Money (Pink Floyd song)

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Money 1973.jpg
French single picture sleeve
Single by Pink Floyd
from the album The Dark Side of the Moon
B-side"Any Colour You Like"
Released7 May 1973 (1973-05-07)
Recorded7 June 1972 – 9 January 1973
StudioAbbey Road, London
  • 3:59 (single edit)
  • 6:22 (album version)
  • 14:03 (album version combined with "Us and Them")
Songwriter(s)Roger Waters
Producer(s)Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd US singles chronology
"Free Four"
"Us and Them"
Audio sample
Roger Waters' bassline, described by Adrian Ashton as "one of the most memorable classic bass riffs ever recorded."[1]

"Money" is a song by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd from their 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. Written by Roger Waters, it opened side two of the original album.

Released as a single, it became the band's first hit in the United States, reaching number 10 in Cash Box magazine and number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Money" is noted for its unusual 7
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, including on its own at the beginning.


"Money" has been described as a progressive rock,[2] blues rock,[3] and hard rock song.[4] Although Roger Waters and David Gilmour have made recent comments stating that the song had been composed primarily in 7
time,[5] Rick Wright stated in a 2000 US radio interview that "Money" was composed in 7
as stated by Gilmour in an interview with Guitar World magazine in 1993.[7][8]

The song changes to 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).[5]

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.[9]

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.[10] 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
leading to the guitar solo, which is structured like a twelve-bar blues, but doubled to a twenty-four-bar length.[11]

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".[12]

"Money interested me enormously," Waters remarked on the twentieth anniversary of Dark Side. "I remember thinking, 'Well, this is it and I have to decide whether I'm really a socialist or not.' I'm still keen on a general welfare society, but I became a capitalist. You have to accept it. I remember coveting a Bentley like crazy. The only way to get something like that was through rock or the football pools. I very much wanted all that material stuff."[13]


String of coins (one-third of original length), including pre-decimal 1d and 3d denominations, used for the sound effects on Money. Made by Nick Mason in 1972 and retained by his then-wife Lindy Mason. Displayed at the Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains exhibition.

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.[14] 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 the key of G-sharp minor, as opposed to the B minor of the final version.[5]

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.[5]

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.[5][14] The original loop was used for early live performances, but had to be re-recorded onto multi track tape for the album.[15] 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.[5]

In the documentary 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 co-producer James Guthrie, David Gilmour re-recorded the song, providing the vocals and playing all the instruments except saxophone,[16] where Parry reprised his role on the original recording. This re-recorded version lasts 15 seconds longer than the original album edition.

Four different quadraphonic versions of the song were also released on Quadrafile, a demonstration record released in 1976. These represent the only Pink Floyd material released in QS, CD-4 and UD-4 quadraphonic formats. Atom Heart Mother, The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here were released in the more successful SQ format.


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 the American part of his In the Flesh tour, it was sung by Doyle Bramhall II, while for the European part it was sung by Chester Kamen. 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.

Gilmour played the song regularly during his Rattle That Lock Tour in 2015 and 2016.


Pink Floyd's album The Dark Side of the Moon was released 1 March 1973.[17] "Money" is the only song from The Dark Side of the Moon to make its appearance on the Billboard Top 100 list of 1973,[18] where it was ranked 92.[18] In 2008, Guitar World magazine listed David Gilmour's solo on "Money" as No. 62 among readers' votes for "The Greatest 100 Guitar Solos."[19] The song was also ranked No. 69 on the list of "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" of Rolling Stone.[20] This song avoids more typical Pink Floyd themes such as paranoia, insanity, the meaning of life, and the passage of time. Instead, the lyrics criticize crass materialism.[21]


The music video for "Money" features scenes of various ways of making and spending money, and includes brief close-ups of a coin spinning, coins flowing in a mint, gold ingots in a bank, and a record copy of The Dark Side of the Moon on a turntable. In addition, the video also includes shots of the album making its way down a conveyor belt in a factory/distribution plant as well as shots of gramophone records and audio equipment being destroyed by explosives during the song's bridge.


Pink Floyd
Session musician
  • Pink Floyd – producers
  • Alan Parsons – engineering
  • Peter James – assistant (incorrectly identified as "Peter Jones" on first US pressings of the LP)
  • Chris Thomas – mix supervisor

1981 re-recording personnel[edit]


  • David Gilmour – producer
  • James Guthrie – engineer

Chart history[edit]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Italy (FIMI)[31]
sales since 2009
Platinum 50,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[32]
sales since 2005
Gold 400,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Adrian Ashton (2006), The Bass Handbook, Backbeat Books, ISBN 0-87930-872-9.
  2. ^ "The 10 Best Prog Rock Albums". Rolling Stone. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  3. ^ Manning, Toby (2006). The Rough Guide to Pink Floyd. Rough Guides. p. 201. ISBN 978-1-84353-575-1.
  4. ^ Bill Wyman (3 August 2017). "All 165 Pink Floyd Songs, Ranked From Worst to Best". Vulture. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Classic Albums: Pink Floyd – The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon (DVD), 2003.
  6. ^ "Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon". Archived from the original on 7 December 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  7. ^ Guitar World, February 1993. Retrieved from Pink Floyd Online on 3 November 2008.
  8. ^ David Hodge, "Play in a Different Time" Archived 6 September 2012 at Play Guitar Magazine, No. 12, Spring 2007. Retrieved on 3 November 2008.
  9. ^ Classic Albums: Pink Floyd – The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon
  10. ^ 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])
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Pink Floyd – The Wall DVD, Columbia Music Video, 550 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y., 10022-3211, ISBN 0-7389-0002-8
  13. ^ Gwyther, Matthew (7 March 1993). "The dark side of success". The Observer: 34.
  14. ^ a b "Dark Side at 30: Roger Waters". Rolling Stone. 12 March 2003. Archived from the original on 14 October 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  15. ^ Blake 2011, p. 185.
  16. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "Pink Floyd". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. p. 316. ISBN 067973015X. With the rerecorded 'Money' sporting a livelier bottom to protect them from truth-in-titling and felonious injury charges...
  17. ^ Clark, Joe (1 March 2018). "Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon" released 45 years ago". WCMH. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  18. ^ a b "Billboard Top 100 – 1973 – Longbored Surfer – Charts". 25 November 2010. Archived from the original on 25 November 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Guitar World Presents The Greatest 100 Guitar Solos" Archived 30 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine Guitar World, updated on 30 October 2008. Retrieved on 8 March 2009.
  20. ^ "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2011. "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."
  21. ^ Queenan, Joe (28 January 2008). "Money: it's still a hit". The Guardian.
  22. ^ Library and Archives Canada: Top Singles – Volume 19, No. 26, August 11, 1973, 11 August 1973, archived from the original on 10 November 2014, retrieved 12 July 2014
  23. ^ Steffen Hung. "Discographie Pink Floyd". Archived from the original on 16 June 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  24. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres". Archived from the original on 19 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  25. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  26. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  27. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 8/04/73". Archived from the original on 9 June 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  28. ^
  29. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  30. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1973". Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  31. ^ "Italian single certifications – Pink Floyd – Money" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 26 November 2020. Select "2019" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Money" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  32. ^ "British single certifications – Pink Floyd – Money". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 25 March 2022.

External links[edit]