The Originals: Songs The Beatles Covered: “Money [That’s What I Want}- Barrett Strong. Written by Janie Bradford and Berry Gordy – and first recorded by Barrett Strong- the single by Strong would make history as the first hit single by a record company out of Detroit- Motown. In the summer of 1960- “Money” went to #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and would be ranked at #288 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs Ever list. Barrett Strong would play a big role at Motown- not as a performer but as a songwriter.
The Beatles heard the song while hanging out at Brian Epstein’s NEMS record store. They would later record it and make it the closer on their second album With The Beatles– with John Lennon on lead vocals [like on the cover that finished their debut album- “Twist And Shout.”}- I’d rank it second behind “Twist And Shout” as far as Beatles covers go.