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Song Stories

“Don't Get Me Wrong”

The Pretenders | 1986

A lively, throbbing, insistent beat paced Chrissie Hynde's declaration of the thrilling sensations she felt when in someone's proximity, glowing interwoven guitar and keyboard riffs mirroring her mood. While it seemed on the surface to be a love song, if a somewhat indirect one, Hynde said that she had tennis star John McEnroe in mind when she wrote it. "He was always getting in trouble in those days, but was such a nice guy when you got to know him," she reflected. "I imagined him singing it."

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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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