Song Stories

“Masters of War”

Bob Dylan | 1963

Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" seemed to open the floodgates for a host of rock acts over the years to pen their own anti-war songs (Creedence Clearwater's "Fortunate Son," Black Sabbath's "War Pigs," John Lennon/Yoko Ono's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," etc.). And in the book Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan, author Howard Sounes explains that the song "Was inspired by the Cold War arms buildup. Yet like many of Bob's best songs, 'Masters of War' transcended the time in which it was written." At the 1992 'Tribute to Dylan' concert at Madison Square Garden, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready performed a version of the tune.

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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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