Core Curriculum: Eddie Money

The late Eddie Money is an artist who is both well-remembered and fondly viewed and also deeply underrated, and it is interesting to see how these two qualities combine. He has some songs that have stood the test of time and remain enduringly popular, and also songs that are more obscure that are still enjoyable and which demonstrate that he was more consistently good than he is given credit for. He also has seven official compilations that have been released, and so it is fair to look at this body of work–demonstrative that he has a back catalog that a lot of people like–to see where there is a core body of songs that need to be appreciated as well as songs that are at least aiming to be better known as essential deep cuts and album tracks that deserve to be better known.

The first compilation of Eddie Money’s music was a greatest hits album that came just after his initial period of popularity ended, and was a demonstration that his career as a pop musician was ending, even if he continued to release the occasional studio album after this, as is the case with some artists. “Greatest Hits: The Sound Of Money” came out in 1989, and includes the following 13 songs taken from his self-titled debut album in 1997 to 1998’s Nothing To Lose, along with some new recordings:

Baby Hold On (1)
Two Tickets To Paradise (1)
Peace In Our Time (1)
Where’s The Party? (Live) (1)
I Wanna Go Back (1)
Walk On Water (1)
Shakin’ (1)
Take Me Home Tonight (1)
Think I’m In Love (1)
Looking Through The Eyes Of A Child (1)
No Control (1)
We Should Be Sleeping (1)
Stop Steppin’ On My Heart (1)

Included in this compilation is a mix between a couple of new recordings, quite a few songs that were undisputed hit singles, and a few lesser known tracks, making up a solid compilation overall that would be well worth reviewing. In 1996, the ten song budget compilation Good As Gold was released, and it contained the following songs:

Two Tickets To Paradise (2)
Where’s The Party? (2)
Trinidad (1)
Hard Life (1)
Back On The Road (1)
Take Me Home Tonight (2)
Save A Little Room In Your Heart For Me (1)
Gimme Some Water (1)
So Good To Be In Love Again (1)
Bad Girls (1)

This budget compilation contained some familiar songs but focused more on obscure albums that were not included in the first hits compilation, a way that some compilations have of broadening what is known about an artist and encouraging more sales by less duplication. A year later, “Super Hits” was released, which contained the following songs:

Baby Hold On (2)
Two Tickets To Paradise (3)
Think I’m In Love (2)
Running Back (1)
Take Me Home Tonight (3)
I Wanna Go Back (2)
Walk On Water (2)
We Should Be Sleeping (2)
The Big Crash (1)
Let’s Be Lovers Again (1)

This compilation is a mix between familiar songs–some of which had already appeared in 3 compilations, as well as a couple of songs that had not been compiled before, thus attempting both to consolidate a core set of songs from Eddie Money as well as branch out to encourage people to buy yet another compilation. The same year that Super Hits came out (1997), another compilation of Eddie Money songs was released called Shakin’ With The Money Man, and it was a large compilation which contained both familiar songs as well as less familiar ones, has was becoming increasingly common:

Something To Believe In (1)
If We Ever Get Out Of This Place (1)
Can You Fall In Love Again? (1)
Everybody Loves Christmas (1)
Two Tickets To Paradise (4)
I Wanna Go Back (3)
She Takes My Breath Away (1)
Where’s The Party? (3)
Gimme Some Water (2)
Wanna Be A Rock-N-Roll Star (1)
Everybody Rock-N-Roll The Place (1)
Baby Hold On (3)
Take Me Home Tonight (4)
Shakin’ (2)

This album was the largest compilation yet and suggested that even at this stage that it was appearing obvious to compilers that adding more songs was a ticket to more relevance in a market that was already being crowded with options for selecting among Eddie Money’s back catalog. Four years later, a sixteen track compilation called “The Best of Eddie Money” was released in 2001, that contained the following songs from the core part of Eddie Money’s career from 1997 to 1989:

Two Tickets To Paradise (5)
Shakin’ (3)
Take Me Home Tonight (5)
Wanna Be A Rock ‘N Roll Star (2)
Walk On Water (3)
Running Back (2)
Think I’m In Love (3)
Maybe I’m A Fool (1)
Rock And Roll The Place (Live) (2)
Baby Hold On (4)
We Should Be Sleeping (3)
Trinidad (2)
I Wanna Go Back (4)
No Control (Live) (2)
Where’s The Party? (4)
Peace In Our Time (2)

At this point, it was apparent that there was a consolidation going on where a certain body of songs were starting to rise as classics from the artist that had to be included in a serious compilation even as other songs were chose among–it is interesting to note that up to this point all compilations included at least one “water” song, but not both of the songs with water in the title that were included in compilations, an interesting decision to be sure. Two years later, another ten-song bargain compilation was released, Let’s Rock And Roll The Place, and it contained the following songs:

Baby Hold On (5)
Think I’m In Love (4)
Wanna Be A Rock-N-Roll Star (3)
Fire And Water (1)
Running Back (3)
Walk On Water (4)
Got To Get Another Girl (1)
Maybe I’m A Fool (2)
I Wanna Go Back (5)
Rock-N-Roll The Place (3)

Here again we see the familiar mix between a consolidation of popular songs–interestingly, not including the two songs that had appeared in all previous compilations–along with an attempt to still discover tracks that had not been previously anthologized. Later in 2003, a seventh compilation was released, The Essential Eddie Money, which at fifteen tracks was towards the long end of his compilations, containing the following tracks:

Two Tickets To Paradise (6)
Baby Hold On (6)
Wanna Be A Rock ‘N Roll Star (4)
Gimme Some Water (3)
Get A Move On (1)
Trinidad (3)
Shakin’ (4)
Think I’m In Love (5)
No Control (3)
Take Me Home Tonight (6)
I Wanna Go Back (6)
Walk On Water (5)
I’ll Get By (1)
Peace In Our Time (3)
There Will Never Be Another You (1)

Since there has been no official compilation in the nearly 20 years after 2003, this is where the core curriculum of Eddie Money rests, with seven compilations between ten and sixteen songs, which we will divide into several categories. The first category is the list of undoubted classics that have appeared in nearly all of the compilations:

Two Tickets To Paradise (6)
Baby Hold On (6)
Take Me Home Tonight (6)
I Wanna Go Back (6)

If you want to make a compilation of Eddie Money and don’t include these four songs, your compilation is likely not to be taken very seriously as a selection of his best work. There is also a substantial portion of songs that have received considerable if not near-universal recognition as being among Eddie Money’s best:

Walk On Water (5)
Think I’m In Love (5)
Wanna Be A Rock ‘N Roll Star (4)
Shakin’ (4)
Where’s The Party (4)

These nine songs, being recognized by most compilations as being part of Eddie Money’s best songs, provide a reasonable list of songs that can be considered to be the core of Eddie Money’s best work as recognized by others. There are some songs that are close to this mark and that with one or two more compilations may be considered as potential core songs in the future:

Gimme Some Water (3)
Trinidad (3)
No Control (3)
Peace In Our Time (3)
Rock-N-Roll The Place (3)
Running Back (3)
We Should Be Sleeping (3)

These seven songs make up the body of songs which have substantial but not majority or near-universal recognition as being great songs by Eddie Money and are probably where attention should be focused on making these songs better known by people who are fond of the undoubted classics noted earlier. These three sections contain 16 songs, a full cd of material that has substantial agreement as to being a vital song from Eddie Money’s body of work. Let us now look at the song which has received multiple mentions, and thus may rise into a higher status if there are larger compilations of Eddie Money’s work:

Maybe I’m a Fool (2)

The rest of the songs have only been anthologized once and thus are potential classics, but where no remote consensus exists, and thus which are not really core Eddie Money songs but certainly deep cuts that are worth checking out for those who want to move beyond the more familiar songs listed above, and which are worthwhile songs to add in case Eddie Money gets a two-disc compilation that would increase his core body of work:

Stop Steppin’ On My Heart (1)
Looking Through The Eyes Of A Child (1)
Hard Life (1)
Back On The Road (1)
Save A Little Room In Your Heart For Me (1)
So Good To Be In Love Again (1)
Bad Girls (1)
The Big Crash (1)
Let’s Be Lovers Again (1)
Something To Believe In (1)
If We Ever Get Out Of This Place (1)
Can You Fall In Love Again? (1)
Everybody Loves Christmas (1)
She Takes My Breath Away (1)
Fire And Water (1)
Got To Get Another Girl (1)
Get A Move On (1)
I’ll Get By (1)
There Will Never Be Another You (1)

These nineteen songs would make an entire potential second album for an Eddie Money retrospective that could include every single song that has been previously anthologized in a compilation of his work. Whether or not there is any market for this sort of work, it does demonstrate that there are a lot of songs–a total of 36–that have been seen as being worth included in at least one previous compilation of Eddie Money’s work. If you think that Eddie Money’s career is worthy of two disks–one of them including the seventeen songs that at least two previous compilations exist of, and the other 19 that have just one inclusion, as the core Eddie Money songs over his long and worthwhile career, feel free to let me know.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in History, Music History, Musings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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