Money (Pink Floyd song)

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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)
Recorded6 June 1972 – 9 January 1973[1]
StudioEMI, London
  • 6:22 (album version)
  • 3:59 (single edit)
Songwriter(s)Roger Waters
Producer(s)Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd US singles chronology
"Free Four"
Audio sample
Roger Waters' bassline, described by Adrian Ashton as "one of the most memorable classic bass riffs ever recorded."[2]

"Money" is a song by English 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.

Distinctive elements of the song include 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). These effects are timed right on the beats, and act as a count-in at the beginning to set the tempo and are heard periodically throughout the song.

The song was regularly performed by Pink Floyd and played on most tours since 1972, and has since been performed by David Gilmour and Waters on their respective solo tours. Gilmour re-recorded the song in 1981, while Waters released a re-recording of the song in 2023.


"Money" has been described as a progressive rock,[3] blues rock,[4] and hard rock song.[5] Much of the song has an unusual time signature, 7
.[6][a] Waters wrote the central riff on an acoustic guitar, and chose the time signature as it fitted the "bluesy feel" of the song.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13]

Waters wrote the lyrics to demonstrate irony and criticising the power of money and the capitalism system generally.[14] "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."[15] In another interview, he said he was "sure that the free market isn't the whole answer ... my hope is that mankind will evolve into a more co-operative and less competitive beast.[14]


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 exhibition Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains.

"Money" begins with the rhythmic sequence of sound effects that 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.[16][17] The original loop was used for early live performances, but had to be re-recorded onto multi track tape for the album.[18] 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.[7]

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.[17] 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.[7]

Recording of Pink Floyd's version began on 6 June 1972 at Abbey Road Studios with a new recording of the sound effects. Some effects such as the cash register were taken from existing sound libraries. The one inch tape with the effects was then transferred onto a quarter inch tape that could be overdubbed.[16] After this, the band performed a run-through of the backing track live the following day.[19] Richard Wright played a Wurlitzer electronic piano through a wah wah pedal, while Gilmour played a straightforward rhythm part. Waters later remarked the live-run through meant the group gradually sped up through the recording.[16] Engineer Alan 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.

After the backing track was completed, Nick Mason overdubbed some drums, and Wright recorded a new electric piano part on 8 June.[1] Gilmour then recorded three individual guitar solos.[16] The first was played using a fuzz face and a Binson Echorec, giving it a strongly reverberated sound. It was then double tracked.[1] The second solo was recorded "dry" without any reverb and delay effects, while the third was recorded with similar settings to the first, but using a customised Lewis guitar with twenty-four frets, allowing a full four-octave range. This solo was doubled using automatic double tracking.[20]

According to mix supervisor Chris Thomas, Gilmour wanted to record guitar tracks live, and not add effects later. Thomas also asked Gilmour to double the descending riff at the end of the solo, so it would sound "really big" leading into the last verse, and to double the bass riff on guitar so it could stand out more.[20][21]

Dick Parry added his saxophone solo on 27 October. The group didn't know many other musicians and asked Parry as he was an old friend of Gilmour.[20] Gilmour sang the lead vocal, which was also double tracked, including scat singing in response to some improvised guitar lines during the outro.[20]

Various voices can be heard talking as the track fades out into the next song, "Us and Them". Roger Waters asked people who were present in the studio at the time random questions, and recorded their responses to add to the song.[22] Paul McCartney, who happened to be in the studio at the time of the recording, was questioned as well but his answer never made the final cut.[23] However, Wings' guitarist Henry McCullough did contribute the line "I don't know, I was really drunk at the time". Other lines included roadie Peter Watts's wife Patricia: "I was definitely in the right. That geezer was cruising for a bruising" and roadie Chris Adamson: "So after, I was yelling and screaming and telling him why it wasn't coming up on fader eleven. It came to a heavy blow, which sorted the matter out."[24]


The single was released in the US on 7 May 1973 in a shorter version, with most of the saxophone and guitar solos edited out.[25][11] A special promotional single was released for radio stations containing a stereo and mono mix on, with the word "bullshit" intended to be censored. However, the stereo mix accidentally contained the uncensored version, so a new pressing had to be issued.[25]

"Money" was Pink Floyd's first major hit in the US, reaching a peak of No. 13 in the Billboard Hot 100.[25] It also topped the charts in France and was a top ten hit in Austria.[22]


The song was re-recorded for the 1981 Pink Floyd album, A Collection of Great Dance Songs, because Capitol Records refused to licence the track to Columbia Records in the United States.[26] With the help of co-producer James Guthrie, David Gilmour re-recorded the song, providing the vocals and playing all the instruments except saxophone, where Parry reprised his role. [27] This recording was released as a single.[25]

The quadraphonic version was also released on the LP Quadrafile, a demonstration record released in 1976. This release was intended to allow the listener to compare the same material as heard in 4 different quadraphonic encoding formats: SQ, QS Regular Matrix, CD-4 and UD-4. Atom Heart Mother, The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here were also released in the SQ format.


"Money" has been regularly performed by Pink Floyd throughout their career.[22] The first performance was at The Dome, Brighton on 20 January 1972 as part of the "Dark Side of the Moon" suite, but this was abandoned after a few bars due to problems with the taped sound effects. After a delay, the group decided to play "Atom Heart Mother" instead.[28] The first complete performance was the following day at the Guildhall, Portsmouth.[29] It was performed regularly along with the rest of "Dark Side of the Moon" up until the concert at Knebworth Park on 5 July 1975.[30] It was then performed as an encore on the 1977 "In The Flesh" tour.[31] These later performances would typically last as long as twelve minutes, with the song's solo being elongated with multiple additional sections.[citation needed]

Pink Floyd performed the song during the tours supporting A Momentary Lapse of Reason, and The Division Bell, after Waters had left the group.[32]

Gilmour played the song regularly during his 1984 US tour in support of the solo album About Face and the song would be expanded up to 12 minutes.[33] He also played the song regularly during his Rattle That Lock Tour in 2015 and 2016 and again was expanded.

Waters has also regularly included it on his solo tours, including those for The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking[34] and Radio K.A.O.S.[35] 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.[citation needed]

"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".[36] 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.


"Money" is the only song from The Dark Side of the Moon to make its appearance on the Billboard Top 100 list of 1973,[37] where it was ranked 92.[37] In 2008, Guitar World magazine listed David Gilmour's solo on "Money" as No. 62 among readers' votes for "The Greatest 100 Guitar Solos."[38] The song was also ranked No. 69 on the list of "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" of Rolling Stone.[39] This song avoids more typical Pink Floyd themes such as paranoia, insanity, the meaning of life, and the passage of time. Instead, the lyrics criticise crass materialism.[40]

The commercial success of "Money" as a single changed Pink Floyd's career, moving them from a cult band to major stars. This caused problems at gigs, as audiences wanted to hear the song and not lengthy instrumental passages that had been a key part of concerts to that point.[22]


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. It also has shots of people living in apparent poverty, as well as shots of gramophone records and audio equipment being destroyed by explosives during the song's bridge.[41]


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)[52]
sales since 2009
Platinum 50,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[53]
sales since 2005
Gold 400,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Roger Waters version[edit]

Single by Roger Waters
from the album The Dark Side of the Moon Redux
Released21 July 2023
LabelCooking Vinyl
Roger Waters singles chronology
"Comfortably Numb 2022"
Music video
"Money" on YouTube

In early 2023, Waters announced that for the 50th anniversary of The Dark Side of the Moon, he would be doing a full re-recording of the record without the rest of Pink Floyd that would re-address the political and emotional statements on that record.[54] The record's name, cover, and lead single, the re-recording of "Money" was released on 21 July 2023.[55] The track also had a lyric video released alongside it.[56]

Unlike the original track, the new version of "Money" has been described as being "eerie" and having ominous, near-whispering and crooning vocals from Waters. Furthermore, it is also notably slower than the original[57] and features a spoken word segment in the middle, which "only adds to the surrealism".[58] The track overall has also been described as being more bluesy than rock and drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen.[59][60]


  • Roger Waters – vocals
  • Gus Seyffert – bass, guitar, percussion, keys, synth, backing vocals
  • Joey Waronker – drums, percussion
  • Jonathan Wilson – guitars, synth, organ
  • Johnny Shepherd – organ, piano
  • Via Mardot – theremin
  • Azniv Korkejian – vocals
  • Gabe Noel – string arrangements, strings, sarangi
  • Jon Carin – keyboards, lap steel, synth, organ



  1. ^ Waters and Gilmour originally stated that the song was composed primarily in 7
    time,[7] although Gilmour said later, in a 1993 interview with Guitar World magazine, that the time signature was 7
    . Rick Wright confirmed in a US radio interview in 2000 that "Money" was composed in 7


  1. ^ a b c Guesdon & Margotin 2017, pp. 358–359.
  2. ^ Adrian Ashton (2006), The Bass Handbook, Backbeat Books, ISBN 0-87930-872-9.
  3. ^ "The 10 Best Prog Rock Albums". Rolling Stone. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  4. ^ Manning, Toby (2006). The Rough Guide to Pink Floyd. Rough Guides. p. 201. ISBN 978-1-84353-575-1.
  5. ^ Bill Wyman (3 August 2017). "All 165 Pink Floyd Songs, Ranked From Worst to Best". Vulture. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  6. ^ Guesdon & Margotin 2017, p. 3578.
  7. ^ a b c Classic Albums: Pink Floyd – The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon (DVD), 2003
  8. ^ "Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon". Archived from the original on 7 December 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  9. ^ Guitar World, February 1993 Retrieved from Pink Floyd Online on 3 November 2008.
  10. ^ David Hodge, "Play in a Different Time" Archived 6 September 2012 at archive.todayPlay Guitar Magazine, No. 12, Spring 2007. Retrieved on 3 November 2008.
  11. ^ a b Wild 2017, p. 102.
  12. ^ 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])
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ a b Guesdon & Margotin 2017, p. 356.
  15. ^ Gwyther, Matthew (7 March 1993). "The dark side of success". The Observer: 34.
  16. ^ a b c d Guesdon & Margotin 2017, p. 358.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Blake 2011, p. 185.
  19. ^ Povey 2007, p. 168.
  20. ^ a b c d Guesdon & Margotin 2017, p. 359.
  21. ^ Cunningham, Mark (January 1995). "The other side of the moon". Making Music. p. 19.
  22. ^ a b c d Guesdon & Margotin 2017, p. 357.
  23. ^ Blake 2011, p. 196.
  24. ^ Guesdon & Margotin 2017, pp. 357–358.
  25. ^ a b c d Povey 2007, p. 346.
  26. ^ Guesdon & Margotin 2017, p. 360.
  27. ^ 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...
  28. ^ Povey 2007, p. 164.
  29. ^ Povey 2007, p. 165.
  30. ^ Povey 2007, p. 197.
  31. ^ Povey 2007, p. 209.
  32. ^ Povey 2007, pp. 246, 247, 270.
  33. ^ Povey 2007, pp. 304–306.
  34. ^ Povey 2007, p. 326.
  35. ^ Povey 2007, p. 329.
  36. ^ Povey 2007, p. 287.
  37. ^ a b "Billboard Top 100 – 1973 – Longbored Surfer – Charts". 25 November 2010. Archived from the original on 25 November 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  38. ^ "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.
  39. ^ "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."
  40. ^ Queenan, Joe (28 January 2008). "Money: it's still a hit". The Guardian.
  41. ^ "Pink Floyd – Money (Official Music Video)". Pink Floyd. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  42. ^ 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
  43. ^ Steffen Hung. "Discographie Pink Floyd". Archived from the original on 16 June 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  44. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres". Archived from the original on 19 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  45. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e Dischi (in Italian). Retrieved 30 May 2022. Set "Tipo" on "Singoli". Then, in the "Artista" field, search "Pink Floyd".
  46. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  47. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  48. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 8/04/73". Archived from the original on 9 June 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  49. ^ "74 more from '74" (PDF).
  50. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  51. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1973". Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  52. ^ "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".
  53. ^ "British single certifications – Pink Floyd – Money". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  54. ^ "Roger Waters / The Dark Side of the Moon Redux – SuperDeluxeEdition". 21 July 2023. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  55. ^ "ROGER WATERS Announces 'The Dark Side Of The Moon Redux', Shares His Reinterpretation Of 'Money'". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 21 July 2023. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  56. ^ Pearis, Bill (21 July 2023). "Rogers Waters' new version of "Money" is here (and it doesn't sound like the one you know)". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  57. ^ "Roger Waters Shares His Version of Pink Floyd's "Money": Stream". 21 July 2023. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  58. ^ "Roger Waters Releases New Version of 'Money'". 94.7 WCSX. 21 July 2023. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  59. ^ Willman, Chris (21 July 2023). "Roger Waters Announces Solo Remake of Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon,' Releases a Whispered 'Money' as First Teaser". Variety. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  60. ^ Pearis, Bill (21 July 2023). "Rogers Waters' new version of "Money" is here (and it doesn't sound like the one you know)". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 8 August 2023.


External links[edit]