Dire Straits – Money for Nothing

Brothers in Arms
Year :
Tom Petty / Dave Matthews Band / The Police

There is a lot that could be said about this song and even about Dire Straits. The following is an assortment of things I will not be talking about:

  • Mark Knopfler being amongst the most overlooked guitar players of all time, a fact that perhaps only Douglas Adams truly appreciated.
  • Sting’s singing during the intro to this song.
  • The comically bad video for this song.
  • The controversy/criticism this song has received for some of it’s lyrics, which has more to do with people not understanding context than any actual problem with the specific words in this song.

I could be convinced to have a discussion on these topics, and if you were to buy me a drink or two, I would probably oblige to such a request. Here is where the problem arises: when I hear this song, I think about being four years old, and when you are four years old, you don’t think about any of these kinds of things. You think in terms of awesome.

My dad is not someone I would call an audiophile. He’s not obsessed with sound equipment or playing albums as loud as possible. From what I’ve seen over my life, the majority of his active music listening happens in the car. This isn’t a criticism, as I imagine that’s true for most people. I bring it up only to highlight his excitement when he brought home the first CD stereo system we had in our house. I was too young to remember any specific details about it except that it played compact discs, the speakers were the heaviest things imaginable at the time, and it was loudest thing I had ever heard.

Nothing made better use of that volume than the introduction to this song. Maybe it’s the way the song itself uses volume more than anything else to build up the tension. Maybe it’s the way the drums seem to come in from outer space. Maybe it’s the synth line that works it’s way to eardrum shredding heights. Maybe it’s the way a four-year old just knows when something kicks ass, even if he gets in trouble for saying as such. My dad would put this song on, turn it up as loud as he could take (which always seemed a little louder than my mom could take), and by the time the main hook comes in, I was running around the house like a man(child) possessed.

There are few songs that are as enjoyable on a primal level as this song is. Crank it up until you can feel the vibrations in your bones, you can thank me later.

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Matthew Belair (@14Belair42) grew up on the classic rock of his parents and the 90s alt-rock of his older sister before discovering other genres to love, all of which are cool, hip, and in no way embarrassing to admit publicly.

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