Money Changes Everything

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"Money Changes Everything"
Single by the Brains
B-side"Quick with Your Lip"
Released1978 (1978)
LabelGray Matter
Songwriter(s)Tom Gray
"Money Changes Everything"
Single by the Brains
from the album The Brains
B-side"Girl in a Magazine"
Released1980 (1980)
Songwriter(s)Tom Gray
Producer(s)Steve Lillywhite

"Money Changes Everything" is a song written by Tom Gray, frontman of the Brains,[1] and was the band's only underground hit. It was recorded by Cyndi Lauper[1] for her debut album, She's So Unusual and was released as a single in 1984, peaking at number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is about how money interferes with personal relationships.

The Brains recordings[edit]

The original single was released in 1978 by the Brains as a 45 rpm single on Gray Matter Records. The B side of the single was a song called "Quick with Your Lip". The initial underground success of the song led to the Brains being signed by Mercury Records. They rerecorded the song under the guidance of producer Steve Lillywhite for their 1980 debut album, The Brains. Critic Greil Marcus, listing it at number 10 of his Real-Life Rock Top Ten 1979, said, "Singer Tom Gray told his story in a strangled voice, as if he were trying to explain, but instead he laid a curse. This damned single ranks higher than I've placed it, but if it were anywhere else I couldn't end with it, and there's no other way the decade could end."[2] Marcus would later write of the song, "It was hard, it hurt, and Cyndi Lauper's version makes the original sound compromised. She makes you wonder if Brains composer and singer Tom Gray even knew what he was talking about."[3]

Gray, with his band Delta Moon, also recorded a version of the song for their 2007 album Clear Blue Flame.[1]

Cyndi Lauper version[edit]

"Money Changes Everything"
Single by Cyndi Lauper
from the album She's So Unusual
B-side"He's So Unusual" "Yeah Yeah"
ReleasedDecember 22, 1984
FormatVinyl (7")
Vinyl (12")
RecordedJune 1983
at The Record Plant
(New York City, New York)
Songwriter(s)Tom Gray
Producer(s)Rick Chertoff
Cyndi Lauper singles chronology
"All Through the Night"
"Money Changes Everything"
"When You Were Mine"
Music video
"Money Changes Everything" on YouTube

Cyndi Lauper's recording of "Money Changes Everything" was released as the fifth single from her album She's So Unusual. It has been released in over 27 variations across the world, the most common being a two track 7" vinyl single (with varying covers). There was also a less common 12" vinyl single version. Lauper's cover features an appearance by Rob Hyman of the band the Hooters, playing his "hooter" (a Hohner Melodica) on the song's solo.

Lauper recorded an acoustic version, with guest artist Adam Lazzara (from the band Taking Back Sunday), for her 2005 album The Body Acoustic. "Money Changes Everything" peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Live Video[edit]

A live video was directed by Phil Tuckett and produced by Alan Saperstein of NFL FIlms Entertainment at the Houston Arena.

Chart performance[edit]

Lauper's version charted in the Top 100 in seven countries, including:

Chart (1984-85) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[4] 19
Canada - RPM Magazine 30
Chilean Singles Chart[5] 10
Colombian Singles Chart 3
German Singles Chart 54
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 14
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 27
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 37
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 Singles 31

Track listing[edit]

Official versions[edit]

  1. Edit version – 3:59
  2. Live version – 4:35
  3. Short live version – 4:13
  4. That Live Version – 6:04
  5. This Live Version – 5:48


  1. ^ a b c Hal Horowitz (2007-07-24). "Clear Blue Flame - Delta Moon | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  2. ^ Marcus, Greil, "Fear in the Marketplace: Real-Life Rock Top Ten 1979", New West, January 11, 1980
  3. ^ Marcus, Greil, "Free Speech, #1", Artforum, May 1984.
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 173. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between 1983 and 19 June 1988.
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External links[edit]