (SNEP)[15] 7
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[16] 1
Irish Albums (IRMA)[17] 19
Italian Albums (FIMI)[18] 1
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[19] 11
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[20] 1
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[21] 9
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[22] 2
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[23] 1
UK Albums (OCC)[24] 4
US Billboard 200[25] 60

Year-end charts

Chart (2000) Position
German Albums Chart[26] 26


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[27] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[28] Gold 25,000*
Belgium (BEA)[29] Platinum 50,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[30] Gold 50,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[31] 2× Platinum 100,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[32] Gold 33,786[32]
Germany (BVMI)[33] Platinum 300,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[34] 5× Platinum 400,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[35] Gold 7,500^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[36] 3× Platinum 150,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[37] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[38] Platinum 80,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[39] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[40] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[41] Gold 500,000^
Europe (IFPI)[42] 2× Platinum 2,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


What It Is

"What It Is" was the first single from the album. An extended version of the song released in Mexico contains an additional verse:

And the highwayman stands blowing on his fingers by the green
I've walked inside his shoes before so I always buy his magazine
He's with a local mystery with blood stains on her hands
I like the way she winks at me but I leave her with the highwayman

The instrumental portion of the song serves as the theme music for the CBC Radio One radio show, Dispatches.

Track listing

All songs were written by Mark Knopfler.

1."What It Is" (Radio edit)3:33
2."The Long Highway"3:46
3."Let's See You"4:21
Total length:14:38

Sailing to Philadelphia

"Sailing to Philadelphia" was the second single from the album. The song is a duet between Knopfler and American singer-songwriter James Taylor. The song is written in an autobiographical style, and is the story of Jeremiah Dixon and Charlie Mason, a "Geordie boy" and an astronomer, respectively, who sailed to America from the United Kingdom. Dixon (Mark Knopfler) predicted that there was a "land of opportunity" to the west, which Mason (James Taylor), the "stargazer" does not believe. Towards the end of the song, the lyrics suggest that Dixon was correct.

Track listing

All songs were written by Mark Knopfler.

1."Sailing to Philadelphia" (Radio edit)3:59
2."Going Home" (live)3:46
3."Baloney Again" (live, Maxi CD single only) 
4."El Macho" (live, Maxi CD single only) 
Total length:7:45

Silvertown Blues

"Silvertown Blues" was the third and final single from the album. It was released as a commercial single in the Netherlands and Belgium only, but it received radio airplay in several European countries, notably in France. The song was not performed live during the Sailing to Philadelphia Tour.

Silvertown is an industrial district on the north bank of the River Thames in London, and the song partially deals with the construction of the financially unsuccessful Millennium Dome. It was constructed on a site contaminated by toxic sludge from East Greenwich Gas Works that operated from 1889 to 1985.

From the poisonous drains a vision appears
New circle of cranes, a new reason to be here
A big silver dome rising up into the dawn
Above the church and the homes where all the silver is gone
Track listing

All songs were written by Mark Knopfler.

1."Silvertown Blues" (Radio edit)3:39
2."Do America"4:11
Total length:7:50


  1. ^ The standard Mercury international release has thirteen tracks as shown. The Mercury/Universal Distribution release has fourteen tracks and includes the bonus song "Do America" as track 6.[1]
  1. ^ a b c d Ruhlmann, William. "Sailing to Philadelphia". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  2. ^ "Off the Straits and narrow". The Independent. 22 September 2000. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Wild, David (3 October 2000). "Mark Knopfler: Sailing To Philadelphia". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 7, 2007. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Sacred Steel". CD Shakedown. 16 May 2003. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Delafont, Mk bio". Delafont. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Sailing To Philadelphia tour 2001". Mark Knopfler Info. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Album Notes". Sailing to Philadelphia (CD insert). Mark Knopfler. Warner Bros. Records. 2000. pp. 13–14.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ " – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  9. ^ " – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  10. ^ " – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  11. ^ " – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Top 40 Albums - 1 / 2001". Tracklisten. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  13. ^ " – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  14. ^ "Mark Knopfler: Sailing to Philadelphia" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  15. ^ " – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  16. ^ " – Top 100 Longplay". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  17. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 39, 2000". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  18. ^ " – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  19. ^ " – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  20. ^ " – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  21. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  22. ^ " – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  23. ^ " – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  24. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  25. ^ "Mark Knopfler Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  26. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  27. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2000 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  28. ^ "Austrian album  certifications – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  29. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 2000". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  30. ^ "Canadian album  certifications – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia". Music Canada. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  31. ^ "Danish album  certifications – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia". IFPI Denmark. Scroll through the page-list below to obtain certification.
  32. ^ a b "Mark Knopfler" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  33. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Mark Knopfler; 'Sailing to Philadelphia')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  34. ^ "Dutch album  certifications – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 13 July 2019. Enter Sailing to Philadelphia in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  35. ^ "New Zealand album  certifications – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  36. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  37. ^ Salaverrie, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (PDF) (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. p. 956. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  38. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2000" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  39. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Mark Knopfler; 'Sailing to Philadelphia')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  40. ^ "British album  certifications – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 December 2013. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Sailing to Philadelphia in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  41. ^ "American album  certifications – Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 4 December 2013. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  42. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2002". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
This page was last edited on 23 September 2019, at 19:53
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