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“Money (That’s What I Want)”

Listen to “Money (That’s What I Want)”

About “Money (That’s What I Want)”

“Money (That’s What I Want)” is a 1959 hit single by Barrett Strong for the Tamla label, distributed by Anna Records. The song was written by Tamla founder Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford, and would become the first hit record for Gordy’s Motown flagship label.

The Beatles recorded “Money” in seven takes on July 18, 1963. A series of piano overdubs was later added by producer George Martin. The song was released in November 1963 as the final track on their second UK album, With the Beatles.

According to George Harrison, the group discovered Strong’s version in Brian Epstein’s NEMS record store (though not a hit in the UK, it had been issued on London Records in 1960). They had previously performed it during their audition at Decca Records on January 1, 1962, with Pete Best still on drums at the time. They also recorded it six times for BBC radio. A live version, taped at a concert date in Stockholm, Sweden, in October 1963, was included on Anthology 1.

In 2018, the music staff of Time Out London ranked “Money (That’s What I Want)” at number 24 on their list of the best Beatles songs.

Meaning of “Money (That’s What I Want)”

The Beatles’ rendition of “Money (That’s What I Want)” conveys a theme centered around materialism and the pursuit of financial prosperity. The lyrics express a desire for monetary wealth and emphasize its importance in achieving personal happiness and security. The author makes it clear that money is his primary goal and holds significant value in his life.

This theme reflects a common human aspiration for financial stability and comfort. It also highlights the societal emphasis on material success and the belief that wealth can lead to a more fulfilling life.

“Money (That’s What I Want)” addresses the universal desire for financial security and the belief that money can provide a sense of contentment and fulfillment. The Beatles’ energetic rendition of this classic track amplifies its message, making it a timeless anthem for the pursuit of wealth.


  • John Lennon – vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney – backing vocals, bass
  • George Harrison – backing vocals, lead guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums
  • George Martin – piano

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