June , 1984
By Greg Garrett
Eddie Money’s Latest Offering No Small Change
Eddie Money (aka Mahoney) was born into a large Irish Catholic family in New York and came from a long line of police officers. His father, grandfather and brother were all proud members of the New York Police Department, and Eddie himself was an NYPD trainee.
He soon found out he had a higher calling. As his interest in music intensified, his interest in a career in law enforcement waned. He eventually turned in his shield and moved to California where he became a regular on the Southern California club circuit. Columbia Records decided to take a chance on the ex-cop and his debut album didn’t disappoint.
Titled simply Eddie Money, the artist scored big with the hits “Baby Hold On” and what is sure to go down as a rock and roll classic, “Two Tickets to Paradise.” The singer continued his success with the follow-up, Life for the Taking that featured another hit, “Maybe I’m a Fool”. The 1980 release of Playing for Keeps featured the now concert staple “Trinidad” and “Get a Move On.” Eddie finally hit his stride again in 1982 with the release of No Control. Thanks in part to the advent of MTV, the singer took advantage of the medium and created two clever music videos, “Shakin’” and Think I’m in Love” that helped propel the album to over a million copies sold.
That brings us to his latest release, Where's The Party? The album is the second produced by Tom Dowd, who also manned the controls on Money’s previous effort.
"I've wanted to work with Tom Dowd for a long time,” stated Money. “He worked with a lot of the greats, like Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin. He also worked with one of my all-time favorites, The Rascals.
"It's a shame that we really don't see eye to eye. We get most of our results through friction. Nonetheless, the last two albums he has produced have been very good. Tom is a very one-sided guy and stubborn, like me. In fact, he’s stubborn as a mule and a lot of times he's right. But there has just got to be an easier way to make a record."
Money bemoans the time and effort spent recording his last two albums with Dowd for good reason.
"The last two albums cost half a million dollars apiece to record,” offered the singer. “That’s entirely too much money to spend in the studio. What really bothered me was the two tunes I was really involved with producing that were from the last album’s sessions. Tom passed them for two other songs. It ended up costing about thirty or forty thousand dollars when it really wasn't necessary. Nonetheless, he's a great producer and I've gotten a couple of great records out of him.
"I've used three producers on my records so far, but I usually end up producing half the record myself. I have produced a couple of cuts for Yoko Ono's next record coming out, and I co-produced this album and the last one. I imagine the next one I'll do totally on my own. That would really be exciting for me."
Despite the good times that Money is experiencing thanks to No Control, it was just a few years ago that things looked awfully grim. He had an 18-month lay-off after a drug-related accident in 1980. It was extremely serious and the singer almost died. The singer says the incident left him with permanent damage to the nerves in one leg. He has bounced back through determination and hard work, and thinks that others might benefit from his lesson.
One contributor to the success he has enjoyed since the incident is the continued exposure his music has received on MTV. His first video was 'Think I'm In Love," a mock vampire story which was filmed in black and white. It was very popular on MTV, and featured the singer’s future wife as the vampire’s love interest. The intent of the video was to get the old Hollywood black and white feel of the ‘30s and ‘40s. “Shakin’” was another music video hit for Money.
“Big Crash”, from the new album, is currently in medium rotation. Money wasn’t as enthusiastic about the outcome of this video.
"I play a cop in 'Big Crash,’” replied Money. “It was kind of a Madison Avenue advertising decision that I should play an officer and keep up the old story of my past that’s out there. I never was a cop. Anyway, because of that, I wasn't too pleased with the thing."
No Control and Where’s the Party have breathed new life into the Money machine.
“I’m very proud of the work I’ve done on the last two records,” stated Money. “The No Control album was a little bit of a cry-baby album because of my accident and all the trouble I had. I sang those songs from the soul, so a lot of my songs come from personal experience.
"I would have to say that now, I like Where's The Party more only because it is a more upbeat album. There’s no sense of dwelling on past mistakes or crying the blues your whole life. There’s some good tunes on the album I’m really proud of."