The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History…Song #146: Money by Pink Floyd (RS)

This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song and going until I reach Song . When you see the song title listed as something like: Song (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.

RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.

Song #146: Money by Pink Floyd.

“Money” by Pink Floyd comes from an obscure little album that few have heard of called, “Dark Side of the Moon”. In actual fact, I am sure that most of you have heard of this album. “Dark Side of the Moon” has gone on to become one of the most iconic albums in all of music history. So, before getting into the story of the song, “Money”, itself, here are a few bits of trivia regarding “Dark Side of the Moon” that you may or may not know.

First of all, “Dark Side of the Moon” maintained a spot on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart for an astounding fifteen consecutive years; stretching all the way from 1973, when it was released, up until 1988. In terms of weekly appearances, that worked out to be 753 weeks in a row that “Dark Side of the Moon” made the Billboard chart. The album sold fifteen million copies which sounds like a lot….and it is….but, that total made it only the second highest selling album for Pink Floyd. Their biggest selling album was, “The Wall” with sales of 23 million worldwide. This album was the one that broke PInk Floyd into the upper echelons of music superstardom and, in the process, it made the band members independently wealthy. One of the things they did with their newfound wealth was to make an investment in a film that went on to become known as “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. If you watch the credits of that movie, you will see their names near the end, as financial backers of the film. And finally, speaking of films, there is a conspiracy theory of sorts out there in the world that posits that the construction of the songs on “Dark Side of the Moon” was inspired by the classic movie, “The Wizard of Oz”. The theory is that if you start the movie and the album at the very same time, the lyrics to the songs will line up with the action on the screen. I have not tried this myself to see if it is true but, if you have some cannabis edibles at the ready and want to have a go then, I am sure we will all eagerly receive your report when you are through.

The song, “Money”, was written as a critique of conspicuous consumption in our capitalistic societies. At the time it was written, Roger Waters viewed himself as a Socialist, politically. But, after the album took off and their bank accounts swelled, Waters admitted that having enough money to do anything, anywhere, at any time wasn’t actually so bad.

One of the things that “Money” is noted for is its’ liberal use of sound effects throughout the song. In our modern, digital world, adding in sound effects has become a relatively simple process. But, back in the early 1970s, these sound effects had to be recorded individually on to audio tape. If editing was required, the tape would have to be spliced manually and re-taped together. For this song, the band ended up creating a reel-to-reel tape of sound effects that was twenty feet long. In order to have it sync up properly to the master music tape, the sound effects had to be placed precisely in certain spots on the twenty foot-long piece of audiotape so that when played, the effects would fill in exactly where the band wanted them to. The band has stated that the recording process for “Money” was far harder and more labourious than was the creative process involved in making the song in the first place.

In any case, “Money” is a song that has made a lasting impression on listeners for several generations now. It is a song about the dangers of too much wealth in too few hands that is sung by millionaires and yet, we, commoners, lap it up, as if they are reading our thoughts aloud. It should not be surprising, given the subject matter of the song, that “Money” ended up being more successful and well-received in America than it was anywhere else. For now, let’s take our own look at Pink Floyd playing “Money” from one of the most popular albums of all-time, “Dark Side of the Moon”. Enjoy.

The link to the video for the song, “Money” by Pink Floyd, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Pink Floyd, can be found here.

The link to the official website for Rolling Stone Magazine, can be found here.

Author: Tom MacInnes

Among the many characters I play: husband, father, son, retired elementary school teacher, writer, Cape Bretoner, lover of hot tea and, above all else, a gentleman. I strive to make a positive difference in the lives of others. In Life, I have chosen to be kind.

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