This song was banned at one point from receiving airplay on Canadian radio stations, due to its homophobic language.
However, the song was written based on comments that Mark Knopfler overheard from delivery men who were complaining that rock stars had it too easy and it was just “money for nothing”. So the song reflects the less than enlightened attitude that was prevalent at that time.
At the same time, the protagonist of the song claims: “that’s the way to do it”, admitting that its a good lifestyle.
The song itself is incredibly groovy, with a killer guitar riff. The way the riff is used to kick the song off is one of those matchless musical moments which is instantly recognisable.
The bassline is simple, but adds a lot to the song through its driving force.
“Money For Nothing” features Sting, right at the start, who says “I want my MTV”. Sting’s record label naturally made sure that he was included as a songwriter for the track, even if he didn’t want that himself!
The song was released in 1985, a single from Brothers In Arms, and became the band’s most famous song, staying at number one in the U.S. for 3 weeks.