In the Studio: Robin Thicke "Brings Back the Seventies" on Third Disc

August 18, 2008 8:39 AM ET

Recorded in Los Angeles, and featuring horn players from Michael Jackson's Off the Wall, Robin Thicke's third CD maintains the retro pop-soul feel of his 2007 breakthrough, The Evolution of Robin Thicke. "It brings back the Seventies — loud horns, loud strings, loud drums," says Thicke. The other main influence? Barack Obama. "He's the inspiration for what I'm feeling," says Thicke. The funked-out first single, "Magic," is full of Obama-worthy optimism, and "Dreamworld" addresses the racism Thicke has seen while traveling with his wife, who is black. "That song is a direct response to walking in Mississippi and being looked at sideways," he says.

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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