Roger Waters may be a divisive figure both inside and outside of the Pink Floyd community but one thing that can never be taken away from the bassist and composer: he has a real knack for a tune or two.
Below, we’re looking at one of Waters’ most beloved pieces, ‘Money’, through his isolated bass track and reminding ourselves that while Waters is a varied composer, on the bass he is still a wizard.
The delicious irony of ‘Money’ is that while Waters and Pink Floyd wrote it as an attack on the falsehood of money being able to buy happiness it remains one of the highest-grossing singles in their illustrious history. It helped to make Dark Side of the Moon one of the highest-selling albums of all time with over 34 million copies sold.
Known for commanding the studio when he has a song written, when the band came to record ‘Money’, Waters was once again on hand to dish out some advice. Gilmour was asked in 1983 where the song’s famous time signature had come from and he duly replied: “It’s Roger’s riff. Roger came in with the verses and lyrics for ‘Money’ more or less completed. And we just made up middle sections, guitar solos and all that stuff.”
“We also invented some new riffs – we created a 4/4 progression for the guitar solo and made the poor saxophone player play in 7/4. It was my idea to break down and become dry and empty for the second chorus of the solo.”
The track may well be famed for its use of tape loops and the iconic cash register intro but we like to experience the song stripped back and how we might hope Waters first composed the song, on his bass and his bass alone—before taking it to Pink Floyd for the final finishes.
It’s a reminder of the crucial moments that hide beneath songs and when they’re songs which are as textured, complicated and dense as this one, listening to an isolated track reveals a different personality to the song.
Hear Roger Waters’ isolated bass for Pink Floyd’s classic song ‘Money’, below.