Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll: "Money"

Monday, June 23: 4:11 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
On June 23, 1973 Pink Floyd made their US Top Forty debut with "Money."

Pink Floyd wouldn't have been a good bet to survive the 1960s, let alone the century. Original defining songwriter Syd Barrett was a sidelined acid casualty by 1968, when guitarist David Gilmour arrived. The group played to a cult audience until capturing the zeitgeist with 1973's The Dark Side of the Moon, an album about alienation and paranoia that sold millions and charted for over a decade.  "Money," the album's surprise hit, opens with ringing cash registers the most famous example of Pink Floyd's fondness for sound effects. Indeed, the rhythms of commerce establish the rigid beat for a song that is paradoxically one of the more soulful in the band's repertoire, with a saxophone wailing above jazzy keyboard and wahwah guitar. A rave-up guitar solo leads into a rocky jam that winds back into a final verse and fades amid chattering voices. With its musical change-ups and tricky production, "Money" became a career-defining single. Money itself was the issue in the 1980s after co-founder Roger Waters departed: he fought his ex-band mates over the rights to the lucrative name "Pink Floyd."


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