Every #1 Single of the Nineties: John Anderson, “Money in the Bank”

“Money in the Bank”

John Anderson

Written by Bob DiPiero, John Jarrard, and Mark D. Sander

Billboard

#1 (1 week)

July 10, 1993

A New Traditionalist legend earns his final No. 1 single.

The Road to No. 1

Seminole Wind included an additional top ten hit – “Let Go of the Stone” – that followed its title track going to No. 1.  To build on the momentum of that double platinum comeback album was no easy feat, but John Anderson encored with another gold album, Solid Ground.  Its lead single would be the last chart topper of Anderson’s career.

The No. 1

At the risk of abandoning all credibility, I think that this record is brilliant.

Yes, it borders on being a novelty song, but that places it in a long tradition of clever country hits that went light on substance but heavy on hooks and personality.

The distinctive guitar riff is nearly as catchy as Anderson’s fearless vocal performance in the chorus, as he stretches out “Bank” into enough extra syllables to make Reba McEntire jealous.

“Money in the Bank” works so well because Anderson doesn’t take it seriously but the studio musicians do, creating an effective contrast between the man at the mic and the pros playing behind him.

love this record without qualification or apology.

The Road From No. 1

Solid Ground produced two more top five hits – “I’ve Got it Made” and “I Wish I Could Have Been There.”  His next album, Country ‘Til I Die, produced a solitary top five hit with “Bend it Until it Breaks,” his final major hit with his comeback label BNA.  A stint at Mercury Nashville lasted one album and produced the minor hit, “Somebody Slap Me.”  An album with Columbia and a return to Warner Bros. both failed to reignite his chart fortunes.

However, his legacy remains secure.  In 2014, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and his final studio album, Years, was released to critical acclaim in 2020.   As his New Traditionalist peers finally join the Country Music Hall of Fame, that ultimate recognition seems inevitable.

“Money in the Bank” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Alan Jackson, “Chattahoochee” |

Next: Reba McEntire, “It’s Your Call”

 

5 Comments

  1. Hey Kevin: Some good-natured feedback. I’ve noticed with this feature that you’ll often refer to a No. 1 hit as the artist’s last or final chart-topper. Given that many of these artists, like John Anderson, are still alive and performing, they theoretically could still have more No. 1 hits, right? I know that’s highly unlikely and especially absurd given where country radio has gone, but still . . .

  2. It is so much fun to listen to! As in outrageously fun! Anderson is trying to outdo Lefty Frizell as the country singer most able to stretch and chew a syllable.

    It is almost inconceivable that the same artist could claim “Swingin” and “Money in the Bank” as their own. Two songs that set the standard for authentic enthusiastic absurdity.

    Novelty or not, who cares when a song packs this much “credible” sincere silliness into its performance.

    John Anderson remains a singular vocal talent.

  3. This isn’t one of my most favorites from John Anderson, but it’s definitely a fun song! This is another one I got to hear a few times when it was new, and it’s another one that makes me think of my step dad. I remember a couple times while in the car with him in which he’d imitate the part in the chorus where he goes “bay-yang-yang-yang-ank!” That’s actually still one of my favorite parts of the song.

    It was also around this time that John showed that he could growl with the best of the “younger guns”, like Clint Black, Tracy Lawrence, and newcomers Clay Walker and Tim McGraw. This was also an example of the more aggressive rock influenced production style that James Stroud had in 1993 and 1994 with those artists, while still keeping enough of a neo-traditional feel most of the time. Just listening to this and then comparing it to the previous single, “Let Go of The Stone,” and the rest of the Seminole Wind singles, and it’s quite a contrast to me, at least.

    This was also a fun song to play on the jukebox at Texas Roadhouse back when they actually still had a lot of 90’s country on their jukeboxes. One time when we were all at our favorite location in Pennsylvania, my dad heard a guy in the bathroom enthusiastically singing out loud “I oughta drive you around in an armor truck!” When he came out, he told me “I think someone else in the bathroom was also enjoying your selection!” Lol.

    I’ve always liked the video of this song, as well, and it’s just as fun as the song. I especially always thought the part where they show John’s dream of the “money machine” was pretty funny.

    It’s a shame that this ended up being his last number one. I’m especially bummed that “I’ve Got It Made” didn’t reach the top! I also really love “Bend It Until It Breaks.”

  4. “Ive Got It Made” was the song of Anderson’s that was going up the charts when I started listening to country countdowns/falling in love with country music! I really wanted it to go number one.

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