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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Toe tapper extraordinaire"
This album never fails to put a smile on your face and I defy anyone to keep their hands, feet or head still whilst listening.The tracks range from layed back melodies perfect for a sunday morning,to feel good toe tappers that force you to join in. Unmistakeable Knopfler complimented by the renouned guitar 'picker' Atkins. A 'Gem' in anyones "easy listening"...
Published on 23 Nov. 2000 by aubrey.s.w@btinternet.com

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well worth checking out
A jolly collaboration this, with MK evidently enjoying a chance to explore his Notting Hillbillies side. With the exception of the very last track written by MK, these are all covers of Don Gibson era type tunes and the whole set hangs together most satisfyingly. The recording's a peach too.
Published on 15 Nov. 2007 by Julian Stevens


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Toe tapper extraordinaire", 23 Nov. 2000
This album never fails to put a smile on your face and I defy anyone to keep their hands, feet or head still whilst listening.The tracks range from layed back melodies perfect for a sunday morning,to feel good toe tappers that force you to join in. Unmistakeable Knopfler complimented by the renouned guitar 'picker' Atkins. A 'Gem' in anyones "easy listening" collection. The fun had by both Knopfler and Atkins shines through in every track.Especially worth a listen is "There'll be some changes made" (The verbal and musical jousting heard between the two 'competitors' in this track forms a kind of subtle duelling banjos for gentlemen).Buy it! You wont be disappointed, Honest.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TWO GREAT GUITARISTS, 12 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Neck And Neck (Audio CD)
This recording is a great collaboration of two fantastic artists. Chet Atkins plays with so much confidence, a old hand that can really rock and roll. Knopfler on the other hand really seems like he is enjoying himself with some great solos and chord changes. The Dire straits front man really shows his skill in being able to play such varied music styles. My paricular favourites were "changes made" a funny, and light hearted banter between two rock and roll legends. The last track..next time I'm in town is what Knopfler played last track in his last series of concerts with his country band "The Notting hillbillies". Sadly Chet Atkins died last year, a great loss to the music world.Long may his spirit live on with his music.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two giants meet, 15 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Neck & Neck (Audio CD)
Suberb due play together in perfect harmony.You can touch the feel of Mark's music and deep voice easily, at the same time you can hear the marvellous guitar play of Chet Atkins who is known for the master of the "picking" technique.

I lived for many years addicted to that album that I could not sleep without having it running in my player.

You will never regret if you buy it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, mellow & fun, 29 Jun. 2004
By 
James Bury (Gloucestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Neck And Neck (Audio CD)
Great guitar playing, humour, & fun music. Fantastic CD to have in the car or to unwind to after a long day.
Not only is the music good foot-tappin' stuff, the quality of the recording is outstanding. This is pure, unadulterated, superb guitar playing by two of the best people in the business. A real pleasure to own.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Picken superlative picken, 26 Oct. 2004
This review is from: Neck And Neck (Audio CD)
Frankly, albeit owning "Screenplaying" and "Shangri-La" I have not been greatly enthused by Mark Knopfler - until this album ! Teamed with the great Chet Atkins, the competition brings an extra portion of vitality from Mr Knopfler. Then again, the same is also true on "The Notting Hillbillies" album. Perhaps Knopfler is at his best when challenged by other skilled artists - certainly there is not a track on this album I 'ever' skip !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brothers In Arms, 31 July 2013
By 
Hal Marshall "It wasn't me!" (Essex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Neck And Neck (Audio CD)
About once every three months or so, I will get it into my head that I am but a few lessons short of being a truly amazing guitar player. This is despite the fact that I only know two chords, and both of those sound as though somebody's doing something unspeakably nasty to a cat somewhere in my immediate vicinity. Nevertheless, about once every three months or so, I will convince myself that my destiny is to be the next Chet Atkins. I wouldn't fancy looking quite so much like George W. Bush as Chet seems to have done though, that's the only thing. Actually, now I think about it, that requirement alone is enough to put me off, never mind having to take guitar lessons practically round the clock for the next three hundred years. Chet was a guitar playing legend - it's as simple as that.

I found this CD at the end of rather a long trail of Chet Atkins' work and I was immediately intrigued as to how these two great fingerstyle guitarists were going to pull off an album such as this. The answer is that, for the most part, they manage to compliment each other's individual styles really rather well. There is something quite strained about it sometimes though, especially when compared with Me And Jerry / Me And Chet, which was the quite superb collaboration between Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed. In the case of 'Neck and Neck', it is almost as if Mark Knopfler is trying too hard to impress his co-star while, in the process, almost forgetting to really enjoy playing these tunes with him in the first place. It's endearing in one way but also quite frustrating - had this been a more relaxed affair, who knows how brilliant this could have been.

I have several favourite tracks here, depending on my mood. 'There'll Be Some Changes Made' would probably win the overall title though, as it is a really fun song with some fabulous banter between the two men. The whole premise of it is that Chet Atkins wants to be more of a rock and roll kind of a guy: in my opinion, it would have made a far better opening track to this CD than 'Poor Boy Blues', simply because it sets up the whole idea behind the thing so much better - two guitar giants, from different musical worlds, getting together to pool their resources and coming up with this. 'Poor Boy Blues' reminds me rather too much of 'Walk of Life', which is really rather distracting and which does seem to indicate right from the off that this is Mark Knopfler's gig, with the odd contribution from Chet Atkins. That isn't the case by any means, which is why I always make a point of listening to 'There'll Be Some Changes Made' first whenever this CD gets an airing.

Invariably I will then stop by 'Yakety Axe'. Chet Atkins completely owns this song which, just in case the name doesn't ring any bells, is basically the theme tune to 'The Benny Hill Show' only slowed down significantly and with a few words chucked in for good measure.

'Tears', despite its rather melancholy name, always make me imagine I'm lying on a tropical beach somewhere just watching the world go by. It comes hot on the heels of 'Yakety Axe', so if I have my wits about me I can first imagine myself being chased around the palm trees by the Hills Angels (at a rather slower speed than they may be used to but, after all, none of us is getting any younger) and then, having 'allowed' myself to be caught, I can see myself getting my breath back with one or two of them under those same palm trees. 'Tears' lasts for almost four minutes though, which is at least three minutes longer than I would under those sorts of circumstances. Actually, the harsh truth of that does bring a tear or two to my eyes so perhaps the name of it is well-chosen after all...?

'Tears' is a really beautiful instrumental although somebody's guitar seems rather squeaky to me - and I don't for a moment think it's Chet Atkins'. Still, even that can't detract too much from this incredibly relaxing tune. What DOES detract from it is 'Tahitian Skies', which follows it in the track listings and which sounds rather too much like 'Why Worry' for my liking.

That's the major problem with this work in my opinion: the fact that Chet Atkins can, by definition, turn his hand to anything and yet Mark Knopfler never seems to be very far away from 'Brothers In Arms'. I think I would have preferred more 'neutral' material, in order to allow both of these brilliant artists to show off both their individual skills and their ability to unite both of their playing styles under one spectacular umbrella.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great, undemanding little gem, 23 Dec. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Neck And Neck (Audio CD)
This is an album I've had in my collection a number of years and keep returning to it. It's a gentle, often humorous set of tracks (many being instrumentals) that doesn't tax the senses at all but brings a smile everytime I hear it. The warmth between the two and the talent they have shines through on most tracks. Whilst Chet Atkins didn't have the best singing voice in the world, particularly towards the end of his career, this adds to the appeal. A great one to own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TWO GREAT GUITARISTS, 12 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Neck And Neck (Audio CD)
This recording is a great collaboration of two fantastic artists. Chet Atkins plays with so much confidence, a old hand that can really rock and roll. Knopfler on the other hand really seems like he is enjoying himself with some great solos and chord changes. The Dire straits front man really shows his skill in being able to play such varied music styles. My paricular favourites were "changes made" a funny, and light hearted banter between two rock and roll legends. The last track..next time I'm in town is what Knopfler played last track in his last series of concerts with his country band "The Notting hillbillies". Sadly Chet Atkins died last year, a great loss to the music world.Long may his spirit live on with his music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well worth checking out, 15 Nov. 2007
By 
Julian Stevens (BRISTOL, UK United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Neck And Neck (Audio CD)
A jolly collaboration this, with MK evidently enjoying a chance to explore his Notting Hillbillies side. With the exception of the very last track written by MK, these are all covers of Don Gibson era type tunes and the whole set hangs together most satisfyingly. The recording's a peach too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ooh yeah, the boys can play, 22 July 2013
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Neck And Neck (Audio CD)
Just to add my voice to the chorus of praise here for this excellent album. Two real guitar virtuosi in Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler produce an immensely enjoyable disc, clearly relishing each other's company. It is country-tinged, full of fantastic guitar picking from both and manages to have real musical quality while being thoroughly good-natured.

If you like slightly country-flavoured music, fantastic guitar picking or just an enjoyable album of good songs performed by two real geniuses of the guitar, this is for you. Personally, I love it and, twenty years after its release, it still gives me huge pleasure, raises a smile and causes my toes to tap involuntarily. Very warmly recommended.
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