Money (Pink Floyd song)

1972 song written by Roger Waters; performed and recorded by the British progressive rock band Pink Floyd

"Money" is a song by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd. The song was on their 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. It was written by their bassist/co-lead singer Roger Waters, and it was the first song on the second side of the original album. Money is the only song on the album to enter the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Money" is noted for its unusual 7/4–4/4 time signature, and the sounds of money-related objects that begins the song.

Song by Pink Floyd
from the album The Dark Side of the Moon
B-side"Any Colour You Like"
Released7 May 1973
RecordedJune 1972 – January 1973
StudioAbbey Road
GenreProgressive rock, blues rock, hard rock
Length3:59 (single edit)
6:22 (album version)
Songwriter(s)Roger Waters
Producer(s)Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd singles chronology
"Free Four"
"Time" / "Us and Them"

Composition change

One of Gilmour's ideas for the solo section was that, for the second chorus of the solo, all special 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 little. 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.[1]

The notes and chords are based on the regular twelve-bar blues in the musical key of B minor, with the sung melody and nearly all of Gilmour's solo based on the pentatonic and blues scales.[2] 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 4/4 leading to the guitar solo, which is structured like a twelve-bar blues, but doubled to a twenty-four-bar length.[3]

The lyrics are quickly talked about in the movie Pink Floyd The Wall, when the main character, Pink, is caught writing poems in class by his teacher. The teacher takes the poem from him and reads it in a very mean manner, wanting Pink's classmates to laugh. The poem is a part of the lyrics to "Money".[4]

Recording change

The first rough recordings of the song, including some of the sound effects, were recorded in a small recording studio Roger Waters had in his garden shed.[5] As recorded by the band, the song has a sad feel, unlike Waters' original version, which he later talked about 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 G-sharp minor, as opposed to the B minor of the final version.[6] The instrumental section was worked on by both Gilmour and Waters, with Gilmour overseeing the time change as well as his own guitar and voice work, and Richard Wright and Nick Mason making up their own parts. Dick Parry added the tenor saxophone solo that comes before the guitar solo. Gilmour's advice is also seen in the final mix, which features "wet" and "dry" sections. To produce the special high notes that make up the final chorus of his solo, Gilmour played a special Lewis guitar with twenty-four frets, allowing a large variety of notes.[6]

One of the special elements of "Money" are the sound effects that begin the song. These were made by putting together recordings Waters had made of clinking coins, a ringing cash register, tearing paper, a clicking counting machine and other items.[5][6]

In the video Classic Albums: Pink Floyd – The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon, engineer Alan Parsons talked about the recording of the band's first 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 went on, the band slowly 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.

Re-recording change

The song was re-recorded for the 1981 Pink Floyd album, A Collection of Great Dance Songs, because Capitol Records refused to let Columbia Records have the track in the US. With the help of producer James Guthrie, Gilmour re-recorded the song, providing vocals and playing all the instruments except saxophone (resulting in a much simpler drum part). Parry again added the sax solo, redoing his role on the original recording.

The music video for "Money" features scenes of various ways of making and spending money, and includes brief closeups of a coin spinning.

Personnel change


Charts change

Chart (1973) Peak position
US Billboard Hot 100
Chart (1981) Peak position
US Mainstream Rock Tracks

References change

  1. Classic Albums: Pink Floyd – The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon
  2. 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])
  3. 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.
  4. Pink Floyd The Wall DVD, Columbia Music Video, 550 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y., 10022-3211, ISBN 0-7389-0002-8
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Dark Side at 30: Roger Waters". Rolling Stone. 12 March 2003. Archived from the original on 26 March 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Classic Albums: Pink Floyd - The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon (DVD), 2003.

Other websites change