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Song Stories

“Bright Lights Big City”

Jimmy Reed | 1961

Using the relaxed blues shuffle common to many of his recordings, Jimmy Reed's "Bright Lights Big City" good-naturedly laments how urban glitz has gone to his baby's head. This was one of five songs the Rolling Stones chose to record for a demo they recorded in March 1963 shortly before issuing their first single, although they did not include it on any of their official releases. Harmonizing with Reed is his wife Mary, whom he credited with having "started helpin' me write that thing, word for word."

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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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