Well, here we In April – tax time in North America. Americans file by April 15th. Canadians get two extra weeks until April 30. Everybody’s thinking about money right now, so that’s what this week’s edition is all about – songs that had something to do with the ‘long green’. ‘Money’ songs that made Billboards’ Hot 100 chart include “Moneytalks” by AC/DC in 1991; Cyndi Laupers’ 1985 Top 30 hit “Money Changes Everything”;”Money Honey” by Elvis Presley from 1956 (although that one only made it as far as # 76); and Abba’s 1977 hit “Money, Money, Money”. So start thinking about the ‘greenback dollar’ for our American readers or ‘multi coloured bills’ here in Canada. One note – not all the songs will have the word ‘Money’ in the title, but that’s a good start. Follow the clues.
1. This song was all about ‘The Benjamins’. It was first written and recorded by a Motown singer/songwriter. Released in 1960, it just barely missed the Top 20, peaking at # 23. The Beatles covered this song on their first album, although it never hit the singles chart. Other cover versions that DID make the charts include The Kingsmen in 1964, fellow Motown artist Jr. Walker in ’66 and The Flying Lizards in 1980. Can you ‘give me’ the answer as to the name of this song?
2. In Canada in 2011, this song received a warning from the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council due to a complaint about the lyrics being ‘homophobic’, even though it had been played on radio around the world with no problems since it first was released in 1985. It went to # 1 on the singles chart that year and so far, is this groups’ only chart topper. These ‘Sultans of Swing’ came together in London, England and first hit the record charts in 1979. Who are they and what was their # 1 hit song?
3. Producers Mark Burnett and Donald Trump selected this song as the theme for the TV series, “The Apprentice” which has since morphed into “Celebrity Apprentice”, still using the same theme song. This group first hit the singles chart in 1963 (but just barely). Their first Top 5 hit happened in 1972, then they rode the ‘Love Train’ to number one in ‘73. The song we’re looking for made it to number four in 1974. What’s the name of the group and their ‘Money’ song?
4. There’s no ‘money’ in this songs’ title, but it’s all about how little we get to keep around this time of year. It was written by one of The Beatles and released on their 1966 album, “Revolver”. Two British politicians are mentioned in the lyrics. One was the current Prime Minister. The other became Prime Minister in 1970.
Although this Beatles song did not chart on the Hot 100, it was been played extensively on radio and continues to be played, especially around this time of year. So what’s the name of the song?
5. Alan Parsons was an engineer at EMI’s Abbey Road studios starting in the 1960’s. He assisted on several of The Beatles final albums’ and later worked as an full fledged engineer for Paul McCartney, The Hollies and another group that went on to amazing chart success. One of those albums, released in March of 1973, spent an astounding 741 weeks from ‘73 until 1988. This song was released as a single from that album and climbed to number thirteen on the Hot 100 singles chart. If you can’t guess this one, maybe you should quit now (oh wait, it’s the last question anyway). So what’s the name of this classic hit?
1. That would be Barrett Strong’s “Money (That’s What I Want)”. Strong later went on to co-write Motown hits such as “Just My Imagination”, “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” and Ball of Confusion”.
2. Dire Straits is the band. “Money For Nothing” is the song.
3. Canton, Ohio’s The O’Jays charted their first hit, a song called “Lonely Drifter”, in 1963. Although they had other minor hits over the years, it wasn’t until 1972 that they cracked the Top 10 with “Back Stabbers”, which went to number three. The following year, The O’Jays hit the big time with their number one smash, “Love Train”. In 1974, the group hit the Top 10 twice – first with “Put Your Hands Together” which hit number ten, then the song we were looking for – “For The Love of Money”. The “Celebrity Apprentice” theme made it to number nine. Since then, The O’Jays have scored two more Top 5 hits – “I Love Music (Part 1)” which went to number five in 1976 and 1978’s “Used Ta Be My Girl” which climbed all the way to number four.
4. “Taxman” by The Beatles was George Harrison’s sole songwriting contribution to the ”Revolver” album, but it was a darned good one. In the lyrics, George sings about ‘Taxman Mr. Wilson” and “Taxman Mr. Heath”. Harold Wilson was Prime Minister of Great Britain at the time and Edward Heath was in the official opposition.
5. This one really wasn’t that difficult, was it? The song in question is the Pink Floyd classic, “Money” from the “Dark Side of the Moon” album.