Badfinger – Money ….Power Pop Friday

Badfinger is the band that got me into power pop. After reading about them my interest widened into The Raspberries and Big Star. If any of you readers have a time machine I could use…take me back to January 19, 1973, at the Chicago Aragon Ballroom…where The Raspberries opened up for Badfinger. That would be a power pop dream.

This song was the B side to Badfinger’s hit Day After Day released in 1971. It was a good song written by bassist Tom Evans…  I zeroed in on this song from the album Straight Up. I’ve heard it used for some radio bumper music for talk and sports shows. The melody and harmonies stand out in this one.

Straight Up has two of their big hits…the beautiful Day After Day and what I consider the best power-pop song of all time…Baby Blue. It’s not just the hits that are good….the band had three songwriters with Pete Ham, Tom Evans, and  Joey Molland.  Tom and Joey were not at their bandmate’s writing level but they were very good. There is not a bad song on the album.

On the album, the song Money was connected with the Evans and Molland song Flying. They flow into each other to make a really good melody… similar to what the Beatles did on Abbey Road.

If you want to try out a Badfinger album that is not a greatest hits package…this is the one to start at. Badfinger was not known as an album band but this one I would consider one of the best power pop albums ever. Pete Ham wrote the best songs for Badfinger without a doubt but Tom and Joey did come up with some absolute winners. Pete was sometimes compared to Paul McCartney and George Harrison in his songwriting abilities.

The band started out as the Iveys with Pete Ham, Tom Evans, Ron Griffiths, and Mike Gibbins. Tom played guitar in that lineup but Griffiths had to quit because of family problems. Tom took over bass and they recruited Liverpudillian singer-songwriter Joey Molland for guitar.

Joey Molland is the only member left with us from the original lineup. He still tours as Joey Molland’s Badfinger.

Allmusic Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine about Straight Up:

Straight Up winds up somewhat less dynamic than No Dice, largely because that record alternated its rockers, pop tunes, and ballads. Here, everything is at a similar level, as the ballads are made grander and the rockers have their melodic side emphasized. Consequently, the record sounds more unified than No Dice, which had a bit of a split personality. Todd Rundgren’s warm, detailed production makes each songwriter sound as if he was on the same page, although the bonus tracks — revealing the abandoned original Geoff Emerick productions — prove that the distinctive voices on No Dice were still present. Frankly, the increased production is for the best, since Badfinger sounds best when there’s as much craft in the production as there is in the writing. Here, there’s absolutely no filler and everybody is in top form. Pete Ham’s “Baby Blue” is textbook power-pop — irresistibly catchy fuzz riffs and sighing melodies — and with its Harrison-esque slide guitars, “Day After Day” is so gorgeous it practically aches. “Perfection” is an unheralded gem, while “Name of the Game” and “Take It All” are note-perfect pop ballads. Tom Evans isn’t as prolific here, but the one-two punch of “Money” and “Flying” is the closest Straight Up gets to Abbey Road, and “It’s Over” is a fine closer. Still, what holds the record together is Joey Molland’s emergence as a songwriter. His work on No Dice is enjoyable, but here, he comes into his own with a set of well-constructed songs. This fine songwriting, combined with sharp performances and exquisite studio craft, make Straight Up one of the cornerstones of power-pop, a record that proved that it was possible to make classic guitar-pop after its golden era had passed.


Money stole my lady
Fools have a way of making me crazy
Money buy you freedom
Rules have a way of making me lazy

So we grow a little older
With another tale to tell
So we grow a little colder
With another tale to tell

Money make you feel unhappy
Fools have a way of making me crazy

So we grow a little older
With another tale to tell
So we grow a little colder
With another tale to tell


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, 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