Originally a Motown song (co-written by label founder Berry Gordon), it was later elevated to new heights by the scorching Beatles version. Confident, sexy, and trashy-sounding, it's fantastic. To my ears though, the best version is by The Flying Lizards. Their take exhibits the same characteristics, but in a completely different way. The instrumentation is primitive, robotic, and groovy in that Kraftwerkian German way. And then there's the vocals. Backed by muffled, strained invocations of "That's, what I want," singer Deborah Lizard exudes contempt and self-assurance when she declares, "I want money." She will totally step on your face with her stilleto heel and you will pay her to do it. I mean, if you're into that sort of thing.
I was just pointed to a live performance The Flying Lizards did for the BBC back in the '80s. Like many other "live" BBC performances, they're just miming the song, but the totally fake way they go about it made me laugh. Watch especially for the guy on the left who ends up reading the repetitive "that's what I want" lyric off successive sheets of paper.
(for those reading this through an RSS feed aggregator, there's a video to click on here, just go to my actual blog site and you'll see it)
Also? YouTube is really, really cool.
This post dedicated to Carole, the only person I know who loves this song as much as me.