Song Stories

“Dirty Blvd. ”

Lou Reed | 1989

Lou Reed often drew inspiration from the streets of New York, but he seldom depicted the city's poverty as directly as he did on "Dirty Blvd.," representing the Big Apple through the eyes of a down-and-out character named Pedro. When it was issued as a single, the lyrics were toned down a bit, with the words "piss" and "suck" taken out. "I did the blipping," Reed told Rolling Stone. "I didn't want the promo people to feel defeated before they ever went in." Asked if the compromise bothered him, he replied, "It would bother me if the other version didn't exist."

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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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