First recorded by The Valentine Brothers (R&B #41 1982).
Other hit version by Simply Red (UK #13/CAN #51/AUS #21/NZ #8/IRE #9/ITA #4 1985 |US #28 1986).
From the wiki: “‘Money’s Too Tight (to Mention)’ (sometimes stylized ‘Money$ Too Tight (to Mention)’ on some of its single and album releases) was written and first recorded by The Valentine Brothers, John and Billy, and released as a single in 1982. The song was ranked at #6 among the top ten ‘Tracks of the Year’ for 1982 by NME.
“The brothers were born in Columbus, Ohio. Billy Valentine performed as a singer with Young-Holt Unlimited in the mid-1970s, before joining with his brother John to begin performing as The Valentine Brothers in 1975. Starting in 1977, they began a three-year stint as part of the touring company of The Wiz musical. Their first self-titled album was issued by Source Records in 1979, and their second album, First Take in 1982, featured the promotional single ‘Money’s Too Tight (to Mention)’, produced by Bobby Lyle.
“The song was political and controversial, mentioning ‘Reaganomics’, the set of economic policies (now recognized as failures) implemented by U.S. president Ronald Reagan in 1982 in order to stimulate the growth of the American economy. The lyrics include the lines ‘the old man that’s over the hill,’ and ‘did the earth move for you, Nancy?’ He wants to borrow money, first from his brother who responds, ‘Brother I’d like to help you but I’m unable to,’ then to his ‘Father, Father, almighty Father’ who then responds ‘Money’s too tight to mention.’
“‘Money’s Too Tight (to Mention)’ was then covered by the British pop/soul group Simply Red in 1985 whose single peaked at #13 on the UK Singles chart in July 1985. It was Simply Red’s first single release in the UK and internationally, reaching the Top 40 in several other countries. Despite the controversy surrounding its pointed lyrics, a belated release of ‘Money’s Too Tight (Too Mention)’ also charted in the US Top 40, peaking at #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1986.”
Simply Red, “Money’s Too Tight (to Mention)” (1985):