O’Jays – For The Love of Money—- Songs That Reference Money

This song came to mind first when I thought about doing songs containing songs that reference money. I couldn’t for the life of me think who did it until John told me Monday. Thanks, John. I’ve heard this used on countless shows and documentaries.

The songwriting/production duo of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff co-wrote this song with Anthony Jackson, who also played bass on the track. Gamble and Huff wrote many songs that helped define the Philadelphia Soul sound.

The song peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100, and #29 in Canada in 1974.

For The Love Of Money has become the modern anthem for anyone who’s hustling to make the all mighty dollar. The bass in this song is filtered with a reverse echo…that is what drew me into it. The phrase “For the Love of Money” comes from a well-known Bible verse, 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

 

From Songfacts

A key contributor to the song was Joe Tarsia, who was the engineer at Sigma. He had just installed an Eventide phaser in the control room, and when Jackson started playing, Tarsia tried recording the bass (with a wah-wah pedal) through the phaser. Gamble loved the effect, which provided a unique sound that made the song stand out on the airwaves.

Tarsia added effects to the background vocals as well, creating a reverse echo where the echo precedes the vocal, something Jimmy Page did on a few Led Zeppelin tracks, including “Whole Lotta Love.”

Often misinterpreted as a song celebrating the accumulation of money, it’s actually one of the more unadorned warnings about the sordid side of the mighty dollar, pointing out the things people will do for it: cheat, lie, even steal from their mother. The song was written at a time when the songwriters Gamble and Huff were reaping the financial rewards of their success, but also reconciling it with their spiritual beliefs (Gamble had recently converted to Islam). The duo often wrote messages into their songs gleaned from their everyday conversations. On this track, they are very clear: “Don’t let money change you.”

With the chorus of “Money, money, money, money,” this has been used in many promos, TV shows and movies where greed or the pursuit of the almighty dollar are concerned.

TV shows to use the song include:

Scandal (“The Other Woman” – 2012)
Hawaii Five-0 (“Kuka’awale” – 2015)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (“Man Up” – 2011)
Friends (“The One in Vegas: Part 1” – 1999)
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (“Winner Takes Off” – 1993)
Moonlighting (“Brother, Can You Spare a Blonde?” – 1985)

Movies include:

Deepwater Horizon (2016)
Think Like a Man Too (2014)
The Honeymooners (2005)
All About the Benjamins (2002)
Driven (2001)
For Richer or Poorer (1997)
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)
Strictly Business (1991)
New Jack City (1991)
Action Jackson (1988)

There is also a 2012 film called For The Love Of Money that uses the song.

For The Love Of Money

Money money money money money
Money money money money money
Money money money money money
Money money money money money
Money money money money money
Money money money money money

Some people got to have it
Some people really need it
Listen to me y’all, do things, do things, do bad things with it
You want to do things, do things, do things, good things with it
Talk about cash money, money
Talk about cash money- dollar bills, y’all

For the love of money
People will steal from their mother
For the love of money
People will rob their own brother
For the love of money
People can’t even walk the street
Because they never know who in the world they’re gonna beat
For that lean, mean, mean green
Almighty dollar, money

For the love of money
People will lie, Lord, they will cheat
For the love of money
People don’t care who they hurt or beat
For the love of money
A woman will sell her precious body
For a small piece of paper it carries a lot of weight
Call it lean, mean, mean green

Almighty dollar

I know money is the root of all evil
Do funny things to some people
Give me a nickel, brother can you spare a dime
Money can drive some people out of their minds

Got to have it, I really need it
How many things have I heard you say
Some people really need it
How many things have I heard you say
Got to have it, I really need it
How many things have I heard you say
Lay down, lay down, a woman will lay down
For the love of money
All for the love of money
Don’t let, don’t let, don’t let money rule you
For the love of money
Money can change people sometimes
Don’t let, don’t let, don’t let money fool you
Money can fool people sometimes
People! Don’t let money, don’t let money change you
It will keep on changing, changing up your mind