Minyanville Playlist: Songs of Love and Money
Nine tracks for the sensitive economist.
According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend approximately $13.7 billion celebrating Saint Valentine. Still, most would agree that combining money and love on any other day is less than harmonious. Except in the occasional song. Whether you're walkin' on sunshine (whoa oh) or have the Valentine's Day blues, here are nine tunes for the fiscally-aware romantic.
For the Love of the Money, The O'Jays
Donald Trump thought this was an appropriate opening theme when The Apprentice debuted in 2004. He didn't actually listen to the lyrics: "Money, money, money, money, money/ Some people got to have it/ Some people really need it/ Listen to me y'all, do things, do things, do bad things with it." Bad things? Like financing the Taj Mahal?
Heart of Gold, Neil Young
This number one hit was off 1972's Harvest, which went on to sell 4.3 million copies. The average human heart weighs 11 ounces, and the average price of gold in 2007 was $807 per ounce. That's $8,877 for a heart of gold. No wonder old Neil was mining for one.
$1,000 Wedding, Gram Parsons
The godfather of country rock, Gram Parsons dies at age 26, but left behind a hugely influential catalogue. While he was spot on about the future of American music, he was off the mark on the cost of weddings. In 2005, they averaged $30,000.
Money Honey, The Drifters
It's a classic 1950s story: boy meets girl, girl falls in love with boy, boy loses all his money and threatens girl with leaving unless girl gives him everything she's got. The universality of the theme helped the tune to stay at number one for 23 weeks.
Money For Nothing, Dire Straights
Mark Knopfler and Sting co-wrote the song that made the line "I want my MTV" famous. But they were misguided about the free chicks thing; everyone knows the US poultry industry does $100 billion in combined annual revenue.
I Love Money, Playaz Circle
Sure, lots of hip-hop duos show interest in dolla bills, y'all. But few demonstrate a level of sophistication on par with Playaz Circle. Tity Boi and Dolla Boy released I Love Money on the heels of their macro economically-oriented 2007 album, Supply And Demand. Rumor has it their forthcoming release will be titled Subprime Model In a Globalized Economy, Yo.
Love Don't Cost a Thing, Jennifer Lopez
Listen, J-Lo, maybe if you're worth over $255 million, love don't cost a thing, but for the rest of us, it does. On Valentine's day 35% of Americans will dine out, spending 22% more than they did five years ago. Not to mention the $700 million they just dropped on online dating – and there's nothing Gigli about that, sweetheart.
Material Girl, Madonna
From cheeky virgin to sexual icon to mystical Kabbalist, Madonna's shown growth potential that rivals Microhoo (or Yahoosoft). She's also a dollar diva, earning $72 million last year, and beating out Barbara Streisand as the most successful female artist. Makes you feel bad for Barbara for a second. Wait… Wait… No, it's gone.
The Power of Love, Huey Lewis and The News
Huey sings that you "Don't need money/ Don't need fame/ Don't need no credit card to ride this train." Which train is he singing about? The Acela? No! It's The Love Train, recorded by the O'Jays (see above) in 1973. And we've come full circle.
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