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Money For Nothing by Dire Straits

Album: Brothers In ArmsReleased: 1985Charted:
1
4
  • This song is about rock star excess and the easy life it brings compared with real work. Mark Knopfler wrote it after overhearing delivery men in a New York department store complain about their jobs while watching MTV. He wrote the song in the store sitting at a kitchen display they had set up. Many of the lyrics were things they actually said.
  • Sting sings on this and helped write it (he and Knopfler are the credited writers). That's him at the beginning singing "I want my MTV." Sting did not want a songwriting credit, but his record company did because they would have earned royalties from it. They claimed it sounded very similar to a song Sting wrote for The Police: "Don't Stand So Close To Me."
  • Dire Straits recorded this in Montserrat. Sting was on vacation there and came by to help out.
  • The innovative video was one of the first to feature computer generated animation, which was done using an early program called Paintbox. The characters were supposed to have more detail, like buttons on their shirts, but they used up the budget and had to leave it as is. It won Best Video at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards.

    The video was directed by Steve Barron, who also directed the famous a-ha video for "Take On Me" and Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science."
  • In the book I Want My MTV, various people who worked at the network explain that Dire Straits' manager asked the network what they could do to get on the network and break through in America. Their answer was: write a hit song and let one of the top directors make a video. Mark Knopfler took the directive to write an "MTVable song" quite literally, using the network's tagline in the lyrics. The song ended up sounding like an indictment of MTV, but Les Garland, who ran the network, made it clear that they loved the song and were flattered by it - hearing "I Want My MTV" on the radio was fantastic publicity even if there were some unfavorable implications in the lyrics.

    Steve Baron was dispatched to do the video, and charged with the task of convincing Mark Knopfler, who hated videos, to do one that was groundbreaking. Baron says that Knopfler wasn't into the idea, but his girlfriend - an American - was at the pitch and loved the idea. Knopfler agreed (in part because he didn't have to appear in it), and Baron hired a UK production company called Rushes to work on it. Said Baron: "The song is damning to MTV in a way. That was an ironic video. The characters we created were made of televisions, and they were slagging off television. Videos were getting a bit boring, they needed some waking up. And MTV went nuts for it. It was like a big advertisement for them."
  • The line "I want my MTV" was the basis of the cable network's promotional campaign. They played clips of musicians saying, and often times, screaming the line between videos.
  • This was the first video played on MTV Europe. The network went on the air August 1, 1987, six years after MTV in the US.
  • In the US, this stayed at #1 for three weeks. It also won a Grammy in 1986 for best Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
  • Mark Knopfler played a Les Paul Junior plugged into a Laney amp on this track. Producer Neil Dorfsman recalled in Sound On Sound magazine May 2006: "We were going for a ZZ Top sound, but what we ended up getting was kind of an accident."
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic parodied this for his movie UHF. The parody is called "Beverly Hillbillies (Money For Nothing)." Strait's frontman, Mark Knopfler, OK'd the parody under one condition: Knopfler would play guitar on the song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mark - Hudson, MA
  • In 2005, the duo Deep Dish sampled this on their song "Flashing For Money," which was based on their song "Flashdance" (not the Irene Cara song). It was the first time Dire Straits allowed one of their songs to be sampled. "Flashing For Money" was released on the B-side of Deep Dish's single "Say Hello."
  • Twenty-five years after the song's release it was banned from public broadcast in Canada after one person complained about it being homophobic. The original version included a description of a singer as "that little faggot with the earring and the make-up" plus two other uses of the word "faggot," although a cleaned-up edition was made available, Oz-FM in Newfoundland played the first edition in February 2010 at 9:15 at night. The result was a single complaint and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled that the unedited version of the song was unacceptable for air play on Canadian radio stations because it "refers to sexual orientation in a derogatory way."

    Knopfler has pointed out the song was written from the viewpoint of a stupid character who thinks musicians make their "money for nothing" and his stupidity is what leads him to make ignorant statements. Speaking in late 1985 to Rolling Stone the Dire Straits songwriter expressed his feelings about people who react angrily to the song. He said: "Apart from the fact that there are stupid gay people as well as stupid other people, it suggests that maybe you have to be direct. I'm in two minds as to whether it's a good idea to take on characters and write songs that aren't in the first person."

    Common sense finally prevailed on August 31, 2011 when the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council put an end to the ban and allowed individual radio stations to once again decide for themselves whether to play the classic rock tune.
  • Reel Big Fish released an album in 2007 called Monkeys For Nothin' And The Chimps For Free. The title is a takeoff on this song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
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Comments: 81

Here is what I want to know:
How is it possible that the guys that Mark Knopfler heard yapping about in that appliance store in New York never heard their own convo coming back as the lyrics of THE NUMBER 1 SONG on the charts?
I woulda lawyered up so fast it would make your head spin.
(Fun Fact: NYC has both more lawyers, absolute number, and more lawyers per capita than any other city in the world, including DC, San Francisco, Boston, the Hague, London, &c.)
Then again, these are people who move microwave ovens for a living, so presumably not the quickest rats in the maze...
Smartalek - Boston
Per: http://www.oldiesmusic.com/news.htm {10-05-2017}
The latest nominees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced Thursday (October 5th, 2017)...
First time nominees are: the Moody Blues, Dire Straits, Eurythmics, Judas Priest, Kate Bush, Nina Simone, Radiohead, Rage Against Machine and Sister Rosetta Tharpe...
Nominated for a second or more time are the Zombies, Rufus (Chaka Khan), Link Wray, the J. Geils Band, the Meters, the Cars, Bon Jovi, Depeche Mode, LL Cool J, and MC5...

Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" peaked at #1* {for 3 weeks} on Billboard's Top 100 chart on September 15th, 1985...
* The three weeks it spent at #1, the record at #2 for those three weeks was "Cherish" by Kool & the Gang, and that would be it's peak position on the chart.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
Ok here's the scoop........I met Paul Stanley when I was 14.......Martha started training me for vocals.......and I started writing songs when I was 14. What happened in the 80's is that I started working at Sears in Houston, Texas. The term Super model came about, and many beginning models started their so called career modeling for Sears. Also, the popular models such as Farah Faucet, Christie Brinkley and Cheryl Tiegs did modeling for Sears. They just happened to visit the Sears store at Memorial City a few times. Young models also flocked into the store along with the rock musicians. It was complete chaos, and I was writing many songs. Sears set up a lounge in the early 80's mostly at first to accommodate the models. A TV was set up in the small lounge which we had on MTV at times, but we were mostly watching sports. Package pick-up was adjacent to the lounge, so we also took merchandise out the door to people's cars. Mark Knopfler actually purchased a rowing machine (exercise equipment) at the store where I pitched the song. Actually I sung the song acapella. Mark was from Warner Bros., and a lady named Mary from Polygram along with workers and patrons were at the store when I sung the song acapella. Mary stole my rough copy of the song from me off the counter. MTV was just invented as a means of selling songs, so most people thought this was a shady way of selling music back in those days, but many people also liked the videos. It was kind of raucous how rock stars divorced and left girlfriends for the models. There were so many other events at the store, and events outside of the store that inspired writing the song. This song was not about one particular person or group of people, but about the social climate that was happening at the time, and where it all might be leading.Gino - Houston
I wrote the song, and I had already co-written songs before Mark Knopfler visited the store. By law I should have received credit for the song. The first song I co-wrote was Sole Survivor with Asia, so I was already nearing rock stardom. I am a rock star as far as writing songs and composing music. Put it this way, Max Martin sometimes resides in the house behind me along with other music industry personnel, and they still do not give me credit for songs. I finally joined BMI as a songwriter, and now will join as a music publisher, and I finally also was able to talk to a lawyer after 30 years. About the song - ???????!!!!!!!!. Does that help any?Gino - Houston
Jul 2014,

I too don't like the word (anymore, hey I've matured) but in the context of the song it's appropriate.

It's from the aspect of a dude working (or at) at an appliance store that's JEALOUS of the Rock Stars on (M)TV and he's using that word to attempt to belittle the famous person he's jealous of on TV.

Not to mention, at the time the usage wasn't as controversial as it was the fact they used the word period in a song; the way I remember it.
Markantney - Biloxi, Ms
I don't like that word but I am also against censorship.Benton Fraser - Toronto, On
Every time I’ve heard this song on the radio for the past 20 years, the 'faggot' verse is missing completely, which wrecks the whole structure of the song. Doesn’t take a genius to know that the MTV viewer is speaking of Boy George.

Dire Straits performed this song for the Prince’s Trust 10th Anniversary Birthday Party concert in 1987 (still available on CD) and included the verse, substituting the word 'queenie.'
Esskayess - Dallas, Tx
In January 2011 a government bureaucrat in Canada banned the playing of this song on the radio because of a single complaint from an upset citizen. Hello, George Orwell, where ever you are.Roman - Barrie, On
Ha, I always thought it was "his earring and his mink coat" :o) Same effect I guess. I just read that Canada has banned the album version with faggot in the lyrics from being played on the radio. Yay political correctness *rolling eyes* Still a great, timeless song.Josh - Champaign, Il
If you want to real facts, you are asking all the wrong people, as far as "money for nothing" The song was written in Cleveland Ohio in a little greasy spoon right off the freeway called Marys Diner. The person who takes credit for writing this song as well as a couple hundred other people in Cleveland Ohio know the truth about who REALLY wrote this song and vision for it. Do the right thing, you'll be a better person. Sincerely, BoneheadBonehead - Clintwood, Va
hello
here is the way I remember it.
one morning in Signal Hill CA my roomate Armond Beausoliel Jr. asked me to smoke some hash and go to the stereo store in Ceritos Mall, Cerritos CA.
I had 2500 dollars and wanted to buy an Atari 1200 XL but my roomate was set on adding to his sound system a 50 inch projection TV. Having gotten stoned to the bone I was standing in front of the TVs lined up along the back wall of the store watching a rock video catching patterns (traces) of all the Tvs moving in synch. Bo man saw me spacing out and we started a conversation that went like this... hey Bo we should get a bunch of tvs and hook em up...hey boy how about one BIG tv...look at those guys... look at them girls...yeah beatin on the drums like some chimpanzees... I should have learned to play the guitar...I should have learned to play the drums...look at those faggots... those faggots are millionares...yeah I should have stayed with the guitar...maybe get a blister, on your finger..(Bo raises his pinky)what are they playing? (audio was off), Hawiaan noises..(in reference to my girfriends recent trip to Hawaii), look at those guys... Money for nothing...and the chicks are free..just think of it on a Big TV screen...No, I'm gettin' the computer...I WANT MY MTV!!! A salesman walked up and asked us what we were talking about as Mark Knopfler had asked the clerk at the register for a pen and paper (pencil furnished) and frantically scribbled our conversation and walked out. Bo ran out after him when I turned around and saw several people staring at me and I freaked (paranoya set in) I quickly walked out the store to see Bo screeming at a black limo driving away saying Mark! Mark! I said, who was that? He said Mark Knopfler. Isn't that your buddy from high school? That was Mark Knopfler don't you know who Mark Knopfler is? How rude, your buddy didn't even stop. We went home. I can tell you exactly who, when where and how in more detail. When they released the first digitally mastered CD, Bo played it for me and waited for my reaction. WHo is this? I like thier song Sultans of Swing. MTV sounds familiar. Is your buddy in this band? And if anyone tels you different even MK its because he probably is afraid of royalties. Mark if you read this I'm not about any money or rights. A back stage pass would be fine for one concert. It was your work, interpretation, score, song. 10 years later I told my sister and a few people heard you and Eric Clapton were coming from Alpine Valley concert (WI) to Biddy Mulligans at Loyola in Chicago where I moved back home. You guys wouldn't get out of the limo becasue of security and left. I never told anyone but my sister, Bill Colton, and the gang in New Orleans years later. My sister just saw this post and it has forced me to come clean. I know no one will ever believe it. I don;t care becasue Bo and I are the ones who realy know except maybe the salesman at the Store that sold everything. You got your refrigerators, microwave ovens...I was imitating a carny becasue Bo was trying to sell me on the TV. And Bo if your out there drop me a line. Its been 25 years. We had some good times.
J - Chicago, Il
Wonderful guitar sound.Gus - Fort Smith, Ar
Knopfler laughs toward the end of the song and never gets out the word "chimpanzee." Instead he sing talks "chim-panz" and laughs. No idea why and no idea why they use that take as the final version.David - Youngstown, Oh
Don't know where you guys are getting off on this being the first CD. That distinction belongs to Abba's final album, "The Visitors", recorded and mixed digitally in 1981 and the first album to ever be released on CD format, in 1982.Berenlazarus - Oxford, United Kingdom
I read an interview with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, he said Mark Knopfler personally inquired how ZZ got their trademark gutsy distorted guitar sounds, as he was preparing to record Money For Nothing and he wanted the absolute maximum-impact distortion possible; Knopfler paid homage to ZZ Top, saying they had the best recorded distortion tones of anyone. Mr. Gibbons politely declined to divulge any "trademark secrets", Mark came away empty-handed, and Dire Straits was forced to take a blind stab at re-creating ZZ Top/creating their own heavy sound. When asked how they did in comparison to ZZ Top's raunch, Rev. Gibbons said something like, he got pretty close.Markshark - Denver, Co
I love the way Knopfler makes things sound almost ad-libbed sometimes: "He's up there - what's that? Hawaiian noises?" True genius, and one of the funniest lines in pop music.Dougee - San Bernardino, Ca
According to Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, as outlined in his journal compilation The Heroin Diaries, "Money for Nothing" was written with Motley as its primary influence.James - Sydney, Australia
This was NOT the first CD release album. The 1986 Brothers In Arms world tour was sponsored by the creators of the CD, Phillips. In turn the publicity made this album the first huge CD seller world wide.Rob - Melbourne, Australia
Also, it's said that this was one of the very first videos on MTV. Not true, since MTV aired in 1981. I believe it was David Bowie or some person. (I can't remember the song off the top of my head right now) But I know that by 1985, MTV was extremely popular and this video, which was very progressive for its time, was in heavy rotation!Maki - Moses Lake, Wa
I have extremely fond memories of my dad getting this on casette probably a few years after it'd actually come out, thinking he was one of the first of his friends to hear of it. He wasn't of course lol but hey. He used to BLAST the stereo RIGHT when the guitar started after Sting sings in the beginning. My mom to this dad HATES this song because he played it so much!

I actually heard this was based on a conversation Mark heard in an appliance store about the new rock stars and how they get their "money" for nothing and their "chicks for free". Which may also explain all the appliance references too. I always thought it was a commentary on how comercialized everyone had become by the 80s, with all their new gadgets. As for the "little faggot..." line, I actually never thought of it being about someone specific! I just thought he was making fun of all those Metal bands at the time with their makeup (some wore it), gaudy clothes, and big hair! I found out only a few years ago that was in Sting in the song and I think that's awesome!! Not mention, this song is great and really gets ya pumped up.
Maki - Moses Lake, Wa
Also in the Puddle of Mudd Song "Famouse" makes refrence to the song with the line "the money is for nothing and the chicks are for free."Austin - Smallsville,new England, --
The song was featured in the Simpson's episode "Ice Cream of Margie (With the Light Blue Hair)". It plays as homer is driving his ice cream truck.Austin - Smallsville,new England, --
This CD got my attention back in '85 and I got curious about what else Dire Straits had done. I now own everything they ever did. Anyone else have the "Twisting By The Pool EP?" I actually have that on vinyl, as well as CD. I love this band and Mark's incredible style, ability and artistry. My favorite Dire Straits CD, however, is "Making Movies." That entire CD is pure genius, and "Brothers In Arms" runs a VERY close 2nd. By the way, the CD format was originally conceived as an "audiophile" format, so the first releases were classical music CDs. This one was no where near the first, but it did have better sound quality than any CD that preceded it.Mike - Syracuse, Ny
This was not the first CD. It was, however, one of the first to be recorded completely digitally. Up until this came out, all CDs were identified with "AAD" in reference to the mode of recording. This CD was identified as "DDD". Back then, the sound was amazing compared to analog CDs.Randy - Redding, Ca
How do I put this gently,BEST SONG EVER BY BEST BAND EVER!!!!!!!!Dane - Quinlan, Tx
don't listen to the hammerChad - Los Angeles, Ca
It is a great song and Mark Knopfler is great.Thehammer - Silver Spring, Md
in the book "Dire times" Mark Knophler was qouted as saying that this book was a critique of chicken farming and how in some parts of Tonga, stars that had been on MTV were getting there chicks for free when most of the townsfolk where getting them for about $3.50 or tree fitty. "those guys are dumb" is just that.. why pay $3.50 when you can get your chicks for free.. most MTV stars of the day had a diet high in poultryFunlop - London, United Kingdom
I've got the unsensored version,Epic riffRed - Awesometown, --
According to a line in the book "The Heroin Diaries" Dire Straits wrote this song about Motley Crue.Kerry - Jasonville, In
This song was the most obvious sign that Dire Straits has sold out, they advertised MTV in this song, and in return MTV made the song famousRusty - Hampton, Va
Though known most perhaps for its memorable, animated music video, this tune offers several elements that were a relative scarcity during much of the '80s: attitude, humor and self-deprecation. And combined with Mark Knopfler's already well-established guitar heroics (his guitar riff in this song remains one of rock's most unforgettable) and a once-in-a-lifetime melodic hook in the bridge ("We've got to install microwave ovens... Custom kitchen deliveries"), the song's positive attributes accumulate to form a searing, singular '80s moment.Bertrand - Paris, France
Mark was one of numerous super stars at a 'Pay-per-view' concert at Royal Albert Hall. It was to benefit the victims of the volcano on Montserrat (1997). Hosted by George Martin and featured Carl Perkins, Jimmy Buffett, Phil Collins, Sting, Mark, Arrow, Eric Clapton, Elton John and Sir Paul.
MAY BE ONE OF THE BEST MUSIC VIDEOS OF ALL TIME.
Mark recounted the day Sting was invited to perform on MFN, on the Island. While they all did the obligatory 'Hey Jude', the encore was a pretty amazing version of Kansas City. AWESOME!
MOJO
William - San Diego, Ca
In regard to who the "faggot" in the song is: I see the remarks suggesting it was Boy George, or Prince, but I've got a video of the song, captured from "VH1 Classics" and when that refrain is sung, it shows a clip from "Baby, Baby" by First Floor. I'd never heard of or seen this group, but I always figured the "faggot" was the guy shown in the clip, who I presume is the lead singer for First Floor. (Note: Wikipedia entry for Money For Nothing says First Floor was an 80's Hungarian rock band).Randy - Rio De Janeiro
The "Brothers In Arms" album can't be the first album to be released on CD. It came out in 1985. I remember the album rock station in my home town playing CD tracks on the air in 1983. Among the CD albums they were playing tracks from during that year were Bryan Adams "Cuts Like A Knife", Michael Jackson "Thriller" and Duran Duran "Rio". In fact, the very first CD track I ever heard played on radio was "Hungry Like The Wolf". I heard it on my way to school one morning in the spring of my sophomore year, which was 1983. This radio station HAD to be using the CD albums because this was way before any CD music services existed and way before record companies ever thought about issuing promotional singles on CDs. All of these albums were released two years ahead of "Brothers In Arms"Darren - Hickory, Nc
"Brothers In Arms" (1985) can't be the first album released in CD format. I remember hearing radio stations in my home town playing tracks from CDs in 1982, long before there were any CD music services. Among the CD albums these stations were playing tracks from that year were Bryan Adams "Cuts Like A Knife", Michael Jackson "Thriller" and Duran Duran "Rio". In fact, the first song I ever heard a radio station play from CD was "Hungry Like The Wolf". All of these CD albums preceeded "Brothers In Arms" by at least 3 years.Darren - Hickory, Nc
here iare the lyrics mofified for the OCTA bus strike affecting the entire county of Orange, ca.

Lyrics for: Striking For Nothing

Now look at them strikers - that's not the way you do it
You can?t ride the bus to get around town
That ain't workin' that's not the way you do it
Money for nothin' and checks for free
Now that ain't workin' that's not the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain't dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb

We gotta get these darn buses runnin?
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these bus riders
We gotta move these colour TVs

We gotta get these darn buses runnin?
Custom kitchens deliveries
We gotta move these bus riders
We gotta move these colour TVs

I shoulda learned to drive a small car
I shoulda learned to play them drums
Man we could have some fun
And he's up there, what's that? Hawaiian noises?
Bangin' on the bongos like a chimpanzee
That ain't workin' that's not the way you do it
Get your money for nothin' get your checks for free

We gotta get these buses runnin?
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these bus riders
We gotta move these colour TVs, Lord

Now that ain't workin' that's not the way you do it
You can?t ride the bus to get around town
That ain't workin' that's not the way you do it
Money for nothin' and your checks for free
Money for nothin' and checks for free


if you like these changed lyrics, e-mail me at tompsheridant1@aol.com, and tomsheridan@netscape.com.
Tom Sheridan - Anaheimp, Ca, Ca
Ive always thought this was the loudest song in history.Mike - Hueytown , Al
Toyota adapted this song as a jingle for a 2006 U.S. TV commercial, changing the refrain to "I want my MPG."Joshua - Twin Cities, Mn
To come back to the "Flashing For Money"-song: There are two versions: One, wich is just a mash of both songs (5.32) and another one wich doesn't sound like the first one at all. It's very dance with some guitarsolos inbetween, and you only hear the line: 'That ain't working, that's the way you do it, money for nothing and the chicks for free' repeated seven times. It's a very instrumental version. At the end of that version there's an awesome guitar solo. My speakers always go op to the full volume when those five seconds of the 7 minutes sound. :p
But, both remixes are credited as a 'Sultan Club Mix'. :)
T. Michels - Venlo, Netherlands
I always thought the lines about the "faggot with the earrings and the makeup. Yeah buddy, that's his own hair," was about Boy George.

That was fascinating about Sting. He wasn't given a songwriting credit on the original album-- but he was credited on a subsequent compilation album. I had assumed it was Mark Knopler being generous.
Paul - Marysville, Wa
The version of Brothers In Arms that I have is the LP and is uncensored.Hayden - Pleasanton, Ca
Knopfler has alot of solo work that nobody has ever heard of.. Does anybody remember "The Notting Hillbillies" Nottingham England?

How about "Commerado" From STP or, "The Long Highway" a sad and particularly moving song about the end of life. Dig deep and you will find more and more wonderful music from Knopfler.
Vincent - Newington, Ct
Not only is "Brothers In Arms" the first ever CD album to sell more than a million copies, it is the first ever CD album!Damian - Melbourne, Australia
Dire Straits' "Brothers in Arms" CD was the first CD to have more than one million copies sold. It was also IMO their best ever album. "Money For Nothing" is one of my signature songs, and is my all-time favorite Dire Straits song.Jimoh - The Bronx Ny, Ny
I read an interview with Mark Knopfler, and he said he was in a New York City (possibly Times Square) electronics & appliance store with his wife and there was a wall of tvs with MTV playing music videos (something they wouldn't dare to do today!) The workmen were sitting there watching and complaining, coming up with all these "classic lines." Mark went to the sales desk and asked for pen and paper so he could jot down the workmen's comments. This is how MONEY FOR NOTHING was born!Barry - New York, Ny
liked the guitar in the begining but i dont really get why they said i want my mtv for. that kinda confuzed me. and why is he talking about microwaves and color tvs for. overall the song is goodCollin - Hope, In
I do believe the fellow with the makeup and earring who is referred to in this song is none other than Boy GeorgeRayna - Pembroke Pines, Fl
I think I heard the version that contains the "Faggot" part.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Richard from England, while we're on the subject of anagrams, did you know that "Bond says, 'Why chat time?'" is an anagram for "Bite my ass why dontcha?"Aaron - Amelia, Ne
Brothers in Arms, of course the album "money for nothing" was featured, was the most heavily produced album Dire Straits ever made. Knopfler was so fussy over every decision. "So Far Away" was re-written about 5 times. "Walk of Life" was originally going to be a "b-side" song, or not on the album at all.Damian - Melbourne, Australia
lyrics are very interestingJohnny - Los Angeles, Ca
the "faggot" mentioned in this song is not Elton John. it is in reference to Boy George as he was the frontman of Culture Club at the time and was also near the height of its popularity.Matt - Danville, Va
My dad loves this song.Nick - Fonda, Ny
I really love this song!DIRE STRAITS ROCKS!!!Nick - Fonda, Ny
there's some confusion - This was the first ever ALL DIGITAL recording (i.e. first to use digital mediums in the studio instead of analog tape for everything...tracking, processiong, mixing, mastering) - NOT the first to be manufactured on CDSpencer - Vancouver, Canada
I think its cencored because it says "fag--t" in it talking about the star on mtv.Steve - Raynham, Ma
I have Dire Straits' Money for Nothing CD (which I think was released in 1988 as a "best of Dire Straits" kinda thing) and the lyric booklet contains the words to the original version, but the CD has the censored version. Can anyone explain this? And why is it that Dire Straits' best of album contains the censored version?Cameron - Cairns, Australia
Not only do two of the censored songs being discussed here have "money" it the title, but three of these songs, "Money for Nothing", "Money", and "Jet Airliner", make reference to jet airplanes in the lyrics. (Gilmour sings "I think I'm gonna buy me a Lear Jet" in "Money"). Now where's the relevence in that? Even weirder, Carly Simon's "You're so vain" also mentions a Lear Jet, and "Carly Simon you're so vain" is an anagram of "air money air soy lov sunc". So f***ing there.Richard - Newport, Isle Of Wight, England
The local classic rock station that I listen to plays the uncensored versions of this song, as well as Money by Pink Floyd (two songs that have been discussed with regard to censorship here and they both have the word "Money" in the title, how 'bout that), but strangely enough, they play the censored version of Jet Airliner ("funky kicks goin' down in the city").Aaron - Amelia, Ne
when mark knopfler sung this live (may 05), he replaced the word 'faggot' with 'cowboy'.C - No., England
Wasn't born in the usa the first cd?Everett - Providence, Ri
Fantastic song, censored or not. Knopfler was a genius. The Steve Miller song no one knows the title of is 'Jet Airliner'.Jordan - Ontario, Canada
paul, no offense, but you read way too into this song. my father was the man in the appliance store that mark knopfler took the lyrics from. they were talking and mark wrote down what my father was saying. he was only talking about. Surely any form of literature, including music, can be interpreted on many levels and it could be seen in a metaphorical sense, but the intention was just getting the work done by quitting time.Susan - Baldwin, Ny
Mark Knopfler played an acoustic/folk version of this song before an inmense drumsolo which lead into the song Money For Nothing on the Sailing To Philadelphia, it really sounds cool on his National Steel Guitar (the silver guitar). The song is availiable on some bootlegs as well as on mp3.Martijn - Arnhem, Netherlands
Oops, brain cramp. The Steve Miller censored version is, "funky kicks," not, "funky stuff."Nickc - Ft. Wayne, In
Steve, regarding the cencorship... There is, indeed, a radio friendly version of the Steve Miller song, containing the horrible lyric, "funky stuff going down in the city."

As for "Money," I'm not about its release, but there's a version currently in airplay on classic rock stations who are concerned about it, that uses another cash register sound effect to bleep out the offending language in, "that do-goody-good bull ****"

Now, the song I've never heard censored is, "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam. Also, "Gimme no Crack," by Shinehead. Both songs contain an aggressive use of the F bomb but said so unintelligibly that the censors never picked up on it.
Nickc - Ft. Wayne, In
I find it interesting that my local radio station in Melbourne plays the full, uncensored version of this song (with the "faggot" references included), but my live bootleg of this recorded at Wembley in the late 80's does not have them.Wilfred - Melbourne, Australia
I read somewhere that the "little faggot" was Prince, which would makes more sense with the line "yeah buddy that's his own hair" since Elton John is bald.R - Seattle, Wa
[[Which leads me to another thought. It's funny how times have changed, and Money for Nothing is a reflection of days gone by. I refer to the line...we've got to move these COLOR TV's. This was a day when we were collectively moving from a black and white optional society.]]

Yeah, color TVs were really an innovation in 1987! Ooh! Whoa! The future is upon us!
Ted - Los Angeles, Ny
I love this song... there should be a more modern equivalent; unfortunately to carry over the theme properly, the modern equivalent would need to be sung by someone like Britney Spears...Helen - York, England
brothers in arms IS the first album released on CD format and remains one of the best selling CDs of all time in the UK and USJulia - London, England
roddy, i think the first album ever released on CD was by billy joel...maybe it was the first released in england

however, i know it hold some "first ever on cd" distinction...so my fellow pennsylvanian, adam, is probably correct...although some tried to convince me that it was actually Born In The USA, released the previous year...i think it is Bothers In Arms, though
Marvin - East Brady, Pa
"There were two versions of this song. The original version contains the verse starting: "check out the little faggot with the earrings and the make-up..." The other version just them playing the tune during that part, but no lyrics. That's the version most radio stations will play."

I had this song on MP3 for a long time, and just heard it on the radio for the first time I think afterwards. They indeed played an edited version, but I swear I heard the original version on the radio as well. Probably worried about the damn censors even though I doubt they edit Pink Floyd's "Money" or Steve Miller's "funky s--- going down in the city" (can't remember the song name. Maybe they're just being nice or something. But I love that verse; it fits in so nicely with the rest of the song.
Steve - Sterling Heights, Mi
"the little faggot" with the earring, makeup and his own jet airplane is referring to Elton John...Roman Moore, DenverRoman - Denver, Co
Which leads me to another thought. It's funny how times have changed, and Money for Nothing is a reflection of days gone by. I refer to the line...we've got to move these COLOR TV's. This was a day when we were collectively moving from a black and white optional society. The younger generation just can't appreciate what it use to be like. In my house, there was a black and white TV with two two controls for changing channels. The UHF was on one, and the VHF on the other. The picture on one you would have to tune in with the outer knob just to be able to watch it. There was no remote! I had a little foot stool to sit on while changing my 6 or 7 channels that came in clear. Of course, there was also horizontal and vertical hold issues that today's youth would have no idea about. We've come along way...and that's the baseline of this song. It is a picture of capitalism and American life and the changing of the guard known as my TV set. That's what Mark Knopfler was writing of and I salute him!Paul - Greenwood, Sc
$1,000,000 if you can name me another song with a more melodic line about microwave ovens!Paul - Greenwood, Sc
When Sting sings his line, "I want my MTV" - it is not only a nod to the MTV slogan, but the melody of that particular line comes from the song by the Police (of which Sting was the lead singer) "Don't Stand So Close To Me".Tim - Hendersonville, Tn
There were two versions of this song. The original version contains the verse starting: "check out the little faggot with the earrings and the make-up..." The other version just them playing the tune during that part, but no lyrics. That's the version most radio stations will play.Patrick - Conyers, Ga
It was also the first album released in CD format to sell over 1 million copiesAdam - Beaver Falls, Pa
The album it was on, brothers in arms, was the first album to be released in CD format.Roddy - Southampton, England
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