Edward Joseph Mahoney on March 21, 1949 in Brooklyn, New York
Genres of Choice:
New York City native Eddie Money enjoyed a remarkably solid if somewhat indistinct rock music career from his late-'70s emergence all the way through the '80s. Since then, he's generally only shone as an occasional spotlight performer on the classic rock oldies circuit. But that doesn't take away from the consistent high quality of many of his radio-friendly hits, particularly the ones he composed himself. Though it could be argued that Money's gravelly vocals and guitar-fueled love song focus represented the best, worst and in-between of album-oriented rock (AOR), this is a definite '80s artist of note.
Having grown up on Long Island in a large Irish Catholic family, Money is widely known for spending some time as a young man as an NYPD trainee, following in the footsteps of three generations of his closest male relatives. That path didn't hold up long, though, as Money relocated to Berkeley, California and began to pursue a hardscrabble career in music. Years of toil followed before music legend Bill Graham took particular note of Money's passion and helped him secure a record deal with Columbia Records. From this point Money became a bit of an "overnight" sensation, immediately enjoying a string of hit singles.
In order to court mainstream success, perhaps it was a bit inevitable for Money to tweak his obviously ethnic surname. Luckily, dropping two letters resulted in a catchy, memorable stage name that couldn't have hurt his efforts to make an early splash. Money almost instantly became a classic rock staple, delivering the 1978 singles and radio playlist mainstays "Baby Hold On" and "Two Tickets to Paradise." This pair of tracks set the stage for an active '80s output, and even if mountains of respect would never come his way, Money managed quite well as a modest voice for pop music's working class.
Eddie Money - '80s Survivor:
Though he would never equal the double-platinum status of his self-titled 1977 debut, Money probably didn't expect the slow dip in record sales of 1978's Life for the Taking and 1980's Playing for Keeps. Neither album produced a hit, and it would have been relatively easy for Money to fall through the cracks of the early-'80s, image-conscious MTV age. Instead, the singer bounced back in 1982 with No Control, a record that produced a legitimate hit in "Think I'm in Love" as well as a saucy rock anthem, "Shakin'," that would fuel Money's live shows for years to come. But this was just Comeback No. 1.
Following a relatively unsuccessful 1983 LP and a period of spotty output (somewhat owing to some substance abuse issues), Money managed to weather another lengthy hiatus. With the fall 1986 release of Can't Hold Back, Money reestablished himself as a hitmaker, even if he was forced to do so on the strength of someone else's songwriting. "Take Me Home Tonight" and "I Wanna Go Back" became a worthy one-two punch that helped drive eventual platinum status for the record. Unfortunately, its charting four singles displayed none of Money's songwriting prowess.
A Comfortable Fade:
Money enjoyed his final Top 10 hit in late 1988, again transforming someone else's composition into a pretty solid mainstream rock effort. "Walk on Water" kept the singer mildly on the MTV map, but it didn't take a fortune teller to notice that music fashion would likely leave Money behind before long. Still, 14 years was a pretty good run for a modest rock star who never bowed to trends in his music. Nowadays, well into his 60s, Money still makes nearly annual appearances on summer nostalgia tours. Aging but intact audiences still love to get their Money's worth.