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Song Stories

“Girlfriend”

Matthew Sweet | 1991

According to producer Fred Maher, the swelling, multi-channel guitar intro to "Girlfriend" was an accident. "[Robert] Quine was holding a note when the tape machine started, and then he did it again on the subsequent takes, not necessarily on the same note, and when we pushed the faders up on all three or four takes, everybody went, 'That's cool.'" On the track, Quine's squalling Strat mixes it up maniacally with Greg Leisz's lap steel, revealing the seeming love song's lascivious core. "The first time I heard Greg's lap steel on 'Girlfriend,' I thought it was the most colossal sound," Maher marveled.

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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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