Money (That's What I Want) was written in 1959 by Motown founder Barry Gordy and Janie Bradford. The song was first recorded by 18 year old Barrett Strong that same year, with Gordy on piano, and it was released on Gordy's newly formed Tamla label. To increase the reach of the popular song it was also released on Gordy's short-lived Anna label. In April 1960 Gordy formed Motown Records, and he merged Tamla with Motown. In June of 1960 Money (That's What I Want) peaked at #2 on the Hot R&B charts - it was the first big hit for the Motown enterprise. Over the years, there have been many hit recordings of the song, including by The Beatles in 1963, and by UK New Wave band the Flying Lizards in 1979. Reportedly, Money (That's What I Want) came together in a spontaneous recording session with Gordy and Strong. Although Strong was originally given writing credit for the song, his name was removed 3 years after the song's release. When the copyright was renewed in 1987 Strong's writing credit was restored, only to be removed again the following year due to what Gordy claimed was a clerical error. Strong has disputed the label's writing credits for the song, and has always maintained that he co-wrote it with Gordy and Bradford. Ironically, being omitted from the songs credits, and royalties, must have had Strong thinking: "Money, That's What I Want." In the following years, Strong proved to be a brilliant songwriter for Motown Records, and he has been credited with co-writing many songs, such as: I Heard It Through the Grapevine, War, Smiling Faces Sometimes, Ball of Confusion, Papa Was a Rolling Stone, and many other hits.
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