For the Love of Money

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"For the Love of Money"
Single by The O'Jays
from the album Ship Ahoy
B-side"People Keep Tellin' Me"
ReleasedApril 1974 (US)
RecordedSigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia: October 3, 1973
GenrePhiladelphia soul, funk
Length3:42 (single version)
7:14 (album version)
LabelPhiladelphia International
Songwriter(s)Kenneth Gamble
Leon Huff
Anthony Jackson
Producer(s)Gamble and Huff
The O'Jays singles chronology
"Christmas Ain't Christmas New Year's Ain't New Year's Without The One You Love"
"For the Love of Money"
Audio sample

"For the Love of Money" is a soul/funk song that was written and composed by Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, and Anthony Jackson; it was recorded by Philadelphia soul group The O'Jays for the album Ship Ahoy. Produced by Gamble and Huff for Philadelphia International Records, "For the Love of Money" was issued as a single in late 1973 (see 1973 in music), with "People Keep Tellin' Me" as its B-side. The single peaked at number three on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart, and at No. 9 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart in spring 1974. Though the album version of the song was over seven minutes long, it received substantial radio airplay. The song's title 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." (This translation is from the King James Version of the Bible.)


Anthony Jackson played bass guitar on the song. One day during fall 1973, producer/keyboardist Leon Huff was leading the members of the MFSB rhythm section and Jackson through a rehearsal. Sigma Sound Studios owner/engineer Joe Tarsia noticed that Jackson had a wah-wah pedal attached to his Fender Precision Bass. Tarsia decided to run Jackson's bassline through a phaser, giving it a swishing sound and later mixed in echo. During the final mixing of the track, Kenny Gamble impulsively reached over to the echo button and added echo to Jackson's opening riffs.[citation needed]


  • K. Gamble – producer, composer, lyricist
  • Leon Huff – producer, composer, lyricist
  • A. Jackson – composer, lyricist

Awards and accolades[edit]

"For the Love of Money" was nominated for the 1975 Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance – Duo, Group or Chorus, losing to "Tell Me Something Good" by Rufus.

Despite the 1975 snub, in 2016 "For the Love of Money" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame[1][2]

Chart history[edit]

Cover versions[edit]


The song is sampled in Grandmaster Melle Mel's 1985 single "Step Off," and Funky Four's "King Heroin" (1983). It has also been sampled by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch's single "I Need Money" and Charli Baltimore's single "Money." The Happy Mondays's "Rave On" (1989) intro was also based on the opening riff to "For the Love of Money." The British R&B singer/rapper Jentina sampled the money line for the chorus of her debut single "Bad Ass Strippa" in 2004. The rhythm and vocals are also used as the main backing track to Bone Thugs N' Harmony's 1995 single "Foe tha Love of $," featuring Eazy E. The song was sampled for the Papoose featuring Remy Ma single "What's My Name" in 2013. The song was sampled by Dr. Dre on the 2015 album Compton in the eponymous song "For the Love of Money."


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  4. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, June 22, 1974
  5. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1974/Top 100 Songs of 1974". Retrieved December 1, 2017.


  • Jisi, Chris: "The Anthony Jackson Interview." Bass Player Magazine, Spring 1990.
  • Jisi, Chris: "The Anthony Jackson Interview." Bass Player Magazine, Summer 1990.
  • Jisi, Chris: "Spontaneous Combustion: Anthony Jackson & Michel Camilo." Bass Player Magazine, May 2002.

External links[edit]