Money For Nothing
Dire Straits
Dire Straits 1985 Money For Nothing 45

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Money for nothin' and your chicks for free

1985
1
Year
Peak Chart Position
  • No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1985 for three weeks
  • No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart in 1985
  • peaked at No. 4 on the UK Singles chart in 1985
  • on September 21, 1985, "Money for Nothing" moved John Parr's "St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)" off the top of the Hot 100, which had held the position for two weeks
  • from Dire Straits' fifth studio album, Brothers in Arms (1985)
  • the second of three Top-10 singles Dire Straits charted on the Hot 100 as well as the group's biggest hit
  • 1985 Grammy Award for Rock Performance By A Group With Vocal
  • Sting happened to be on vacation in Montserrat when Dire Straits was recording Brothers In Arms - he was invited to the studio and contributed to the mix with the "I Want My MTV" lyric
  • the biggest hit on the Hot 100 for Dire Straits
  • Mark Knopfler played a Gibson Les Paul guitar on the record instead of his usual Fender Stratocaster and was trying to model the guitar sound after ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons' trademark guitar tone
  • on the record:
         Mark Knopfler - guitars, lead vocals
         John Illsley - bass, backing vocals
         Alan Clark - keyboards
         Guy Fletcher - synthesizers, backing vocals
         Terry Williams -  drums
         Omar Hakim - drums
         Sting - backing vocals
  • written by Mark Knopfler, Sting
  • Knopfler wrote the basis of the lyrics for "Money For Nothing" in an appliance store on the Upper East Side of New York City - at the back of the store, they had a wall of TVs which were all tuned to MTV - there was a man working there dressed in a baseball cap, work boots, and a checkered shirt delivering boxes who was standing next to him watching - as they were standing there watching MTV, Knopfler remembers the man coming up with lines such as "what are those, Hawaiian noises?...that ain't workin'," etc. Knopfler asked for a pen to write some of these lines down and then eventually put those words to music
  • Sting has stated that he didn't deserve a co-writing credit since his only compositional contribution was the "I Want My MTV" line, which was sung to the identical melody of the verse of his own song "Don't Stand So Close to Me", originally recorded by The Police
  • length: 4:38 (single edit), 8:25 (album version)
  • produced by Mark Knopfler, Neil Dorfsman
  • engineered by Neil Dorfsman
  • recorded at Montserrat AIR Studios, London

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