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Song Stories

“Unchained Melody”

The Righteous Brothers | 1965

Written by famed soundtrack composer Alex North (with Hy Zaret doing lyrics), this evergreen was originally the theme for the prison flick Unchained, but it has gone on to be recorded countless times in more than 100 languages. The Righteous Brothers were not the first to take it to Number One, yet their version, sung by Bobby Hatfield, charted twice, thanks to its appearance in a pivotal scene of the 1990 film Ghost. According to Hatfield, "It was kind of cool because Bill [Medley] was singing lead on all the songs then, so it was like, "Wow, who's that little s--t with the high voice?"

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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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