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Watch Jack Johnson Rock Three Stripped-Down Tunes

Singer-songwriter tackles acoustic versions of 'To the Sea' track "From the Clouds" and more

June 9, 2010 6:37 PM ET

This week Jack Johnson scored his third consecutive Number One album with To the Sea, an "existential chill-out record that feels substantial, at times even edgy, without feeling forced," as Will Hermes writes in his RS review of the disc. As Johnson told Rolling Stone , picking up an electric guitar wasn't too much of a stretch: "In high school, I played in a band that covered Minor Threat, the Descendents, a little bit of Bad Religion." The new LP also features Mellotrons, crickets and a gecko, who makes a cameo on "Anything But the Truth."

The 35-year-old surfer and songwriter recently returned to his beloved acoustic guitar to lay down a few tracks at New York's Sirius XM studios. Click above to watch his performance of To the Sea's "From the Clouds," and check out two older tunes — In Between Dreams' "Banana Pancakes," and Animal Liberation Orchestra's "Girl, I Wanna Lay You Down" from Fly Between Falls here:

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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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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