Diggin’: Adolphus Bell “I Need Some Money”

inNewson June 6, 2013

AdolphusVanListen: I Need Some Money

Adolphus Bell’s birthday is this week, so I thought it would be a good time to really visit his Music Maker release “One Man Band” and spend some time with it – to get an idea of this dynamic performer, who I haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet. A lot of the tracks on the album are along the lines with the rest of the Music Maker canon: some covers that Adolphus took and made his own (“Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Cherry Pie”) alongside songs that are punctuated by his inimitable showmanship.

One of the songs that jumped out at me as a first-time listener was “I Need Some Money” – most of us can identify with this on a personal level. I’ve been reading a lot of stuff on the big-I Internet lately about my generation that was sparked by the cover of Time Magazine about Millenials and entitlement, so it seems kind of self-indulgent for me, a 24-year-old, to be digging on a song called “I Need Money” when the whole argument is that we Millenials feel we deserve something because we were brought up with participation trophies and way too much positive reinforcement.

What drew me to the song, though, was the upbeat tempo, how it twisted the Blues about a very basic need that turns it into almost rockabilly. I like how it subverts normal tropes like being able to live on love alone – “You’re lovin’ brings me such a thrill / but your lovin’ doesn’t pay the bills” – and comes from somewhere very honest without being tacky. Plus, it’s just plain catchy.

And I have to be honest: I paid my first property tax bill this month, and it’s one of those entries into adulthood that make you appreciate all the barriers facing people who don’t have a steady income. “Money don’t buy everything, it’s true / just it’s something that we all can use,” indeed.

-Whitney Baker

Check out Adolphus’ albums here!

Showing 2 comments
  • Buck

    Whitney — Catchy indeed, but just checking here: are you aware that’s a cover of a song written in 1959 and covered many times since, including by the Beatles?

    • Whitney Baker


      I actually wasn’t aware of that. I’m still wrapping my head around all of the MMRF artists and their influences, so there is this whole chunk of musical history I’m still kind of blind to — I might have to check out some of the other versions and see how they compare.

      I did really dig Adolphus’s version, though. His version of “Ain’t No Sunshine” was pretty solid, too.


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