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Song Stories

“Everyday People”

Sly and the Family Stone | 1968

"Everyday People" managed to trailblaze in two different ways -- it was one of the first pop hits to deal with the subject of racial harmony, and it utilized Larry Graham's "slap" technique on the bass guitar, which would soon be copied by countless other bassists. Graham once said about his pulsating style, "I'd never done that before … that's where the freedom of creativity came in for the band, that we'd be allowed to do that." In 1978, the song's line "Different strokes for different folks" would be borrowed for the title of the hit television show Diff'rent Strokes.

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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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