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Song Stories

“Race With the Devil”

Gene Vincent | 1956

With sung-mumbled lyrics about a drag race with Satan alongside lightning rockabilly guitar licks and bent notes from Cliff Gallup, Gene Vincent's "Race with the Devil" was chosen as the follow-up single to his smash "Be-Bop-A-Lula," but it barely charted. Producer Ken Nelson arranged to have Nashville session musicians on hand if Vincent's band couldn't play well. But as Vincent's manager Sheriff Davis (credited with Gene as co-writer of the song) remembered, "When they heard Cliff go off on all those runs, they turned to each other and went, 'Whaaat! Whaaat!'"

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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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