Mark Knopfler on collaborating with Sting on 'Money for Nothing'

News 01/07/2019

Recalling the moment he realised he wanted Sting to appear on Dire Straits' classic song 'Money for Nothing', Mark Knopfler said he had no regreats over having to share writing credits with the Police frontman.

Appearing on Dire Straits' 1985 album 'Brothers in Arms', which remains one of the bestselling LPs in history. As Knopfler worked on the No.1 hit single, his thoughts turned to the famous "I Want My MTV" promotional campaign run by the network he said in an interview.

"I’d seen the Police doing an MTV advert, saying 'I want my MTV', just saying it all together; and I thought, 'If I set that to the notes of 'Don’t Stand So Close to Me' it'll work'. I remember saying to the guys, 'I’d really like to get Sting to do this'. We knew them anyway because we’d done a lot of gigs together in Germany. One of them said, 'That’s fine, because he’s here on holiday,'" said Knopfler.

He recalled feeling that the idea was 'perfect' for Sting's voice: "And because I’d used the five notes from 'Don’t Stand So Close to Me', that's how the co-writing thing happened. Which is fine; it’s absolutely fine with me and it worked out well. I remember quite clearly Sting coming into the studio and saying, 'What’s wrong?' I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'Nobody’s fighting!'"

Knopfler was glad he didn't get his way in one aspect of the release though - the award-winning music video, which was one of the first to be created on a computer.

"To me it was almost like a dream sequence," he said talking of his own idea for the video, "I’d visualized a kid in his bedroom with that ‘I want my MTV’ thing happening and the camera rushing over the landscape – as I’ve said before, it’s a good thing I never had anything to do with the video!"