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Song Stories

“Just Out of Reach”

Solomon Burke | 1961

Although Solomon Burke is regarded as a soul legend, his early-1960s hit "Just Out of Reach" was a plaintive country lament, his frustrated longing heightened by melodramatic female backup singers and a brief spoken section. The song came to the attention of Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler through Billboard magazine editor Paul Ackerman, who'd also recommended Atlantic sign Burke. "I gave [Burke] that song, 'Just Out of Reach,' at the first session," said Wexler. "So Paul Ackerman was responsible for our getting both Solomon Burke and the song that made him."

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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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