Lea Thompson's Top Ten '80s Songs

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8. “Money For Nothing,” Dire Straits

Thompson: And such funny songs. Like, what was it? “Money For Nothing”?

Paste: Oh yeah, the Dire Straits song.
Thompson: Yeah, Dire Straits. That was so funny! I loved that song. I loved the video. You know, it’s funny … I was watching The Midnight Special, which was a show that came on late at night in the ’70s, and it had these big singers on it, and I had never seen them. I knew the songs, but I had no idea what the band looked like. We were just watching them in the makeup trailer. This was a really interesting era, because you got to see the image they were trying to portray because of MTV, you know? You got to see what they looked like and what they wanted to look like, the brand they wanted to put forward in terms of the MTV videos that they were making. And so, it became even more powerful. It’s like what we were talking about before with movies and images.

Before, in the ’60s and ’70s, the visual image that you got was the album cover, and that kinda informed you about the visual feeling of the songs. It was an interesting era for that. The videos are still pretty strong in your mind … the ones you saw at least. But yeah, The Midnight Special was great. I hardly ever stayed up until midnight, but I had no idea those bands looked the way they looked. Some of ’em I thought were girls were guys! And vice versa!

Paste: Yeah, the first time I heard “Holding Back the Years” I just assumed that was a woman. Do you remember the one I’m talking about?
Thompson: Yeah. It was that red-headed dude.

Paste: Yep.

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