Video Killed The Radio Star: Dire Straits – Money For Nothing


Dire Straits were at their peak when I was a teenager but I have to admit their music always seemed a bit bland to me and was never that appealing (but on the other hand, at least they weren’t Level 42…).

However, the video for their song Money For Nothing was sensational in its day for its groundbreaking use of computer animation and so catching it playing on TV was always a treat, back in the days before the internet meant you could watch any music video any time you want.

It was directed by Steve Barron, who also made the brilliant video for a-ha’s Take On Me and the famous McEwans Lager Chinheads advert, before going on to direct movies such as Electric Dreams, the original big-screen Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Mike Bassett: England Manager.

The song comes from the 1985 album Brothers In Arms, which was the first million-selling CD album and the first CD to outsell its vinyl version. It was also the first video to be played on MTV UK (the first video to air on the US MTV was The Buggles’ Video Killed The Radio Star).

Here, then, is what state-of-the-art computer graphics looked like in 1985…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

And, just for fun, here is Money For Nothing/Beverly HillBillies*“Weird Al” Yankovic‘s spot-on parody of the song (for which Dire Straits’ singer and guitarist Mark Knopfler and keyboard player Guy Fletcher recorded new versions of their parts) from his movie UHF:

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