Pink Floyd – Money—- Songs That Reference Money 1973

WordPress decided not to place this in the reader…so I’ll try reposting it. Sorry if you have already seen this one.

This week I’m going to feature songs that cover that certain thing we all need to survive…money…John Lennon might disagree.

As a bass player, it’s nice to hear songs like this where bass plays the main riff. I’m not a huge Pink Floyd fan but I do like some of their songs. Their 60s songs I like best but I grew up with this one.

Roger Waters put together the cash register tape loop that plays throughout the song. It also contains the sounds of tearing paper and bags of coins being thrown into an industrial food-mixing bowl. The intro was recorded by capturing the sounds of an old cash register on tape, and meticulously splicing and cutting the tape in a rhythmic pattern to make the “cash register loop” effect.

Like many of their songs, this was not released as a single in the UK, where singles were perceived as a sellout…but it was released as a single in Anerica in 1973.. It peaked at #13 in the Billboard 100 and #18 in Canada.

The lyrics contain a “no-no” word. “Bulls–t” was left in the original release, but their record company quickly put out a version with the word removed, which became known as the “Bull Blank” version.

 

From Songfacts

This song is about the bad things money can bring. Ironically, it made Pink Floyd lots of cash, as the album sold over 34 million copies.

This is often misinterpreted as a tribute to money. Many people thought the line “Money, it’s a gas,” meant they considered money a very good thing.

The song begins in an unusual 7/8 time signature, then during the guitar solo the song changes to 4/4, then returns to 7/8 and ends in 4/4 again. When Guitar World February 1993 asked Dave Gilmour where the famous time signature for “Money” came from, the Pink Floyd guitarist replied: “It’s Roger’s riff. Roger came in with the verses and lyrics for ‘Money’ more or less completed. And we just made up middle sections, guitar solos and all that stuff. We also invented some new riffs – we created a 4/4 progression for the guitar solo and made the poor saxophone player play in 7/4. It was my idea to break down and become dry and empty for the second chorus of the solo.”

Roger Waters is the only songwriter credited on this, but the lead vocal is by David Gilmour. Waters provided the basic music and lyrics, while the whole band created the instrumental jam of the song. Gilmour was the one overseeing time change and responsible the acclaimed guitar solo. Rick Wright and Nick Mason.

Many studio effects were used on this song. They were using a new 16-track recorder, which allowed them to layer sounds much easier, but complex studio techniques like this still took a long time to do in 1973, as there weren’t digital recorders and samplers available like we have today. If you wanted to copy and paste something, you had to do it the hard way – with a razor blade and splicing tape.

Bands like The Beatles had used tape loops, but never like this. The tape loop used on this was about 20 feet long, and if you’ve ever seen a reel-to-reel tape machine, you can imagine how hard it was to keep it playing. In order to get the right tension and continuously feed the machine, they set up the loop in a big circle using microphone stands to hold it up. It was fed through the tape machine and played throughout the song.

The album was engineered by famed British producer and studio genius Alan Parsons at Abbey Road Studios, where he also worked with The Beatles. Parsons later started his own band called The Alan Parsons Project and scored a hit in the ’80s with “Eye In The Sky.”

Speaking with Songfacts about the studio habits of The Beatles and Pink Floyd, Parsons said: “They both liked to use the studio to its fullest, and they were always looking for new effects and new sounds. That was the beauty of working with those guys: There were always new horizons to discover in sound.” >>

Along with “Us And Them,” this is one of two songs on the album to use a saxophone, which was played by Dick Parry. The band wanted to experiment with new sounds on these sessions.

As happens throughout Dark Side of the Moon, random voices come in at the end. Waters drew up flashcards with deep philosophical questions on them, then showed them to people around the studio and taped their answers. The ones they liked made the album. Among the people questioned: a doorman, a roadie, and Paul McCartney. Most contributions were not used, but McCartney’s guitarist at the time, Henry McCullough, made the final cut with his answer, “I don’t know; I was really drunk at the time.”

Due to a record company dispute, they had to re-record this for their 1981 greatest hits album, A Collection Of Great Dance Songs (the title is a joke. You can’t dance to Floyd). There are very subtle differences between this version and the original.

If you start the CD on the third roar of the MGM lion, this begins just as the film goes to color in The Wizard Of Oz.

A cultural difference in the song: the reference to the “football team.” In America, the sport is known as soccer.

There is a scene in The Wall where the main character (Pink) is a student in school, and the teacher catches him writing a poem instead of doing the work he was supposed to be doing. The teacher reads the poem out loud, and it is this song. He makes the student look like a fool and everyone in the classroom laughs at him. The teacher then tells him “It’s rubbish laddy, now get back to work!” It probably symbolizes the way that we are raised almost uniform-like throughout our entire lives, starting in school. This is a theme of the movie. 

The line, “Money, so they say, is a root of all evil today” is a paraphrase from the New Testament – 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” 

In 2002, a group called The Easy Star All-Stars recorded a reggae version of the album called Dub Side Of The Moon. On this song, the sounds of money were replaced by sounds of someone smoking from a water-based marijuana delivery device (OK, a bong).

A group called Reloaded, made up of former Guns N’ Roses members with Scott Weiland from The Stone Temple Pilots as lead singer, recorded this for the 2003 movie The Italian Job.

This was the first project for the group, which eventually changed its name to Velvet Revolver.

The cash register loop and bass line at the introduction to this song are used in a radio show that plays in the US, The Dave Ramsey Show. The show offers financial advice to struggling people, so the song ties in well. >>

In the documentary The Making of Dark Side of the Moon, it was revealed that Roger Waters wrote this in his garden, and the original demo version was described by him as being “Prissy and very English.” >>

In Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 film Reservoir Dogs, this song was originally intended to be used in a specific opening sequence. However, after hearing the song “Little Green Bag” by the George Baker Selection, Tarantino decided to use it instead because he it gave him an extreme sense of nostalgia. >>

Guitar World asked Gilmour if he was purposely trying to get away from just playing a 12 bar blues on guitar. He replied: “No, I just wanted to make a dramatic effect with the three solos. The first solo is ADT’d – Artificially Double Tracked. I think I did the first two solos on a Fender Stratocaster, but the last one was done on a different guitar – a Lewis, which was made by some guy in Vancouver. It had a whole two octaves on the neck, which meant I could get up to notes that I couldn’t play on a Stratocaster.”

Asked by Uncut in 2015 if there’s a song that reminds him of Roger Waters, David Gilmour replied: “‘Money.’ I’m not talking about the lyric. Just the quirky 7/8 time reminds me of Roger. It’s not a song I would have written. It points itself at Roger.”

Money

Money, get away
Get a good job with good pay and you’re okay
Money, it’s a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, caviar, four star daydream
Think I’ll buy me a football team

Money, get back
I’m all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack
Money, it’s a hit
Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit
I’m in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet

Money, it’s a crime
Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for a raise it’s no surprise that they’re
Giving none away, away, away

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

68 thoughts on “Pink Floyd – Money—- Songs That Reference Money 1973”

  1. Hey, while you’re working on songs about money, don’t forget another song with a great bass line, The O’Jays’ “For The Love Of Money.” And the message is about the same as with this song, which, if I remember corectly (I would have probably been in an altered state of consciousness, so one can’t be too sure), I attempted to dance to…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you I didn’t think of that one. I have a few lined up but I’ll probably add that one…. I always type replies in real-time if possible…THANK YOU…I’ve been looking for that one….that was the first song that came to my mind when I started this but I didn’t know who did it or the name…. NOW I have it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think John and a lot of folks WITH a lot of money talk against it– but do they give their fortunes away? Its like every election Babs Streisand talks of if so and so wins I will move out of the country. She must be slow packing her stuff.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. lol yea every election year I hear someone say that.
      Keith Richards had a comeback on the All You Need Is Love line… “Yea try living on it”
      …but we get what the John was saying

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a huge Pink Floyd fan. My husband has a quad system that he has hooked up on our patio. It’s ancient. It’s actually car stereo from the 70s. He has Dark Side of the Moon on quad. It is amazing! Especially this song. It just has to be heard to be believed.
    All of his quad stuff is on 8-track. He’s an audiophile. Audiophiles were the only one’s who bought into quad, that’s why it became extinct so quickly, but if you ever get a chance to hear a quad system, don’t pass it up.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I AM jealous! Your husband is a good man! I’ve never heard a quad system before. This album and Quadrophenia… I’ve always wanted to hear them in that format.
      I won’t pass it up if I get a chance to get one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, he has Quadrophenia in quad, it’s outstanding, of course…He also has The Isley Bros. 3+3, David Essex Rock On, Nilsson Nilsson Schmilsson, Blue Oyster Cult Tyranny & Mutation, Black Sabbath Paranoid, Janis Joplin Pearl, Santana Santana…oh yeah, and Steely Dan Can’t By a Thrill…and Doobie Bros. What Were Once Vices…He plays that one to death. He has more, but the tapes are so old they’ve gone bad.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I wonder if you can get them in the original mix on cd now? That won’t do him any good though because it’s setup for 8 track right?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You got me curious and I found this: ” equivalent to what is now called 4.0 surround sound”
        I would like to see though if anyone releases any recordings through that now. I can imagine the song Money… that cash register would be floating around you.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah. It sounds awesome. It’s my favorite quad sound track. Another song that sounds really, really great…and this surprises me, because I never have liked the song, Janis Joplin’s Mercedes Benz. It’s the polar opposite of Pink Floyd’s Money, but it’s amazing.
        I’m a big fan of the album Pearl and I have always loved the song Trust Me. It’s written by Bobby Womack and I always appreciated his guitar work on it, but when you hear it in quad it just jumps out at you. It’s very special. It made me do research on Bobby Womack and that’s how I became a fan of his. I didn’t know anything about him.
        You mentioned Quadrophenia. We have that in quad–Love Reign O’re Me…Wow! Spectacular on quad. All that said, I’m not the huge fan of quad like my husband is. He laments it’s passing. Somethings, like Money, seem made for the medium, but not every song you hear in quad is that way. At least not to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I can’t believe Pearl is in Quad. I’ve read where it was a pain to mix that way but I guess if the master tapes survives for any album it can be mixed that way if it was recorded with enough tracks.
        I also didn’t know there was a quad made for cars…and with an 8-track no less!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Well, it was a huge album. Still is. By the way, Quadraphinia isn’t in quad. My husband informed me of that. So I was wrong about that one. Lot’s of classic rock is in quad, though. But most isn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Been there done that, Pam. I remember laying in the center of my living room floor with a speaker in each corner listening to Dark Side of the Moon. It’s a mystical experience! They used to (and may still!) have a Pink Floyd laser light show in GR at the public museum in the planetarium and their sound system is out of this world.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes. I’ve heard about the Pink Floyd laser shows. Never been to one but I know people who have. I used to get into a good light show. Judas Priest always had a good light/laser show back in the day.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never heard a Quad system before…I would like to. I wish it would have caught on more…I guess it has in a way with surround sound.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. This guy that had the album was into stereos, but I don’t think he had a quad system but he would turn his amplifier all the way up and it would get so hot that he had to cool it down with ice.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This didn’t show up in my WordPress feed for some reason – it’s lucky I saw the email. I don’t have a whole lot to say about it though. This era of Floyd, where they figured out that Waters was good at lyrics, but they all worked together as a band, is my favourite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea this one didn’t for some reason…by the time I found out I didn’t want to republish it again. This has happened to me a few times.
      I want to touch more on the late sixties part.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I also want to touch on The Madcap Laughs. I’m trying to post some older artist I’ve never posted on before. Pink Floyd was on of them.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I’m the only person on earth who can’t stand this song. 😀 I will walk across the room and search for the remote to get it turned off. There’s no accounting for taste, huh? The breakdown of the complex timing and the loops is interesting, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The cash register is the one thing that is interesting to me…how they got it into a rhythm. This is the first Pink Floyd song I’ve ever posted…I’m not the greatest fan but I want to do something early by them.

      Like

      1. I hadn’t noticed you never posted a Pink Floyd song before this. How interesting. I do love Pink Floyd; both the early and the later stuff, except for this one and Have A Cigar. Can’t stand either of those.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I would like to try some of the Syd Barrett songs or in that period. See Emily Play…before they became PINK FLOYD… I do like the concert film Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii

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      3. The Syd Barrett material would make good posting material for sure. Then the Gilmour-Waters era produced The Wall and DSOTM, and then the post-Waters era produced Momentary Lapse of Reason and Division Bell. Each ‘chapter’ of the band struck a chord with where I happend to be in my life. The Wall was one of those amazing breaks from relentless disco on the radio.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The Wall reminds me of Jr high school on the school bus…I guess an appropriate place to remember it by. I’ve read stories about that tour…that is one I wish I could see at least on film.
        I did get to see them but it was in 1993 I believe without Waters. It was great though.

        Like

      5. I can imagine remembering that one from the school bus. How appropriate! You saw them long before I did. It was 2010 when I saw Roger’s The Wall, and then in 2016 I traveled to see Gilmour.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I bet that was a great atmosphere. The pig still flies in Roger’s show. It has stuff written on it now, that is meant to provoke those who don’t like the message. That’s Roger. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. A good song for sure though somehow to me it never sounded like it fit properly into ‘Dark Side of the Moon.’ Great sound effects on it and all in all, a classic.
    I once saw a Floyd laser show, many “moons” back. Was quite cool but I figured they could’ve done more than just the LP… was a lot of money for a 44 minute show.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What I like best is the cash register and how Roger made a rhythm of it.
      I’m listening to some of their stuff from the late sixties more. It’s very interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are a comdian! lol. You probably know more about them than I do. That is one band I never followed real closely…I was lucky enough to see them…in 93

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yea I would have liked to have seen them during the Wall tour. I read where during the concert a wall was built while they were playing…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It was…”most notably a giant wall constructed across the stage to convey the sense of alienation present in both the album”

        Liked by 1 person

      1. That is cool! I was right! That is awesome that I remembered…I forgot about The Ocean by Zeppelin…I would have never guessed Heart of Glass.

        Like

    1. Yes…I want to post on some early Pink Floyd like The Piper At The Gates of Dawn…I’m starting to listen to them more. I was fortunate to get to see them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just checked setlist.fm. “My” U.S. show must have been one of the dates they played at MetLife Stadium in NJ in July 1994.

        The reason I remember that is because I was studying in New York at the time and took my then-girlfriend who is now my wife.

        I don’t think she actually liked the show that much, but I suppose you do silly things for love! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow….we saw the same tour….I saw them in 94 at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville…not 93… I loved the Pig.
        Jennifer….my soon to be wife didn’t like it either much

        Liked by 1 person

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