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Song Stories

“Wish You Were Here”

Pink Floyd | 1975

The tragic downfall of Syd Barrett following the former Pink Floyd guitarist's descent into drug-induced madness haunts the band’s 1975 album Wish You Were Here. Written by Roger Waters and David Gilmour, the title track is an ode to their fallen comrade. Eerily, Barrett showed up out of the blue at Abbey Road Studios during the recording of this song in such rough shape that no one recognized him at first. “He stood up and said, ‘Right, when do I put my guitar on?’” keyboardist Rick Wright told Rolling Stone. “And we said, ‘Sorry, Syd, the guitar’s all done.’”

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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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