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Money (That’s What I Want) Barrett Strong (Tamla, 1960)

Money (That’s What I Want) was written by Tamla Records founder Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford. It went on to become the first hit record for Gordy’s Motown label, which he had founded the previous year. Based on the title, you assume Strong states that he needs money more than anything else, which he does. Money (That’s What I Want) hit #2 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Sides chart and #23 on the Hot 100. Rolling Stone magazine listed it as #288 on their “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list.

Money (That’s What I Want) has been covered numerous times, most notably by Joe Cocker (1963), the Beatles and the Rolling Stones (1964) and The Doors. The Flying Lizards (1979), The Sonics (1965) and The Kingsmen (1964) had some of the highest charted outings with their covers.