One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded: “Industrial Disease” by Dire Straits!!!

For as long as I’ve been on the radio, and definitely for as long as I’ve been writing a blog, I will occasionally make a reference to a song being “One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded!” (GSER)

I would usually follow that by saying that I would eventually start a category for it, but then never get around to it.

Well, now I’m getting around to it!

It will pretty much follow the pattern of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.

I’ll select a song to celebrate and then give my thoughts about it. Nothing really brand new here that hasn’t been done before. But since I have a website, I can collect them and lay out what my own greatest songs are.

My radio show, “Prime Time Theme Attic,”  is on Monday nights 8PM-10PM ET but is on hiatus because of the pandemic.

Here’s the link for when the show returns: )

Even though I always emphasize new music and artists, it’s always fun to take a short drive through the legendary artists, since they influenced those other artists!

But a song doesn’t have to be old or done by a legendary Theme Attic Hall of Fame member to be thus honored.

I can think of several songs that are only a few years old or less that I could identify as One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded.

On days that I spotlight a greatest song, it will take the place of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.

This will be fun, and hopefully you will join me on my journey…at least sometimes!


Here’s a song that I try to play on every Labor Day Show.

It’s one of my personal favorites that I’m really attached to!

When Dire Straits [Hall of Fame] released their “Love Over Gold” album in 1982 (Only five (5?!) songs!), the band had experienced some major successes, but hadn’t really developed that mass following that they would encounter when they released their next mega smash album, “Brothers in Arms!”

“Love Over Gold” was released when most of the First World Industrial countries were experiencing recessions. There was a lot of speculation that the best days were starting to show up in the rear view mirror for those countries.

Mark Knopfler, lead guitarist of Dire Straits, wrote some of his best lyrics for “Industrial Disease!”

The song doesn’t have a chorus except for the words “Industrial Disease,” a la “Paperback Writer” by The Beatles, but uses an amazingly catchy keyboard riff from Alan Clarke on organ and piano. Knopfler supplies some strategic noodling, accented by machine type sound effects!

“Industrial Disease” narrates a decaying factory world where both workers and machines are falling apart.

The workers suffer from several maladies that include “brewer’s droop” from drinking beer, to “Bette Davis knees!” (Music tidbit: Brewer’s Droop was the name of a band that Knopfler played in prior to Dire Straits!)

The listener gets pulled through economic discussions, media, and politics! There’s a protest singer that sounds a lot like Bob Dylan, and worker sabotage with a “spanner.” (A wrench)

Apparently, there’s also two doomsday religious preachers arguing with each other that includes some of my favorite lines in music:

“Two men say they’re Jesus/
One of them must be wrong!”

As the song reaches the end we find out that

 “Meanwhile, the first Jesus says ‘I’d cure it soon/
Abolish Monday mornings and Friday afternoons.’
The other one’s on a hunger strike he’s dying by degrees/
How come Jesus gets Industrial Disease?”

Amen to that!

I’ve chosen the lyric video because I find the vocal difficult to follow some times.

The lyrics are mostly correct.

I salute all laborers and the insanity of having to spend a life working in the system!

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded: “Industrial Disease” by Dire Straits!!!


If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

#IndustrialDisease #DireStraits #LoveOverGold #MarkKnopfler  #LaborDayMusic #PhilMaq #OneoftheGreatestSongsEverRecorded #GSER

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