12 Best Songs About Money and Our Obsession with Getting Filthy Rich

Throughout the history of music, the theme of money has played a significant role in songwriting. Whether it is a celebration of wealth, a lament of poverty, or a commentary on society’s obsession with money, songs about money have become a ubiquitous part of the musical landscape.

These songs not only provide a glimpse into the financial mindset of the artists who wrote them, but also into the broader cultural and social factors that influence our collective attitudes towards wealth and success. From hip-hop to rock, pop to R&B, there are countless examples of songs that explore the theme of money, each offering a unique perspective on our relationship with wealth and the pursuit of financial success.

Our obsession with getting filthy rich is a common theme in many of these songs, reflecting the belief that financial success is the key to happiness, status, and fulfillment. These songs often celebrate the trappings of wealth, from expensive cars to designer clothes, and paint a picture of a life of luxury and excess. However, there are also songs that offer a more critical perspective on our obsession with money, exploring the darker side of financial success and the toll it can take on our relationships, our happiness, and our sense of self. Regardless of their message or genre, songs about money offer a window into our collective psyche and the complex web of emotions, desires, and values that underlie our relationship with wealth and success.

1.“Money (That’s What I Want)” by The Flying Lizards

“Money (That’s What I Want)” by The Flying Lizards: Originally written by Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford in 1959, this song was later covered by The Flying Lizards in 1979 with a new wave twist. The song features a minimalist arrangement with a distinctive electronic sound and repetitive vocals. The lyrics express a desire for financial gain and material possessions, reflecting the capitalist values of the time. The song became a hit and is considered an influential example of the post-punk and new wave genres.

2.“Money” by Pink Floyd

“Money” by Pink Floyd: This iconic song from Pink Floyd’s 1973 album “The Dark Side of the Moon” has become a classic rock staple. The song features a memorable bass line and cash register sound effects, as well as a saxophone solo. The lyrics critique the materialistic nature of society, with lines like “Money, it’s a gas / Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.” The song is known for its innovative use of sound effects and time signature changes, making it a groundbreaking example of progressive rock.

3.“Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits

“Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits: This 1985 hit from the album “Brothers in Arms” is known for its distinctive guitar riff and satirical lyrics. The song critiques the excesses and commercialization of the music industry, with lyrics like “Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free.” The song also features a memorable music video that became one of the first to feature computer-generated animation.

4.“Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)” by Pet Shop Boys

“Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)” by Pet Shop Boys: This synthpop hit from 1985 is an upbeat critique of capitalism and the “greed is good” mentality of the time. The lyrics express a desire for financial success and a willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve it, with lines like “I’ve got the brains, you’ve got the looks / Let’s make lots of money.” The song features a catchy melody and an infectious chorus, making it one of the Pet Shop Boys’ most popular songs.

5.“For the Love of Money” – The O’Jays

“For the Love of Money” by The O’Jays: This soul and funk hit from 1973 is known for its iconic bassline and socially conscious lyrics. The song criticizes the love of money and the greed that it can inspire, with lines like “For the love of money / People will steal from their mother.” The song became a hit and has been covered by numerous artists, including Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Queen Latifah.

6.“You Never Give Me Your Money” by The Beatles

“You Never Give Me Your Money” by The Beatles: This song is a part of the famous medley from the second side of The Beatles’ 1969 album “Abbey Road.” The song features a nostalgic melody and reflective lyrics that discuss the tensions and struggles within the band during the later years of their career. The song’s chorus, “You never give me your money / You only give me your funny paper,” alludes to the difficulties of managing the band’s finances and disagreements over royalties. The song is a testament to the band’s songwriting prowess and their ability to blend different genres and musical styles.

7.“Money Changes Everything” by Cyndi Lauper

“Money Changes Everything” by Cyndi Lauper: This song is a cover of a track by the Atlanta-based punk band The Brains, and was re-recorded by Lauper for her debut album “She’s So Unusual” in 1983. The song has a driving beat and catchy melody, with lyrics that explore the effects of money on relationships and personal values. The chorus, “Money changes everything,” reflects the idea that wealth can alter a person’s priorities and behavior. The song was a hit and helped to establish Lauper as a rising star in the music industry.

8.“Take the Money and Run” by Steve Miller Band

“Take the Money and Run” by Steve Miller Band: This classic rock hit from 1976 is known for its catchy guitar riff and storytelling lyrics. The song tells the tale of two lovers, Billy Joe and Bobby Sue, who rob a bank and go on the run. The song’s chorus, “Go on, take the money and run,” has become a popular phrase, and the song has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows. The song’s upbeat tempo and playful lyrics make it a fan favorite and a staple of classic rock radio.

9.“C.R.E.A.M.” – Wu-Tang Clan

“C.R.E.A.M.” by Wu-Tang Clan: This hip-hop classic from 1993 is known for its raw and honest depiction of poverty, struggle, and the desire for financial success. The title stands for “Cash Rules Everything Around Me,” and the song’s lyrics explore the impact of money on everyday life, including the harsh realities of street life and the desire for success and security. The song features a memorable sample from the Charmels’ song “As Long As I’ve Got You,” as well as verses from Wu-Tang Clan members Raekwon and Inspectah Deck. The song has become a staple of hip-hop culture and is widely regarded as one of the greatest rap songs of all time.

10.“Mo Money, Mo Problems” by Notorious BIG ft. Puff Daddy and Mase

“Mo Money, Mo Problems” by The Notorious B.I.G. ft. Puff Daddy and Mase: This 1997 hip-hop hit is a celebration of success and the excesses that often come with it. The song features a sample from Diana Ross’s “I’m Coming Out” and lyrics that discuss the newfound wealth and fame of the artists, as well as the challenges and drawbacks of that lifestyle. The chorus, “Mo money, mo problems,” reflects the idea that financial success can come with its own set of difficulties and stresses. The song became a huge commercial success and has since become a classic of 90s hip-hop.

11.“Money, Money, Money” by ABBA

“Money, Money, Money” by ABBA: This upbeat pop song from 1976 features catchy melodies and lyrics that explore the relationship between money and happiness. The song tells the story of a woman who dreams of a life of luxury and financial security, but who ultimately finds that money cannot buy happiness. The song’s chorus, “Money, money, money / Must be funny / In the rich man’s world,” has become a classic ABBA catchphrase and the song is a fan favorite. The song features ABBA’s signature blend of pop and disco music and is a testament to their songwriting and production skills.

12.“Material Girl” by Madonna

“Material Girl” by Madonna: This iconic pop song from 1984 has become synonymous with Madonna’s early career and is a celebration of wealth, luxury, and the finer things in life. The song’s lyrics explore the idea that money can buy happiness and that material possessions are a key component of success and fulfillment. The song features a catchy melody and a memorable video that pays homage to Marilyn Monroe and Hollywood glamor. The song has become a pop culture touchstone and is often cited as one of Madonna’s greatest hits.

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