Sting, CGI, And MTV Played A Role In Giving Us This Iconic Video
In 1985, Dire Straits gave us the album Brothers In Arms, with the track "Money For Nothing." It would become one of the most iconic songs and videos of an era.
MTV was still relatively young, and had become a kind of "make or break" mechanism for artists, especially those hoping to make it big in the US. Dire Straits' manager asked the network how they could get on the air, and was told to make an "MTVable" song. Knopfler took the words to heart, using the network's catch phrase in the lyrics.
They worked with one of the top video directors of the day. Using the program Paintbox, they made an innovative video using CGI. Fun fact, the characters were supposed to be more detailed, with things like buttons on their shirts. Unfortunately the video was over budget, so no buttons.
Knopfler wrote this with a little help from Sting. In fact, that's Sting saying the iconic line, "I want my MTV." He got a songwriting credit on the song.
Congrats to Dire Straits for being inducted into the Rock Hall this year, and for having one of the most iconic videos in rock n' roll history.