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Song Stories

“Human Nature”

Michael Jackson | 1982

The track listing of Michael Jackson's mega-classic album Thriller was going to include a song called "Carousel" instead of "Human Nature" until divine intervention occurred. Quincy Jones received a demo from Toto band member Steve Porcaro, and after not being impressed with the first two songs, the legendary producer found the “flavor” he was seeking. “All of a sudden, at the end there was all of this silence. ‘Why ? Why?’ That was all, just a dummy lyric … I said, ‘What the hell is that?’ That’s what took 'Carousel' out.” Jones contacted lyricist John Bettis to complete "Human Nature," which would become the fifth Top 10 hit single pulled from Thriller.

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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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