Money (Pink Floyd song)
Cover for the France single.
|Single by Pink Floyd|
|from the album The Dark Side of the Moon|
|B-side||"Any Colour You Like"|
|Released||7 May 1973|
|Recorded||Abbey Road Studios,
June 1972 – January 1973
|Length||3:59 (single edit)
6:22 (album version)
|Pink Floyd singles chronology|
Released as a single, it became the band's first hit in the US, reaching #10 in Cash Box magazine and #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Money" is noted for its unusual 7/4–4/4 time signature, and the tape loop of money-related sound effects (such as a ringing cash register and a jingle of coins) that is heard periodically throughout the song.
Roger Waters and David Gilmour stated that the song had been composed primarily in 7/8 time; it was composed in 7/4, according to Gilmour in an interview with Guitar World magazine in 1993.
The song changes to 4/4 time for an extended guitar solo. The first of three choruses which comprise the solo was recorded using real-time double tracking. Gilmour played the chorus nearly identically in two passes recorded to two different tracks of a multi-track tape machine. The second chorus is a single guitar. The doubled effect for the third chorus was created using automatic (or "artificial") double-tracking (ADT).
One of Gilmour's ideas for the solo section was that, for the second chorus of the solo, all reverb and echo effects would be completely off (referred to as "dry"), creating the sense of just four musicians playing in a small room. For this "dry" chorus, all musicians played softly and subtly, with Gilmour's solo, now one single guitar, playing very sparsely. Then, for the third chorus, the dynamics would suddenly rise, with heavy use of reverb and echo (a "wet" sound), additional rhythm-guitar parts in the background, and the drums becoming heavy and almost chaotic.
The form and chord progression are based on the standard twelve-bar blues in the key of B minor, with the vocal melody and nearly all of Gilmour's soloing based on the pentatonic and blues scales. Two twelve-bar verses are followed by a twenty-bar instrumental section that features a blues-style tenor saxophone solo (played by Dick Parry) along with keyboard, bass and drums and a further two-bar intro in 4/4 leading to the guitar solo, which is structured like a twelve-bar blues, but doubled to a twenty-four-bar length.
The lyrics are briefly referenced in the film Pink Floyd – The Wall, when the protagonist, Pink, is caught writing poems in class by his teacher. The teacher snatches the poem book from him and reads it in a very sarcastic, demeaning manner, practically encouraging Pink's classmates to laugh. The poem is a verse of lyrics to "Money".
The demo tracks for the song, including some of the sound effects, were recorded in a makeshift recording studio Roger Waters had in his garden shed. As recorded by the band, the song has a "bluesy, transatlantic feel", unlike Waters' original demo version, which he later described as "prissy and very English". As heard on Classic Albums: Pink Floyd – The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon, the demo is in G-sharp minor, as opposed to the B minor of the final version.
The instrumental jam was a collaborative effort, with Gilmour overseeing the time change as well as his own guitar and vocal work, and Richard Wright and Nick Mason improvising their own parts. Dick Parry contributed the tenor saxophone solo that precedes the guitar solo. Gilmour's input is also discernible in the final mix, which features contrasting "wet" sections, with thick reverb and delay effects, and "dry" sections. In particular, during the second chorus of the guitar solo, all the reverb and delay effects are suddenly pulled out, creating a much smaller and more intimate virtual space. To produce the distinctive piercing high notes that distinguish the final chorus of his solo, Gilmour played a customized Lewis guitar with twenty-four frets, allowing a full four-octave range.
One of the most distinctive elements of "Money" is the rhythmic sequence of sound effects that begins the track and is heard throughout the first several bars. This was created by splicing together recordings Waters had made of clinking coins, a ringing cash register, tearing paper, a clicking counting machine and other items to construct a seven-beat effects loop. It was later adapted to four tracks in order to create a "walk around the room" effect in the quadraphonic mix of The Dark Side of the Moon.
In the video Classic Albums: Pink Floyd – The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon, engineer Alan Parsons described the recording of the band's initial backing track for the song: They used the sound-effect tape loop as a sort of metronome, but Parsons gradually faded out the loop before the vocals started. As the song progressed, the band gradually sped up, yet later, between the second verse and the saxophone solo, Parsons briefly raised up the volume of the effects loop, and just by coincidence, it turned out to fit the beat. After this point, the loop is not heard again.
The song was re-recorded for the 1981 Pink Floyd album, A Collection of Great Dance Songs, because Capitol Records refused to license the track to Columbia Records in the United States. With the help of producer James Guthrie, Gilmour re-recorded the song, providing vocals and playing all the instruments except saxophone, resulting in a much simpler drum part. Parry again contributed the sax solo, reprising his role on the original recording.
From 1972 to 1975, "Money" was a regular feature of the band's Dark Side of the Moon set, and it was routinely performed as an encore during the band's 1977 tour. These later performances would typically last as long as twelve minutes. From 1987 to 1990, the band performed the song during tours supporting A Momentary Lapse of Reason, their first album without Waters, who had left the band in December 1985. In 1994 the band performed the song during tours supporting The Division Bell, their second album without Waters. An extended version of the song, again lasting up to twelve minutes, was regularly performed during Gilmour's 1984 US tour in support of his solo album About Face.
Waters has also regularly included it on his solo tours. For his tour supporting The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, he sang the lead vocals himself. For his Radio K.A.O.S. tour, guest vocalist and keyboardist Paul Carrack sung the lead. For his In the Flesh tour, it was sung by Doyle Bramhall II. For The Dark Side of the Moon Live, it was sung by Dave Kilminster. "Money" was also performed by Waters at Live Earth's Concert at Giants Stadium on 7 July 2007.
"Money" was performed during Pink Floyd's reunion show, for which Waters rejoined the band (after more than two decades), at the Live 8 concert in London in 2005, along with "Breathe" (including the reprise that follows "Time"), "Wish You Were Here" and "Comfortably Numb". Unusually for a live Pink Floyd performance, at Live 8 the band kept the song's solo to three choruses, as it is on the album.
In 2008, Guitar World magazine listed Gilmour's solo on "Money" as #62 among readers' votes for "The Greatest 100 Guitar Solos". The song also was ranked #69 on the list of "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" of Rolling Stone.
The music video for "Money" features scenes of various ways of making and spending money, and includes brief closeups of a coin spinning.
Alternative and live versions
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2012)|
- "Money" was performed by Pink Floyd on every tour from 1972 to 1994 (and 2005's Live 8), with the exception of the 1980 and 1981 Wall shows.
- The B-side of the Roger Waters single "Radio Waves" includes a live performance by the Bleeding Heart Band, sung by Paul Carrack.
- Both P·U·L·S·E and a Delicate Sound of Thunder CD and video feature live versions of the track. In these versions, the song is slightly elongated to incorporate a series of solos, including a bass solo and a section spotlighting the female backing singers.
- Waters' In the Flesh – Live features another live version, sung by Doyle Bramhall II, with the solo split between guitarists Bramhall, Andy Fairweather-Low and Snowy White (in that order).
- On the compilation album, Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd, the song segues from "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" and into "Keep Talking".
- The album A Collection of Great Dance Songs contains the re-recorded version of the song.
- David Gilmour - guitars, vocals
- Roger Waters - bass guitar, tape effects
- Richard Wright - Wurlitzer electric piano
- Nick Mason - drums
|Chart (1973)||Peak position|
|US Billboard Hot 100||
|Canada Singles Chart||18|
|Chart (1981)||Peak position|
|US Billboard Top Tracks||
- Adrian Ashton (2006), The Bass Handbook, Backbeat Books, ISBN 0-87930-872-9.
- Classic Albums: Pink Floyd - The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon (DVD), 2003.
- "Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon". utopia.knoware.nl. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
- Guitar World, February 1993. Retrieved from Pink Floyd Online on 3 November 2008.
- David Hodge, "Play in a Different Time". Play Guitar Magazine, No. 12, Spring 2007. Retrieved on 3 November 2008.
- Classic Albums: Pink Floyd – The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon
- Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon (1973 Pink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd., London, England, ISBN 0-7119-1028-6 [USA ISBN 0-8256-1078-8])
- Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine, Collector's Yearbook: Guitar Classics VI, Cherry Lane Music Company, Inc., 10 Midland Avenue, Port Chester, N.Y., 10573-1490. ISSN 1061-4400.
- Pink Floyd The Wall DVD, Columbia Music Video, 550 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y., 10022-3211, ISBN 0-7389-0002-8
- "Dark Side at 30: Roger Waters". Rolling Stone. 12 March 2003. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
- "Guitar World Presents The Greatest 100 Guitar Solos" Guitar World, updated on 30 October 2008. Retrieved on 8 March 2009.
- "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2008. Retrieved 2011-01-25. "David Gilmour hangs back for the first three minutes of this definitive Floyd rocker, which started as an acoustic blues song in rehearsals. Then the song shifts from a 7/4 stomp into straight time, and he delivers a rampaging freakout, ending up on notes so high most guitars don't even reach them."
- "Radio K.A.O.S. Discography". www.rogerwaters.org. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
- "Paul Carrack biography". www.sing365.com. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
- "Echoes: the album credits". Pink Floyd. Archived from the original on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
- Library and Archives Canada: Top Singles - Volume 19, No. 26, August 11, 1973, August 11, 1973, retrieved 12 July 2014
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