MONEY (THAT'S WHAT I WANT)

Latest update on 23/03/2019

Artist: Barrett Strong
Author: Berry Gordy Jr./Janie Bradford
Label: Tamla
Year: 1959

First hit with a Motown sound (n°2 R&B, top 30 US). Reissued in 1960 on Anna, the label of Berry Gordy's sister. According to the records at the United States Copyright Office in Washington, Barrett Strong was originally listed as coauthor but has never seen a penny of the profits. His name was literally crossed out, again in 1987 when the copyright needed to be renewed. When in 2010 Mr. Strong finally knew about this freud, it was too late for him to act. But let it be clear: the unique piano riff which opens the song was all his, according to Robert Bateman who engineered the session and Money guitarist Eugene Grew. Eén van de tien selecties in Greil Marcus' The History Of Rock 'N' Roll In 10 Songs.

Covers:

1960:

John Lee Hooker [as I Need Some Money]

1961:

Richard Wylie

1962:

Jerry Lee Lewis

1962:

Jennell Hawkins [answersong as More Money on Amazon]

1963:

Buddy Guy [as $100 Bill]

1963:

Beatles [publishing royalties on this cover gave Motown a fenomenal cash boost]

1963:

Searchers

1963:

Bern Elliott & The Fenmen

1963:

Trashmen

1963:

Rob De Nijs [as Geld]

1963:

Undertakers [with Jackie Lomax]

1964:

Rolling Stones [on No Stone Unturned]

1964:

Kingsmen

1964:

Crickets

1964:

Eddy Mitchell [as Pas De Chance, hit F]

1965:

Miracles [their (I Need Some) Money ('58) is a Robinson/Gordy composition]

1965:

Sonics

1965:

Everly Brothers

1965:

Knickerbockers

1966:

Jr. Walker & The All Stars

1969:

Plastic Ono Band

1970:

Doors [live at Madison Square Garden, announced as "the National Anthem" and crediting John Lee Hooker (see footnote)]

1973:

Don Covay

1975:

Gladys Knight & The Pips

1978:

Babys

1979:

Flying Lizards

1980:

Dwight Twilley

1988:

Herman Brood

1994:

Backbeat Band

1998:

Mike Welsh

1998:

Hanson

1999:

Anson Funderburgh [as $100 Bill; vocal: Sam Myers]

1999:

Sue Foley [idem]

The Doors credit John Lee Hooker who once earned a living in the same Detroit auto parts assembly line as Barrett Strong (and the whole Motown direction board). Maybe Barrett was influenced by his colleague. On the other hand, the Doors also credit Crawling King Snake to John Lee Hooker (see there).

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