352 Keep Your MTV, Thanks

I don’t really want my MTV anymore. I haven’t wanted my MTV for years. I often wonder why musicians even bother with videos anymore. I guess they do get a lot of views on YouTube and Vimeo, which leads me to think that MTV needs to just stop with the VMAs. Does anyone really give a shit what MTV thinks about the state of music videos today? I read recently that MTV is starting a “classics” channel specifically for music videos. Isn’t that what MTV2 was for? Hang it up, MTV. You are no longer relevant in the music world. In 1985, everyone wanted their MTV. Especially thanks to Dire Straits and “Money for Nothing” from the Brothers in Arms album.

The video for “Money for Nothing” stands out for me. It was one of the first to use computer animated human characters. Seems it was also the very first video aired on MTV Europe in 1987. I don’t think I ever realized that Sting sings the intro to the song along with some backing vocals and the “I want my MTV” chorus. Honestly, I had mostly forgotten this song. I mean, I know it when I hear it. It was the song in 1986 that couldn’t be avoided, but listening to it last week, made me cringe. I had to do some Googling to see if there was any controversy surrounding “Money for Nothing.” There was. If you don’t remember, well, here’s the unedited song. Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits lead singer and guitarist, says that the lyrics are sung from a characters POV and are not his, or the bands, thoughts. It’s a position he’s had to defend since its release. The band has performed the song, at times, using a slightly altered version of the lyrics. But they only replace one derogatory term with another derogatory term. Nice. I don’t remember any controversy surrounding the song in 1985, but I was 12 and not really paying that much attention. There were more important Duran Duran things going on in 1985.

Brothers in Arms did have other eight other songs on it. The only ones of note, in my mind, are “So Far Away” and “Walk of Life.” I don’t have much to say about the rest of the album. I would have been pissed had I bought it in 1985 as the first three songs are the only decent ones on the album and one of those uses homophobic language. It did win two Grammys and one Brit Award, which either shows that I have no tastes in music or the award choosers are questionable. Probably both.

Warner Bros., 1985

Warner Bros., 1985