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Song Stories

“Free Radicals”

The Flaming Lips | 2006

With lines including "You’re not so radical/In fact, you’re fanatical," this track from At War With the Mystics was rumored to be directed at the band’s unhappy tour with Beck, though frontman Wayne Coyne struck that one down. "No! I’d tell you if it was. But he’s not fanatical in any way," he said. "He’s not awake enough. I would love it if he was a freak." Instead, the hard-riffing track offers a freakout of its own amid the album’s blissed-out psych-pop, nodding back at the Oklahoma City band’s noisy early years.

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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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