It is somewhat surprising to learn that Money for Nothing was Dire Straits’ only number one record, and it was huge in 1985. It enjoyed continual rotation on not just radio but also MTV, becoming one of their most played tracks of all time.
The album Brothers in Arms from which it came was recorded in Montserrat at Air Studios, a facility that enjoyed the very best and latest recording equipment available, including the a stunning Neve 8078 console and the very latest 24 track digital multi-track recorder from Sony.
Mark Knopfler used a very different guitar sound on Money For Nothing, we had gotten so used to hearing his beautiful clean Stratocaster tone on the first two Dire Straits records, that when Money For Nothing hit it was quite a shock. The tone of the guitar is very similar to that of Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, and that is not by accident, it was exactly what Knopfler was after.
EMT plate reverbs were among the many reverb units used on the recording, as well as two of the latest digital reverbs, the AMS RMX 16 and the Sony DRE-2000. Clarification on what was used where is hard to come by, but Money for Nothing is without a doubt one of those tracks that most definitely used liberal doses of reverb to great effect.