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"Money" is the sixth track from Englishmarker progressive rock band Pink Floyd's 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. Written by bassist Roger Waters, it opened side two of the original vinyl LP, and is the only song on the album to enter the top 20 on the United Statesmarker singles charts. "Money" is particularly notable for its unusual 7/4–4/4 time signature, its distinctive bassline and the seven-beat "loop" of money-related sound effects that opens the track: coins clinking, a cash register ringing, etc.


Despite relatively recent remarks by bassist Roger Waters and guitarist David Gilmour, that the song had been composed primarily in 7/8 time, it was actually composed in 7/4, as Gilmour previously acknowledged in an interview with Guitar World magazine in 1993. Most rock music is written in 4/4, or common time, and most of the exceptions are in 3/4 or a similar triple meter. The typical rock backbeat on two and four is instead on two, four and six, leaving two beats in a row without an accented beat from the snare drum.

The song is also notable for its dramatic change to 4/4 time for an extended guitar solo, after which the song returns to 7/4, then ends in 4/4. Gilmour suggested the change in time signature was likely introduced to make things a little easier for him. The first of three choruses which compose his solo was recorded using real-time double-tracking. That is, Gilmour played the chorus nearly identically in two passes recorded to two different tracks of a multi-track tape machine. The doubled effect for the third chorus was created using automatic double-tracking .

The form and chord progression are based on the standard twelve-bar blues in the key of B minor. Two twelve-bar verses are followed by a twelve-bar instrumental section that features a funk-style tenor saxophone solo along with keyboard, bass, and drums.


The demo tracks for the song, including some of the sound effects, were recorded in a makeshift recording studio Roger Waters had in his garden shed. As recorded by the band, the song has a bluesy, transatlantic feel, unlike Waters' original demo version, which he later described as "prissy and very English". Though credited solely to Waters, since he wrote the basic music and all the lyrics, it is very much a group effort. The instrumental jam was a collaborative effort, with Gilmour overseeing the time change as well as his own guitar and vocal work, and Richard Wright and Nick Mason improvising their own parts. Guest musician Dick Parry contributed the tenor saxophone solo that precedes the guitar solo. Gilmour's input is also discernible in the final mix, which features contrasting "wet" sections, with thick reverb and delay effects, and "dry" sections. In particular, during the second chorus of the guitar solo, all the reverb and delay effects are suddenly pulled out, creating a much smaller and more intimate virtual space. To produce the distinctive piercing high notes that distinguish the final chorus of his solo, Gilmour played a customized Lewis guitar with a full two-octave range.

Perhaps the most distinctive element of "Money" is the rhythmic sequence of sound effects that begins the track and is heard throughout the first several bars. This was created by splicing together recordings Waters had made of clinking coins, a ringing cash register, tearing paper, a clicking counting machine and other items to construct a seven-beat effects loop. It was later adapted to four tracks in order to create a "walk around the room" effect in the quadraphonic mix of Dark Side of the Moon.

From 1972 through 1975, "Money" was a regular feature of the band's Dark Side of the Moon set, and it was routinely performed as an encore during the band's 1977 tour. These later performances would typically last as long as 12 minutes. From 1987 through 1990, the band performed the song during tours supporting A Momentary Lapse of Reason, their first album without Roger Waters, who had left the band in December 1985. In 1994 the band performed the song during tours supporting The Division Bell, their second post-Waters album. An extended version of the song, again lasting up to 12 minutes, was regularly performed during Gilmour's 1984 USmarker tour in support of his solo album About Face. Waters has also regularly included it on his solo tours.

The song was re-recorded for the 1981 Pink Floyd album, A Collection of Great Dance Songs, because Capitol Records refused to license the track to Columbia Records in the US. With the help of producer James Guthrie, Gilmour re-recorded the song, providing vocals and playing all the instruments except saxophone. Dick Parry again contributed the sax solo, reprising his role on the original recording. Drums were programmed into a drum machine.

"Money" was performed during Pink Floyd's reunion show (which included Waters) at the Live 8 concert in London in 2005, along with "Breathe" (including the reprise that follows "Time"), "Wish You Were Here" and "Comfortably Numb". It was also performed by Waters at Live Earth's Concert at Giants Stadium on July 7, 2007.

In 2008, Guitar World magazine listed Gilmour's solo on "Money" as number 62 among readers' votes for "The Greatest 100 Guitar Solos". Many guitar enthusiasts consider it one of his very best.

The song was also sampled by DJ Premier for hip-hop artist Jeru the Damaja's 1996 song "Me or the Papes".


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


  • Velvet Revolver covered it for the 2003 re-make of the film The Italian Job. Changes included doubling the opening bass riff with a guitar line, and replacing the saxophone solo with a guitar solo by former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash. (Both guitar parts were played through a talk box.)

  • Easy Star All-Stars covered it on the album Dub Side of the Moon, released February 18, 2003 by Easy Star Records. The cash register sounds were changed to those of a man lighting a water pipe (bong)
  • Eric Burdon recorded it in 1999 with the British Rock Symphony Orchestra.

Alternative and Live versions



Chart (1973) Peak
United States Billboard Hot 100

Notes and references

  1. The track number depends upon the edition of the album; some releases merge the two tracks "Speak to Me" and "Breathe".
  2. Classic Albums: Pink Floyd - The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon (DVD), 2003.
  3. Guitar World, February 1993. Retrieved from Pink Floyd Online on 3 November 2008.
  4. David Hodge, "Play in a Different Time". Play Guitar Magazine, No. 12, Spring 2007. Retrieved on 3 November 2008.
  5. "Guitar World Presents The Greatest 100 Guitar Solos" Guitar World, updated on 30 October 2008. Retrieved on 8 March 2009.
  6. "Money" (Music Video), 1973, retrieved on 2009-03-20.

External links

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