Dire Straits, Dire bloody Straits. If any record sums up what was wrong with the 80s then this one surely is a prime candidate. That said, it’s difficult to pinpoint what is so objectionable about it. The tune’s catch line, ‘Money for nothing and chicks for free’ is as good a place to start. Then there’s the Geordie old boys reunion, Mark Knopfler and Sting. Think about a pair of overblown pretentious pop tarts and these two must feature prominently. But they are pop / rock stars, so should the be anything else?
I think what really sticks in the craw is the song’s association with Live Aid – now this might be a personal association and a totally erroneous memory, but I’m sure that during the day this was on heavy rotation. It entered the charts on 6 July – a week ahead of Live Aid. But its ascent of the UK singles chart was not by any meteoric (and yes, I know that meteors fall) – 65-47-39-15-8 and eventually on 10 August, number 4. In a slightly Monty Python-esque scenario (think church bells) I didn’t buy it until 19 August. There was no choice, it was all over the radio – it had gotten into my core, so I bought it.