Money (That's What I Want)

Album: With The Beatles (1963)
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Songfacts®:

  • This Motown classic was originally recorded by Barrett Strong in 1959. Strong became a writer for Motown, and worked on some of The Temptations hits. The song was written by Motown chief Berry Gordy with help from an assistant at the company, Janie Bradford.
  • The Beatles performed this at their audition for Decca Records in 1962. They didn't get the deal, but were singned on their next audition, which was for Parlophone Records. Decca did sign Brian Poole And The Tremeloes.
  • Beatles producer George Martin played the piano. John Lennon sang lead.
  • Speaking of money, Paul McCartney is the wealthiest rock star ever, earning over a billion dollars in his career.
  • Along with "You've Really Got A Hold On Me" and "Please Mr. Postman," this was one of three Motown songs the The Beatles released on their second album, titled With The Beatles in the UK and The Beatles' Second Album in the US. Berry Gordy, who ran Motown Records, was thrilled that The Beatles thought highly enough of Motown to record their songs.

Comments: 29

  • Richard Patik from New York CityLove this version. A little more screen time for John would have been nice.
  • Ricky from Ohsweken, Ontario CanadaMy favorite version is by eighties group The Flying Lizards.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaMy fav version of this tune. Love John's rocking voice, that piano and Paul's bass. Sadly this attitude is the reason I'm not really a sports fan anymore.
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlThis is freakin' awesome! Absolutely love John's voice and Paul's bass in this! WOW!!!
  • George from Belleville, NjThis song sung by the Beatles is a powerhouse showstopper.This is what rock and roll should sound like.They captured the essence of rock with a performance like this.The lead singing was incredible.The background harmonies were like a chant that fits together with the lead singing beautifully and produces an awesome high energy rocker that's hard to resist listening to.Early rock and roll in it's primitive form,but very effective.
  • Michael from Chicago, Il@Dirk: Until "The White Album, The Beatles' British record company did separate and distinct mono and stereo mixes for every Beatles album. However, for the first few albums they issued, Capitol did not use the mono mixes but rather folded-down the stereo mix into mono. Thus, while in England the stereo and mono versions of "With The Beatles" contained very different mixes of "Money", in the USA both stereo and mono pressings of "Second Album" only contained the stereo mix, even in mono. When the Beatles catalog was originally issued on CD in 1987, the first four albums were released in their mono versions, which means that the average American listener was hearing the more restrained mono mix of "Money" for the very first time.
  • Bob from Berkeley, CaWhat makes this song great is the pause in "That's...what I want" by the backup singers. Very menacing!
  • Nick from Seattle, AlbaniaJohn Lennon = best rock n roll voice
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiThe Rolling Stones also recorded a version of this song, and Led Zeppelin also played it live on several occasions. Therefore, I think this is the only song to have been played by the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin.
  • Lonely_1 from Fresno, Caabsolutely adore lennon's voice in this song. omg.
  • Rosario from Naples, FlLove the intro! Great song, Lennon's voice is great.
  • Steve from Fenton, MoI wish John would have recorded the songs from his solo "Rock and Roll" album back when this song and Twist and Shout were recorded.
  • Lana from Albuq, NmI have orginal copy (sold at time for $.75) of 1959 music for Money recorded by Beatles. Words/music Berry Gordy,Jr.& Janie Bradford. Jobete Music (at time Detroit,Mich.) anyone know its worth?
  • Eric from ValenciaWell, it's one of John's best larynx-shredding performances; but just listen to Paul and George's backing vocals too! It still is one of the most exciting sounds around.
  • Sal from Bardonia , NyForget about You Really Got Me the live version of this song from 1963 is much more distorted and grungy. The studio version sounds almost like garage rock to me at a time when it was stll mostly underground in America when this was recorded in July of 1963 and it has a great vocal and it pounds the original version and including The Stones and Kingsmen versions also.
    Sal, Bardonia, NY
  • Alasdair from Newdigate, Englandthe live version on the Anthology disk one is excellent, 'practically grunge' as described in Mojo this month
  • Joe from Lethbridge, CanadaGreat cover version of Barrett Strong's hit, but I would have to say Twist and shout is their BEST cover version of all time.
  • Ian from Lethbridge, CanadaGreat song, and a great finale to With The Beatles!
  • Julian from Anaheim, CaThis is the best songs on With The Beatles
  • Chad from Reading, PaThis version is by far my least favorite cover version of the original song. John Lee Hooker's version is infinetly better in all aspects. His blues style makes the song work much better. But the best versions of this song were the ones Led Zeppelin played live on a few occasions, especially the one from Seattle June 19, 1972.
  • Sarah from Pittsburgh, Pai must admit, i thought it was weird that they sang this song, considering one of their greatest hits was called (money) 'can't buy me love', but MAN. i love this song! this was a john song.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI love the version on the anthology. Anyone agree?
  • Jordan from Wilmette, IlIt's actully just called "money"
  • Dirk from Nashville, TnHere's something funny about this record: If you are old enough to have (or lucky enough to find) a copy of the 1964 hi-fi version of Money on the Beatles's American "Second Album," it is really loud and raucus. If you compare it to the CD version that exists today, it almost sounds like a different recording. In that old fat plastic hi-fi LP, you can barely hear the piano. You hear booming guitars and drums. I was always shocked to hear how tidy and restrained the CD mix of the song is. (Songs are sometimes re-mixed by record companies, by the way. Sometimes, for example, a record company in the 1960s would release one mix for the East Coast market and another for the California market. Their reasoning was idiotic, but nonetheless, they did it. There are, for example, two distinctly different mixes floating around of Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl... One recording--two sounds... drives me nuts.)Anybody out there still listening to the original American hi-fi mix?
  • Barry from New York, NcThis was released as part of THE DECCA TAPES in 1979, a semi-legal record that supposedly was their January 1, 1962 audition for Decca Records. Some Beatles historians actually are starting to question whether this was actually from that audition or just a recording of demos so their manager Brian Epstein could shop around for a recording contract. Regardless, the "Decca Audition" tapes became the subject of countless budget bin releases on semi-legitimite record labels including PHOENIX, AUDIOFIDELITY and PICKWICK (the Tony Sheridan and the Star Club recordings went down the same path). Regardless of what it was and how it was packaged, these recordings are still an essential listen of Pete Best era Beatles studio takes.
  • Alan from City, MiThis song was co-written by Berry Gordy, the Motown founder.
  • Liliana from Huntley, Ilwell sure, everyone says they don't care about money after they have it....
  • Rob from Castaic, CaThis song done by the band who sings, "Money won't buy me love." Kinda funny.
  • Don from Rapid City, SdThis may possibly be the best cover version of all time!
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