"Money Power Glory" (or "Money, Power and Glory" and referred to as "Money & Power") is a song by Lana Del Rey written with Greg Kurstin. It was released on her second major-label studio album, Ultraviolence.
On May 3, 2014, the title was revealed in an interview with a French magazine as "Money, Power & Glory". The interview said the song would have hip-hop beats that American radio stations would love. An alternate version of the song mixed by Robert Orton is registered on PPL Repertoire, but remains unreleased and unleaked. A snippet of an early demo of the song leaked on June 25, 2018, featuring different vocals and instrumental. The full demo leaked on September 20, 2018 and it was produced by Dan Auerbach. An early demo produced in 2012 has been confirmed to exist by a reliable leaker
Writing and inspiration
Del Rey talked about writing "Money Power Glory" in a track by track commentary of Ultraviolence, stating she wrote the song at a time when she felt really frustrated. She felt like the most anybody was going to allow her was, if she would be lucky, money and power, in the form of infamy, rather than fame. She described the song as "a sarcastic response, psychologically, just to what I felt was going on". On June 12, 2014, when asked by The New York Times about the track she said "I learned that whatever I did elicited an opposite response, so I’m sure ‘Money Power Glory’ will actually resonate with people as being what I really do want. I already know what’s coming, so it's okay to explore irony and bitterness". On July 1, 2014, in a controversial interview with The Guardian, Del Rey discussed being in "more of a sardonic mood" while writing the song.
On July 22, 2014, producer Greg Kurstin was asked by NME about writing and producing the track, and said the song "was one of the earlier songs written on the album and it stuck around". Discussing its inclusion on the track list, Kurstin explained:
- "I wasn't really sure what was going to happen because we did it so early and I know she went through a lot of writing after that point. It's interesting that what ended up on the album is actually the original mix that we finished that day; we didn't re-cut or re-record anything. But it was great when I finally heard where she went and I think it was really cool that she went organic with live musicians. It was unexpected, but also a logical step for her. I really love that album; it's one of the albums that I listen to over and over again."
A snippet of an unofficial remix featuring vocals from The Weeknd was played on August 14, 2020 during Episode 9 of his Memento Mori radio show. It is unclear if a full version was recorded or if he was an original featured artist on the track. The Weeknd's vocals and lyrics are very similar to the ones of Del Rey's in the leaked demo of the song.
Del Rey performed "Money Power Glory" live for the first time on July 15, 2014 during Live at the Marquee festival in Cork, Ireland.
- Dope and diamonds are referenced in the third demo of "Diet Mountain Dew", where she sings "gimme them, gimme them dope and diamonds".
- "The sun also rises" is possibly referencing the 1926 novel by Ernest Hemingway of the same name; this is another of several literary references throughout her songs.
- The phrase "this bitch" also appears in "In My Feelings".
- References to diamonds appear in many Del Rey's songs, most notably "Last Girl on Earth", "National Anthem" and "Young and Beautiful".
- The lyrics "I wanna take you for all that you got" are similar to "You know that I want what you got" from "Big Bad Wolf" and "Hot Hot Hot".
- Del Rey sings "hallelujah" in "Ben", "Cherry" and "Religion".
- Money is also mentioned in "Dealer", "Dance for Money", "Money Hunny", "Religion", "Swan Song", and "Pawn Shop Blues". It's referred to as cash in "Hundred Dollar Bill" and "Old Money".
- Album version — 4:30
- Instrumental version — 4:28
- Demo version (produced by Dan Auerbach) — 4:21
- Remix version (snippet) — 1:41
- Lana Del Rey — vocals, songwriting
- Greg Kurstin — songwriting, production, mixing, guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboard
- Alex Pasco & Julian Burg — additional engineering
- John Davis — mastering
- Mastered at Metropolis Studios, London
- ISRC: GBUM71402016