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Song Stories

“Tonight's the Night”

The Shirelles | 1960

The lead cut and title track from this girl group's debut album, "Tonight's the Night" was written by 19-year-old bandmember Shirley Owens, who sings lead, and producer Luther Dixon. The band from Passaic, New Jersey met in high school, first calling themselves the Pequellos. The song's frank thoughts about sexual and emotional surrender was racy for the time, but that didn't stop the Chiffons from cutting a similar version immediately after the original came out. "We were the first female group to write some of our own material," band member Beverly Lee recalls. "We did have some say-so in our writing."

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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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