For the Love of Money  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"For the Love of Money" is a soul/funk song written by Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, and Anthony Jackson; and recorded by Philadelphia soul group The O'Jays for the album Ship Ahoy. Produced by Gamble and Huff for Philadelphia International Records, "For the Love of Money" was issued as a single in late 1973 (see 1973 in music), with "People Keep Tellin' Me" as its b-side. The single peaked to number three on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart, and at number nine on Billboard's Pop Singles chart in spring 1974. Though the album version of the song was over seven minutes long, it received substantial radio airplay. The song's title comes from a well-known Bible verse, 1 Timothy 6:10: "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (King James Version).

Anthony Jackson played bass guitar on the song. One day during fall 1973, producer/keyboardist Leon Huff was leading the members of the MFSB rhythm section and Jackson through a rehearsal. Sigma Sound Studios owner/engineer Joe Tarsia noticed that Jackson had a wah-wah pedal attached to his Fender Precision bass. Tarsia decided to run Jackson's bassline through a phaser, giving it a swishing sound and later mixed in echo. During the final mixing of the track, Kenny Gamble impulsively reached over to the echo button and added echo to Jackson's opening riffs.

"For the Love of Money" was nominated for the 1975 Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance - Duo, Group or Chorus, losing to "Tell Me Something Good" by Rufus. A cover version recorded by Erroll Starr was nominated for the 1987 Juno Award for "Best R&B/Soul Recording" (see Juno Awards of 1987). The original song was used as the theme to the 2004 reality television show The Apprentice with Donald Trump (and also some international versions of the show), which is ironic considering that the lyrics warn of the evil people will do for the love of money. The song was also briefly used during Trump's stint with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as his entrance theme (before he changed to a different song), and it was subsequently incorporated into a series of sketches on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in which O'Brien would perform an impression of Trump. Brian Griffin sings the chorus of the song whilst drunk in the episode of Family Guy - Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater. The song was also featured on an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Martin. The song is also played at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, WI when Badger kicker Taylor Mehlhaff converts a field goal attempt. A small extract was also used when Monica, Chandler and Pheobe enter the casino in the finale of season 5 of the TV show 'friends'.

The song was covered by the funk-punk outfit Defunkt on their 1982 album Thermonucler Sweat, and has also been sampled by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch's single "I Need Money" and Charli Baltimore's single "Money". It was covered by BulletBoys on their 1988 self-titled album, and a video was made for the song. Another successful cover of the song was done by Todd Rundgren with his rock band Utopia on their 1982 album Swing To the Right. The Happy Mondays' Rave On (1989) intro was also based on the opening riff to For The Love of Money.

A medley of "For the Love of Money" and Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City" was recorded by Troop, LeVert, and Queen Latifah. The medley was featured prominently in Mario Van Peebles' 1991 film New Jack City.

The song was parodied as "Cash Cash Cashety Cash" in the Drawn Together episode "The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist".



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "For the Love of Money" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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