Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*

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"Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*"
Single by "Weird Al" Yankovic
from the album UHF – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff
B-side "Generic Blues"
Released August 8, 1989
Format Cassette, 7", CD single
Recorded December 20, 1988[1]
Genre Comedy rock, hard rock
Length 3:10
Label Scotti Brothers
Writer(s) Mark Knopfler, Gordon Sumner, Paul Henning, Al Yankovic
Producer(s) Rick Derringer
"Weird Al" Yankovic singles chronology
"UHF"
(1989)
"Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*"
(1989)
"Isle Thing"
(1989)
UHF - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff track listing
  1. "Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*"
  2. "Gandhi II"
  3. "Attack of the Radioactive Hamsters from a Planet near Mars"
  4. "Isle Thing"
  5. "The Hot Rocks Polka"
  6. "UHF"
  7. "Let Me Be Your Hog"
  8. "She Drives Like Crazy"
  9. "Generic Blues"
  10. "Spatula City"
  11. "Fun Zone"
  12. "Spam"
  13. "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota"

"Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*" is a song by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It is a parody/cover of "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits and The Beverly Hillbillies theme song. The music video, which appeared as part of Yankovic's film UHF, is also a parody of the video for "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits. The song features Dire Straits members Mark Knopfler on guitar and Guy Fletcher on synthesizer. On the DVD commentaries, Al notes that that was Knopfler's one condition for allowing the parody. Jim West, Yankovic's own guitarist, had then practiced the song for weeks, and, as a result of that and of Knopfler having played it for a couple of years and being much more relaxed with it, West's version sounded more like the original version.

The song is listed in the end credits of UHF as "'Money for Nothing'/'Beverly Hillbillies' Parody" and credits "Mark Knopfler and Sting" (writers of the original "Money for Nothing") and Paul Henning (writer of "The Ballad of Jed Clampett") as the writers.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*" – 3:10
  2. "Generic Blues" – 4:35

Title negotiation[edit]

Originally the title of the song was going to be simply "Beverly Hillbillies"; however, the title of the song was changed to "Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*" (with an asterisk), and it is legally copyrighted and registered as such. Yankovic commented on the legal complications with the titling of the song in the DVD audio commentary for the film UHF, explaining: "We had to name that song 'Money for Nothing "slash" Beverly Hillbillies "asterisk"' because the lawyers told us that had to be the name. Those wacky lawyers! Whatcha gonna do?"[2] Yankovic also gave the following comment on his official website in regards to the title: "That incredibly stupid name is what the lawyers insisted that the parody be listed as. I'm not sure why, and I've obviously never been very happy about it."[3] Yankovic later stated he would rather have wanted the title to be either 'Money for Nothing for the Beverly Hillbillies' or 'Beverly Hillbillies for Nothing'.

Music video[edit]

The music video for the "Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*" was done in the same style as the original. However, several concepts were parodied.

  • In the opening of the original video, a skinny, computer-generated man (who "lip syncs" Sting's vocals) is watching television. In the parody, this character is modeled after Yankovic's character in UHF.
  • The live action scenes are similar to the original, including partially rotoscoped-animation in bright neon colors, light emitting from the lead singer's head, and the "invisible man" playing the guitar.
  • In the original, a portly blue-collar worker is shown "lip syncing" to Knopfler's vocals. In the parody, this character is modeled on the Jed Clampett character from Beverly Hillbillies.
  • A short live-action clip displays the song as "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" by George Newman (Yankovic's character in UHF).
  • David Silverman, later of Simpsons fame, designed the characters seen in the animated music video.
  • In the original videos, the guitars simply have neon-styled effects added to them. In the parody, one of the guitars is made to twist as if it was solely neon lights.
  • The original video features frequent camera cuts centered at Mark Knopfler in the final verse. This sequence is parodied in Yankovic's video during the first verse with him noticing the camera is cutting around him, constantly losing track of it before finally grabbing it and holding it in place himself.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Recording Dates
  2. ^ Al Yankovic "UHF" DVD Audio Commentary (0:35:15)
  3. ^ "Ask Al" Q&As for October 1998