Song Stories

“Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”

Crosby, Stills and Nash | 1969

Appropriately, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” was the first song that appeared on Crosby, Stills and Nash’s first album, and was also the first song they performed at Woodstock. While not their biggest hit – perhaps because of its length (7:24) – the suite is a showcase for the group’s signature strong point: harmonies. “The three-part vocal blend was f---ing fantastic,” says Graham Nash. The song itself was written by Stephen Stills, who plays most of the instruments on the recorded version, as a broken-hearted love ballad for his ex-girlfriend, folk singer Judy Collins. Stills stitched different lyrics from different notebooks together, hence the “suite.”

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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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