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Money (That's What I Want)

The history of this classic Beatles song


The original Barrett Strong 45 of

The original Barrett Strong 45 of "Money"

source: puresoulie.com

Money (That's What I Want)

Written by: Janie Bradford, Berry Gordy Jr.
Recorded: July 18 and 30, September 30, 1963 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: August 21 and October 29, 1963
Length: 2:45
Takes: 7
Musicians: John Lennon: lead vocal, rhythm guitar (1958 Rickenbacker 325)
Paul McCartney: backing vocal, bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1)
George Harrison: backing vocal, lead guitar (1962 Gretsch 6122 "Country Gentleman")
Ringo Starr: drums (1963 Black Oyster Pearl Ludwig kit)
George Martin: piano (1905 Steinway Vertegrand "Mrs. Mills")
Released on: (CDs in bold)
  • With The Beatles, (UK: Parlophone PMC 1206; PCS 3045, Parlophone CDP 7 46436 2, US: Capitol CLJ 46436)
  • The Beatles' Second Album, (US: Capitol (S)T 2080, Capitol CDP 7243 8 66877 2 2)
  • All My Loving (EP), (UK: Parlophone GEP 8891)
  • A live favorite stretching all the way back to the Pete Best days, this Barrett Strong smash was originally released as Tamla 54027 in 1959 and was an important first big hit for the Motown empire. It was added to the end of With The Beatles in order to duplicate the success of "Twist And Shout," which had finished off the Please Please Me album with a bang.
  • One of fifteen songs recorded by the group for their Decca audition on January 1, 1962, it was also a feature of the group's Cavern and Hamburg eras.
  • This was the second song recorded for With The Beatles, with the basic track laid down just after work was begun on "You Really Got A Hold On Me."
Known live versions:

December 31, 1962 (The Star-Club, Hamburg, Germany)
October 24, 1963 (Karlaplansstudion, Stockholm, Sweden, Pop '63)
January 12, 1964 (Palladium, London, England, Sunday Night at the London Palladium)
BBC versions: 4 (for the BBC radio programs Saturday Club and From Us To You
ms Pop Go The Beatles, Saturday Club and From Us To You)

  • The band's version is a slight bit slower and two steps lower (E as opposed to F) but otherwise identical to the original version, although John freestyles vocally a good bit at the end, declaring "I want to be free" and (somewhat puckishly) "you owe me money."
  • The 1994 film Backbeat, a semi-fictional account of the group's Hamburg days, uses an all-star band to reproduce several of the band's songs, most notably their version of "Money." The band included Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum on vocals, Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs on vocals, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth on guitar, Don Fleming of Gumball on guitar, Mike Mills of R.E.M. on bass, and Nirvana/Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl on drums.
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